Cider Recipe Series: BBQ Pulled Pork Belly

Cider Recipe Series: BBQ Pulled Pork Belly

Of all the ways to cook pork, BBQ pulled pork belly has to be the most spectacular. When done right, it can be absolutely epic and a real crowd-pleaser. Scoring the skin, marinading in your favourite sauce, smoking times: it is very much an individual dish that invites you to add your own personal touch to the recipe.

Whilst pulled pork belly is a recipe that can be enjoyed all year-round, there’s something about prepping and eating it as winter approaches. You might question the thought of barbequing on cold winter evenings, but cast aside those doubts . This recipe should naturally be accompanied by cider, be it as part of your marinade or to wash down the pork. Read on for this tantalisingly tasty BBQ pulled pork belly.

BBQ Pulled Pork Belly

This recipe is a favourite of the team here at Sandford Orchards, and we’ve asked our founder Barny Butterfield to tell us his preferred cider to use as part of the recipe.


  • Pork belly (3kg can feed up to 8 people)
  • Sea salt
  • BBQ rub (either shop-bought or homemade)
    – 1 tbsp black peppercorns
    – 2 tbsp cumin
    – 2 dried bay leaves
    – 4 tbsp paprika
    – 1 tsp dried oregano
    – 50g light brown sugar
  • BBQ sauce (either shop-bought or homemade)
  • 100ml Sandford Orchards Devon Mist

For barbequing, we recommend high-quality smoker woodchips. You can’t go wrong with traditional woodchips such as hickory, maple or oak.


  1. Season the pork belly with sea salt a few hours before cooking to act as a dry brine during the cooking process.
  2. If preparing your own rub, mix together toasted peppercorns with cumin seeds and fennel seeds on a dry pan. Grind with bay leaves before adding spices and flavours of your choice – we suggest paprika, sugar and cajun spice.
  3. Prepare the barbeque for indirect cooking using a foil drip tray. Prepare coals on one half of the barbeque, light them and allow time for them to settle. Wait until the barbeque temperature reached 110 degrees.
  4. Add the woodchips on top of the coals once the desired temperature has been reached.
  5. Apply the dry rub all over the pork belly, ensuring you cover every nook and cranny!
  6. Cook the pork for 5-6 hours, topping with coals and woodchips sporadically to ensure a consistent temperature. There should be a slight but steady stream of smoke emerging from the barbeque vent.
  7. Throughout cooking, spray or baste the pork with Sandford Orchards Devon Mist to ensure the meat stays moist.
  8. Once the pork has reached 85 degrees, brush the meat with your preferred barbeque sauce and continue to cook.
  9. Once the meat is fully glazed, remove from the coals and leave to rest for up to an hour.
  10. Pull the pork using a spoon. Add one last drop of Devon Mist to really pack in the flavour
  11. Serve in a roll complete with coleslaw and a bottle of Devon Mist to wash it down

Barny’s expert insight on pairing cider with pork

Bottles of Cider

Devon Mist would be the ideal pairing with this recipe according to our founder, Barny. Why? Because it has a richness and an apple-body that is balanced with the perfect acidity to go head-to-head with the richness and fattiness of the meat. This particular recipe is very tender and flavoured, which requires a lighter cider touch. If we were slow cooking beef, for example, Barny suggests that a fuller cider such as Sandford Reserve or The General might pair better.

For more inspiration on Autumn cooking, head to our Cider Recipe Series for dishes that either use cider in the recipe itself or is the perfect glass to accompany your meal. Next time you’re cooking, why not experiment with adding Sandford Orchards cider to your dish and let us know if you stumble across a winning recipe!

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