Trader Joe’s Pork Belly {Fully Cooked, Serving Options}

Trader Joe’s Pork Belly is an easy and delicious way to make some spectacular dishes in your kitchen.  This is an extremely versatile product that can be used to make ramen, sliders or perhaps the world’s greatest grilled cheese sandwiches!

Warning: Pork belly is always going to be an extremely fatty cut of pork.  If you don’t like fat then do NOT buy this product.

Keep reading and we will cover:

  • Is the Pork Belly Ready to Eat?
  • How to Heat the Pork Belly?
  • How to Serve the Pork Belly?
  • Is Pork Belly Healthy?
  • How Much Does Pork Belly Cost at Trader Joe’s?

Trader Joe's Pork Belly

Is Trader Joe’s Pork Belly Ready to Eat?

Trader Joe’s pork belly is fully cooked  so technically it is safe to eat straight from the package. According to Trader Joe’s website the belly has already been slow braised for 12 hours.  Since they are using the phrase “fully cooked” then the braise step must have taken the pork to an internal temperature of at least 145F.

That being said, you really do want to heat the meat up before consuming.

The Pork Belly is Fully Cooked

When the pork belly comes out of the package it is going to look like a really fatty wad of meat.  It is not going to look good or appealing and you are not going to want to eat it!

Don’t worry though, after you crisp this stuff up it will look and taste amazing!

How to Heat the Pork Belly

The first thing you want to do is to take the belly out of the package, rinse it off and pat it dry with paper towels.  Seriously…get the surface of the pork as dry as possible so you can put a proper sear on it!

Once the pork is dried off you need to decide if you want to brown it up as a whole piece, in slices or as cubes/diced.  Personally I prefer to cut the belly into slices that are about a quarter inch thick so that it looks like ultra thick cut bacon.

Once the belly has been sliced place them in a skillet over Medium heat and let them cook for 3-4 minutes per side.  Do not move the slices around in the pan while they are heating.  You want the slices to turn golden brown and crispy which will be harder to do if you keep moving the pork around in the pan.

Pork Belly Heating Instructions


How to Serve the Pork Belly

Once you have crisped up the belly there are many great ways to use the meat.  Some serving suggestions include:

  • Adding to a bowl of homemade ramen.
  • Shredding for tacos.
  • Putting on a soft bun with toppings for sliders.
  • Adding to a stir fry.
  • Use to make the ultimate Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwich.
  • Dicing and use as a salad topping.
  • Dicing and making nachos.

The hardest part of using the belly is avoiding the urge to eat the crispy, succulent strips of goodness straight out of the pan!

Crispy Pork Belly After Air Frying

Is Trader Joe’s Pork Belly Healthy?

In a nutshell, no, Trader Joe’s pork belly is not healthy.

A single serving of the belly (three ounces) has 240 calories and of those 190 of them are from fat.  The full nutritional information for the belly is as follows:

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 21g (32% DV)
  • Cholesterol: 45mg (15% DV)
  • Sodium: 350mg (15% DV)
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Protein: 13g

Now, if you want to give yourself a health based excuse to enjoy this product then I have you covered!

This stuff is the same as bacon but it has not been cured with unhealthy nitrites.  When you crisp up bacon you end up creating unhealthy nitrosamines.  Since there are zero nitrites/nitrates in this product you can happily eat it and tell yourself that it is much healthier than bacon!

Trader Joe's Pork Belly Nutrition

How Much Does Pork Belly Cost at Trader Joe’s?

The 12 ounce package of fully cooked pork belly costs $6.49 at Trader Joe’s which comes out to about $8.65 per pound.  You can buy uncooked pork belly at Costco for about half this price if you want to go through the trouble of cooking it yourself to save some money.

If this is your first time cooking with pork belly then the product from Trader Joe’s is perfect as you can play around with it to see if you like it without committing yourself to a full 5-10 pound slab.

Price of Pork Belly at Trader Joes

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