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Award-Winning Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe

Published on Monday, June 13, 2022

We’re talking about Pork Belly Burnt Ends! The best part of a good brisket is the fatty point that we turn into those mouth-watering burnt ends. These uber tender chunks of brisket will melt in your mouth when done just right.

For this recipe, start with an 8 lb. pork belly cut into 1.5 in. squares. The reason for cubing it from the start is to develop a slight bark on all sides of the pork belly and have more surface area to apply your dry rub. 

The biggest challenge with this recipe is to render the pork belly slowly so the fat melts and leaves behind a tender bite of meat packed with flavor and moisture. You’ll need an indirect smoker to accomplish this. 

Set the cooling rack directly on the grill grate and let the smoker go to work. It’ll take about two hours to develop the right color on the outside; then, it’s time to tenderize.

Carefully remove the cooling rack from the pit (use some gloves) and place each burnt end into an aluminum pan. Cover the burnt ends with 1/2 cup of brown sugar and a good drizzle of honey. And if you thought I wasn’t going to add even more fat (flavor) to this recipe, you would be highly mistaken. Slice up 1.5 sticks of butter and scatter around the pan. Cover the pan with foil and return it to the smoker. They’ll need about 1.5 - 2 hours in the pan to get perfectly tender so just let the cooker work its magic.

Remove the pan from the cooker and drain the liquid. But you’re not done yet! The last step in the process is to add a Pork Belly Glaze (recipe for glaze at the bottom of the article). Combine all ingredients in a small pan and simmer over medium heat until smooth.

Drizzle the Pork Belly Burnt Ends with the glaze and gently toss to coat all sides. Set them back in the cooker for about 5-10 minutes, just long enough to caramelize, and you’re ready for the most amazing bite of BBQ you’ve ever experienced!

Pork Belly Burnt End Recipe 
8 lb. pork belly skin removed
½ cup BBQ rub
1 ½ sticks butter sliced
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey

Pork Belly Burnt End Glaze
1 cup BBQ sauce
¼ cup apple juice
¼ cup apple jelly
1 tbsp. Frank’s Hot Sauce

  • Prepare charcoal smoker for indirect cooking at 250-275⁰. Add two chunks of cherry wood for smoke.
  • Remove pork belly from packaging and cube into 1.5 in. x 1.5 in. pieces.
  • Season all sides of the pork belly cubes with your BBQ rub.
  • Arrange cubes onto a full-size cooling rack and place them on the smoking grate.
  • Smoke pork belly for 2 – 2.5 hours.
  • Place each pork belly burnt end into an aluminum pan and cover with brown sugar and honey. Arrange butter in between the pork belly pieces.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and return to the smoker for 1.5 hours or until the pieces are tender.
  • Drain the liquid from the pan and add the pork belly glaze to the burnt ends.
  • Toss gently to coat each piece and return to the smoker to set the glaze for 5-10 minutes and serve.
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Author: Maggie Holt

Categories: Family and Farming

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Maggie Holt

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