By Christie Vanover | Published April 19, 2023 | Last Updated April 19, 2023
One of the first recipes I cooked when I got the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill was pork belly burnt ends. And I was so pleasantly surprised to learn that with this grill, I could cook them in half the time.
What are pork belly burnt ends?
Burnt ends are a tradition in the beef world. They are cubes of smoked beef brisket cut from the point end (the fattier part). After cooking slow and low, they’re tossed in sauce and caramelized.
But pork lovers have decided they want a piece of the burnt end action. Pork belly burnt ends are everywhere on Instagram. They’re actually easy to make, and take less time than their beef counterparts.
Unlike the brisket, which a cut of meat that comes from the chest of the cow, pork belly burnt ends are made from the belly of the pig, which is where bacon comes from.
Bacon however is cured and then smoked. With pork belly burnt ends, there is no curing involved, so you can make this recipe in just a few hours.
How to smoke pork belly burnt ends on a Ninja Grill
- STEP ONE: Look at your pork belly. One side may have a thick layer of skin. If it does, use a sharp knife to remove it. Then, cut the pork belly into even cubes that are 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.
- STEP TWO: Season the pork belly cubes liberally with pork rub. Plan on 1 tablespoon of rub per pound of meat.
- STEP THREE: Place pellets in the side of your Ninja Woodfire Grill. Set the function to smoker, the temp to 250F degrees and the timer to 2 1/2 hours. Place the seasoned pork belly on the grill and close the lid.
PRO TIP: If you don’t have a Ninja Woodfire Grill, follow my other Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends recipe. It includes steps for other types of smokers and pellet grills.
- STEP FOUR: After one hour on the grill, the pork belly cubes will develop a gorgeous bark. To finish cooking them, transfer them into a pan and top with 1 cup barbecue sauce, 4 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Place the pan on the grill. Close the lid and cook for 20 minutes.
NINJA PRO TIP: Make sure that you use a pan that will fit on the grill with the lid closed.
- STEP FIVE: After 20 minutes, the butter will be melted and the sauce will liquify even more. Stir. Cook for another 20 minutes with the lid closed.
- STEP SIX: After 20 minutes, stir the cubes around again and flip them over. Cook another 20 minutes.
How to serve Ninja smoked pork belly
After the final 20 minutes, the sauce will become tacky and the pork belly will be extremely tender.
Serve the Ninja smoked pork belly burnt ends right away in a big bowl or place several burnt ends on each plate with a side of Garlic Parmesan Ranch Air Fryer Frozen Fries or Smoked Mac and Cheese on a Ninja Grill.
Leftover smoked burnt ends can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also freeze them in an airtight container for up to six months.
Frequently Asked Questions
When smoking on my Ninja Woodfire Grill, I never use foil. I have found that it interferes with the cooking temperatures and times. The pork belly will braise just fine without covering the pan, because of the grill’s convection fan.
Absolutely. On the Ninja Woodfire Grill, you control the smoke flavor. If you prefer to cook pork belly burnt ends without smoke flavor, don’t add any pellets. You can still use the smoker function for great indirect heat.
When smoking at 250F degrees, it takes about 2 hours to cook pork belly burnt ends on a Ninja Woodfire Grill.
More Ninja Grill Recipes
Ninja Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- 3 lb pork belly
- 3 tbsp Christie Vanover's Pork Rub
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- Prep Pork Belly: If your pork belly has a layer of skin, remove it with a sharp knife. Cut the pork belly into 1 to 1 1/2-inch cubes.
- Season: Toss the pork belly cubes in the barbecue rub.
- Heat Grill: Add pellets to the Ninja Woodfire Grill. Set the function to smoker, the temperature to 250F degrees and the time to 2 1/2 hours.
- Smoke: Add the seasoned cubes to the Ninja grill on the grill grate. Close the lid and smoke for 1 hour.
- Braise: Place the smoked pork belly in a pan. Add the barbecue sauce, butter and honey to the pan. Stir. Place it on the grill and smoke for 1 more hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
- Serve: After a total of 2 hours, the sauce should be tacky and the pork belly should be nice and tender and ready to serve.
This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator
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