I've been trying different pork belly recipes, after trying a few using a pressure cooker and a few that only call for pan-searing, I think I'd like to try a combination of both, since that works really well for beef.

Every time I've done any sort of beef in the pressure cooker, the consensus appears to be that you should sear before putting it in the pressure cooker. After all, it usually comes out too tender to sear afterwards, anyway.

However, recipes for pork belly appear to call for the opposite: to sear the pork belly after it comes out of the pressure cooker.

I know that pork belly has a lot of fat & connective tissue, so is this perhaps the reason why the recipes call for the opposite? Will searing it before pressure cooking affect how that breaks down? Or is it really bound to not make that much of a difference?

2 Answers 2


If you sear the meat in the pressure cooker before putting the lid on, then the flavoring from the seared tidbits and caramelization will assist in bringing a fuller flavor to the finished recipe.

This is the same technique I use when I cook something in my Dutch Oven (as a substitute for my slow cooker). Instead of trying to transfer everything into the slow cooker, I simply slide my Dutch Oven into the oven and set the heat (for the equivalent of high or low).

I don't see any reason that the same principle shouldn't work for you with your pressure cooker.

  • Yes! that's what I normally do, albeit some things I still prefer using the skillet, even though it is some extra work... But would you say that searing the pork belly before pressure cooking would add more flavor than searing after? I did try the sear-after method last night, and I got a much more even browning doing after the fact... which makes sense, but I don't think it did much for the flavor.
    – rm-vanda
    Mar 7, 2019 at 21:59
  • 1
    I think before is better, absolutely! You get a darker browning, which is what creats all the flavor. (IMHO) It's what I do.
    – elbrant
    Mar 8, 2019 at 0:05

This depend on how you are going to serve the pork belly. If you want to slice it into smaller pieces, say to place in a pork bun, for example, I would carefully remove from pressure cooker after cooking. Wrap and chill with a weight on it. Once chilled, slice/portion and sear individual pieces.

  • that's a good point! But assuming that the pork belly is already chopped into chunks, would you say that one way would make any difference over the other?
    – rm-vanda
    Mar 7, 2019 at 22:02
  • @rm-vanda I assumed one large piece of belly. It really depends on how you are going to serve. I generally like a smaller piece with a seared crust, so I would portion and sear after cooking.
    – moscafj
    Mar 7, 2019 at 22:07

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