Last updated July 31, 2018
Tender smoked pork belly burnt ends are delectable hunks of meat that melt in your mouth. They’re barbecue’s gift to your taste buds.
Burnt ends are a tradition in the beef world. They are cubes of brisket cut from the point end (the fattier part). After cooking slow and low, they’re tossed in sauce and caramelized.
Recently 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.
Every pork belly is trimmed a little differently. You definitely need to make sure that the rind is removed. It’s best to ask your butcher to do this. Once the rind is removed, see how much fat is left. I leave about 1/4 inch of fat for flavor. Anything more and your bite can be a little too fatty.
Once the slab is trimmed, cut it into one-inch cubes and toss with your favorite rub.
To save you a ton of time, place the cubes on a baking rack, and then place the baking rack on the grill. This way you don’t have to leave your grill open as you place each one on the grate, allowing you to maintain a steady temp.
After about 3 hours, toss the bad boys in some sauce, butter and honey and cover them up in an aluminum pan, until they get nice and soft. I look for a temperature around 203F.
To get the sauce nice and tacky, remove the foil and let them smoke for another 15 minutes.
Some competitive barbecue contests have “hog wild” categories where they allow you to turn in your best bite of pork. Pork belly burnt ends make a great entry. People I compete against also do well with jalapeno poppers stuffed with pork.
Since judges are fans of cream cheese and jalapenos, I topped these burnt ends with with smoked garlic cream cheese, candied jalapeno and a pinch of sea salt to make them even more delectable. They earned me 2nd place at a Las Vegas competition.
Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- 3 lb pork belly
- 1/4 cup pork rub
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- Slice the pork belly into one-inch cubes. Rub the pork belly with your favorite pork rub. Smoke at 225F degrees for 3 hours.
- Place the belly in a disposable aluminum pan. Toss with barbecue sauce, butter and honey. Cover and smoke for 1 hour or until the meat registers at around 203F degrees.
- Uncover the pan and smoke for about 15 minutes.
To make the pork belly easier to slice, you can place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.