You can buy pork belly from your local butcher, local farm, Asian grocery store, chain stores, and more!
I only really started looking for pork belly once I started to make my own bacon. At the time, it wasn't a very popular cut so I had to put in the work to find some.
In this post, I will show you where to buy pork belly and offer up some guidelines on how to choose a superior cut as well. Let's begin!
Well, this does depend on where you live. The most common uses for pork belly are bacon and in Asian cuisine.
If you live somewhere with a decent sized Asian population or where people are likely to make homemade bacon, then this cut may be easier to find.
If pork belly isn't a common component of the local cuisine, then it may be a little trickier to find.
Here is a list of places to consider when looking for pork belly:
The most likely place to find pork belly is at your hometown butcher.
See, butchers are likely to get an entire pig - or most of one, anyway. They will cut the animal up into various sections. However, it is likely that they will only put popular or best selling cuts such as pork ribs on display.
Thus, they may have some pork belly in the back.
To avoid being disappointed, it is a good idea to talk to your butcher about buying this cut ahead of time as they may not always have it on hand.
However, if you let them know when you are going to need it, they can save a cut for you.
If your butcher can't help you out, I would look at local pig farms. In particular, look for ones with heritage pork so that you can get heritage pork belly.
So, what is heritage pork belly?
Well, some small farms will often try to preserve heritage breeds. These pigs are fatter, producing tender and tastier meat. This is definitely something that you want when making your own bacon.
Even if you can't find heritage pork, most farms will have fatter and healthier pigs as they will be pasture raised. As such, it will make for better quality pork bellies - certainly when compared to the factory grown options available in grocery stores.
Just be warned that when buying this cut from farms that it will not be as carefully cleaned or neatly trimmed as with your butcher. As such, you may have to do a bit more prep work before curing or cooking the meat.
Asian cuisine - Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc. - has become hugely popular over the last few years. This means that if you live in a mid-sized or large town or city, there is bound to be at least one grocery store carrying Asian foodstuff.
Go ahead and visit it. Now, you may not always find raw pork belly here so check the freezer section - you may just get lucky!
Yes, it is possible that your local store may have what you are looking for. The trick, though, is not just to go by what is in the display case.
Speak to the butcher at the counter and ask them if they have any pork belly. It is also a good idea to see if you can place an order for a future purchase.
It can't hurt to ask.
It is becoming more commonplace to find pork belly in such stores. This is because they often have a more diverse clientele. As such, they will try to offer a wider variety of options.
The top places to check would be Costco and Sam's Club. These may not always be at the meat counter, though.
They are likely to be vacuum packed and refrigerated so check in other sections as well.
You may be able to buy pork belly from Walmart, but it is considered a specialty meat item. As such, it may not available in all outlets.
The other thing to bear in mind is that it is unlikely that you will find a whole cut here. It is typically sliced before sold.
Beware of Trader Joe's pork belly as it is pre-cooked - it is boiled a lot. As such, if you are planning on making bacon, this isn't going to make the grade. In fact, I would argue that meat isn't good for any dish at all. It is best to skip it altogether.
I know that buying meat online can seem like a rather odd thing but it is becoming a more common practice. The great thing here is that there are plenty of online options to choose from.
Thus, it is almost guaranteed that you will find an online platform selling pork belly.
Just make sure to choose a well known store so that you know that you are getting safe, high quality meat. It is a good idea to compare and contrast prices to guarantee that you are getting a good deal as well.
Make sure that the delivery methods are safe and keep the meat well refrigerated the entire time.
If you want the pork belly to arrive by a specific date, it is best to order it well in advance. This way, you will be able to overcome any obstacles that may delay the delivery.
Here are some guidelines to pay attention to:
As mentioned above, not all meat is equal. I would urge you to stay away from factory grown pigs unless the price is a big issue for you.
Most butchers and larger chain suppliers will provide you with some information about how and where your meat is sourced.
To know if you are getting the best and healthiest options, it is a good idea to do research of your own.
Even if you are getting your meat straight from a farm, this doesn't mean that you should be lax in your research.
Talk to the farmers about the kind of breed that the pigs are. As I have stated, heritage breeds are the best. If this isn't an option, at least look for a fatter variety.
It can be helpful to look at the pigs' diets and whether they get enough exercise too.
If you have no option but a frozen belly, then naturally you will have to go for it. Otherwise, it is best to buy fresh.
You will get a better flavor and certainly a superior texture.
Remember, it isn't enough just to buy the meat fresh, you should also try to use it to make your own bacon or add it to another recipe as soon as possible.
As with any meat, it is important to store the belly carefully. If it isn't frozen at an appropriate temperature, then the risk of contamination or food poisoning is high.
This is why you should only buy as much belly as you can store in your freezer. So, always make sure that there is enough freezer space for the amount that you are buying.
You may be thankful to have finally found some pork bell but this doesn't mean that you should pay through the teeth for it.
Traditionally, this is a fairly affordable cut. As such, always compare and contrast the prices across butchers, farms, stores, and online platforms before making your purchase.
You may end up saving quite a bit of money.
Pork belly is known as pork belly. It may be sold whole or sliced in a grocery store.
Not really - pork belly is known as such across all platforms. Make sure to use this name when making inquiries.
It isn't guaranteed that you will find this cut at Costco but it may be sold here.
Yes, this is traditionally a cheap cut.
If you want to know where to buy pork belly, all of your questions have been answered here! Now you know exactly where to look and emerge victorious!