How Much Does Pork Belly Cost?
Pork belly, also known as pork midlin, is an in demand item that you may see on restaurant menus but can also be used in the home. This type of meat is most often braised or pan-roasted if made whole. It can also be sliced into bacon, used to make appetizers or accent soups, and can be dices and used to top salads. Pork belly is not often available in your local grocery and is even very hard to find in online stores. Instead, it is mostly found in local or online butcher shops or it can be ordered through local or out of state farms. Pork belly can be ordered half or full and sliced or whole.
How much does it cost?
- For those that have a local butcher that they can go to, pork belly should cost no more than $2 to $6 per pound. If you find it available through an online butcher or shop, it may cost more due to shipping and processing fees.
- For instance, Marin Sun Farms retail butcher shop offers three types of pork belly options: the 12-14 lb Skin On, Ribs On option costs $111.99; 10-lb Skin On, Ribs Off variety costs $89.99; and the 8-lb Skin Off, Ribs Off option costs $63.99.
- At Costco, 4 3-lb slabs of raw, hand-cut boneless 1/2 pork belly costs $139.99.
- LocalHarvest.org, an organic and local food website, offers Berkshire pork belly from Prairie Pride Farm of Minnesota. A 2-lb thick pork belly cut costs $22.99, sliced skin-on belly costs $13.99, and Skin-on pork belly costs $23.99.
What is going to be included?
- Pork belly may come with skin and ribs, with skin and de-boned, or all meat (with neither skin nor ribs). Some are sliced, while others are uncut and sent as flat slabs. With some suppliers, a half belly weighing 2 pounds will serves 6 to 10 people, while a full belly weighing 5 pounds will serve 13 to 20 people.
- Dealers mostly sell purely uncured pork belly that has no seasonings, no solutions, no salts, no water, and no extenders.
- The pork belly order usually arrives frozen (and may be shrink-wrapped) in an insulated container with ice; it is typically shipped overnight. Expedited shipping ensures the product is fresh and will arrive in perfect condition.
- Shipping and handling costs may or may not be included in the price quoted through on online butcher.
What are the extra costs?
- Suppliers may charge separately for shipping costs and for the insulated container the pork belly in which will be shipped.
- The shipping costs may be more depending on the state in which you live. The shipping prices can also rise depending on the weight of the item that you order.
- The more that the butcher has to do to the meat, the more expensive it will be. Therefore, the pork belly that has had the skin and the bones removed will cost more than pork belly that still has the skin and bones.
- No matter how you are planning to cook your pork belly, there will be other ingredients that are necessary to the recipe.
Factors that influence the price:
- Season. There are specific seasonal patterns in the prices of pork belly, which is usually able to be stored if frozen. Movement into cold storage develops early in the year and peaks in the middle of the year. Retail bacon demand hits the highest point in the summer and peters out during the winter season. Patterns in the demand would imply the highest prices in the summer and the lowest in the winter months.
- Supply and demand. When demand surges, the price of pork belly is driven up. Generally, pork belly prices can be susceptible to the supply in cold storage and to the movement in and out of storage.
- Weather. Pigs usually take longer to arrive at their market weight when the weather is hot. This typically results to higher prices for pork.
Tips to know:
- Make sure to ask about the estimated delivery time for the pork belly order to arrive.
- Shipped pork belly must be used within three to four days or placed in a freezer upon arrival. Some supplies remain fresh for six months if frozen.
- Make sure that the meat is USDA-inspected.
- Some pork suppliers, particularly farms, raise organic pigs which are fed only with grass and are pasture-raised their whole lives, consuming no grain or by-product supplements. If you prefer naturally-fed pigs, look for these organic farms.
- Ask about the farm’s or butcher’s return policy for damaged goods or incorrect orders.
How can I save money?
- Check with local farmers market. They may offer pork belly at lower prices.
- Take advantage of the free shipping that is offered on minimum orders.
- Enroll in membership rewards programs. Some offer free online shipping for one year on top of other rewards.
- Consider enlisting in CSA at farms. They usually offer their members great discounts on meat purchases.