How Much Does Pork Belly Cost?

Written by: Staff

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.

Like bacon, pork belly will start at the underside of the pig, but even though it has the word “belly” in it, it’s actually the flesh that runs on the underside of the pig.

Pork belly is not often available in your local grocery store and is even very hard to find in online stores.  Instead, it is mostly found at local or online butcher shops, or it can be ordered through local or out of state farms.

Pork belly by WordRidden, on Flickr
Pork belly” (CC BY 2.0) by  WordRidden

How much does pork belly cost?

For those who 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.  The costs, in the end, will depend on the butcher/store you purchase from, the type of cut and the amount you purchase at once.

For instance, Marin Sun Farms retail butcher shop offers three types of pork belly options: the 12-14 pound skin on, ribs on option for $112, the 10-pound skin on, ribs off variety for $90 or the 8-pound skin off, ribs off option for about $65.

Springfield Farm listed their prices as of February of 2017.  According to this pricing sheet, they were charging $9 per pound for smoked bacon end pieces.

At Costco, an 11-pound package of boneless pork belly retails for about $3 per pound.

Pork belly overview

Pork belly, as specified in the introduction, is often found at a local meat market or online via various farms.

Pork belly may come with the skin and ribs or with the skin and de-boned.  Or, in some circumstances, all of the meat, with neither skin nor ribs, may be available.  The cuts will always be uncured, unsmoked and un-sliced unlike bacon that is often cured, smoked and sliced.

Cuts will either be sliced, while others are uncut and sent as flat slabs.  With some suppliers, a half belly weighing two pounds will serve six to 10 people, while a full belly weighing five 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.  It’s known to be very rich in texture and has a complex flavor.

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 an online butcher.

What are the extra costs?

Online butcher ships may charge separately for shipping costs and for the insulated container the pork belly is shipped in.

The more the butcher has to do with the meat, the more expensive it will be.  Therefore, pork belly that has had the skin and the bones removed will cost more than pork belly that still has the skin and bones.

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.

Ask about the farm’s or butcher’s return policy for damaged goods or incorrect orders. says the leaner the cut, the better the flavor will be.

When purchasing, it’s important to look for a good ratio of meat to fat.  The bellies should have a bright white fat and the meat should be pink in color.

How can I save money?

Check with the 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.

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