Take yourself to flavourtown with these smoked and braised pork belly burnt ends. This is a simple, delicious recipe that will have you coming back for more.
It's your taste buds.
They want to know why you haven't made these Pork Belly Burnt Ends yet.
Seriously. Do you, your taste buds, and your real buds a favour, and make this meat candy ASAP!
This recipe is dedicated to meat candy.
Tips + tricks
No. 1 --> Cut these bigger than you think you should. We like to dice them in approximately 1" cubes. They will render down slightly and turn into a two bite treat.
No. 2 --> Slightly freeze your pork belly. This is a great way to keep it from slip-squishing while you're cutting. Just like we do with smoked beef jerky!
No. 3 --> Some people also spritz - I also don't. One of the things I like about this recipe is that it's a quick dice and on the smoker to be ignored for 2.5 - 3 hours. No shame here I got stuff on the go!
No. 4 --> Use store-bought rub, if you want. I find it to be more expensive, so I prefer to make my own rubs.
No. 5 --> We all know bacon is the greatest food ever invented, but pork belly burnt ends is in my top 2 smoked pork belly recipes. You'll wanna save at least some of that belly to make these!
This recipe is a simple one, and you're likely to have all the ingredients in the pantry!
- Skinless pork belly
- BBQ rub (OR brown sugar, ground pepper, salt, cumin, granulated garlic, onion powder)
- BBQ sauce
How to make
- Before you start, start your smoker according to the manufacturer's directions. Set temperature to 225f. Line a large cookie sheet with foil, and place underneath the pork belly cubes. I use a full-size chafer for this. This step is optional but helps with clean up.
- Slice the pork belly into 1" strips, and then cut those strips into 1" cubes. Bonus points if you freeze the pork belly for 30 or so minutes before cutting - this can make it a lot less squishy.
- Mix the rub ingredients in a medium to large bowl. (Or if using store-bought, measure about 1 cup of rub into the bowl.) Toss the pork belly cubes in the rub until they are completely coated. I like to work in batches to ensure even coverage.
- Place the pork belly cubes on the smoker - you can use a wire rack, but the 1" cubes are unlikely to fall through the grill, so we just place directly on the grill. * Use a wire rack if you plan on making ahead - saves a step!*
- Smoke the pork burnt ends at 225f for 2.5 - 3 hours until the bark is nice and dark.
- Combine the butter, honey, and your favourite BBQ sauce in a smoker friendly pan. I like to use a half-size chafing dish for this.
- Return to smoker and cook at 250f for 30 minutes covered, and another 30 or so minutes uncovered. Cook until the sauce has thickened and the sugars have caramelized. Let the burnt ends sit for a 15 minutes before digging in!
We LOVE pork belly burnt ends in this house - we also love to share them with company, and unfortunately, sometimes when company comes we don't have the 4 hours on hand to make these little meat candy bombs.
Here's what I do:
- Smoke the burnt ends at 225f for 3 hours, or until the bark is as dark and flavourful as I like it.
- Remove the burnt ends from the smoker, and cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
- Transfer the burnt ends to a ziplock bag, and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Proceed with the rest of the recipe. (Usually, I'm able to sneak my pan onto the smoker with whatever else we have on there!)
Surprisingly, these little treats reheat really well in the microwave. But I find they are best if placed in a pan, with a little (1/4 cup) water stirred in to thin out the sauce a bit and reheated at 250f until hot throughout. The water will re-evaporate and leave your sauce perfect.
This recipe owes everything to the low and slow smokey deliciousness of a smoker. We use and love our Traeger Timberline pellet smoker. This amazing backyard cooker transitioned us from a non-smoking family to unabashed smokers - with no desire to ever quit. You can get a Timberline from Williams Sonoma, or an Ironwood from Amazon.
Love smoked deliciousness? You'll like these too!
LOVE THIS RECIPE?
Dig into these smoked and braised pork belly burnt ends. They are smokey, tender, sweet, and delicious all in one package.
- 3 lbs skinless pork belly
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 2 teaspoons onion
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup BBQ Sauce
- Preheat your smoker to 225f according to manufacturers' directions. Wrap a large baking sheet or full chafer pan with tin foil and place it beneath where you'll put the pork belly cubes.
- Slice your pork belly into 1" slices, and then into 1" cubes. If you find the pork belly to be too squishy, pop it in the freezer for like 30 minutes - until its semi-frozen.
- Add the brown sugar, pepper, salt, garlic, onion, paprika, and cumin in a medium or large bowl. Give it a good whisk till it's completely combined.
- Working in batches, add pork cubes to the rub, stir them until they are fully coated - then transfer to a wire rack if you're using, or place on a tray to transport to the smoker.
- Place your wire rack on the smoker, or place the cubes right on the grill. Close the lid and smoke at 225f for 3 hours, or until the bark is firm and the fat has slightly rendered and dripped into the pan below.
- Mix the honey, butter and BBQ sauce in a smoker friendly pan - I like to use my half size chafer pan.
- Use your tongs to pick up the pork belly and place it in your pan. Give the works a good stir till all the meat cubes are coated. Cover the pan in with tinfoil.
- Increase the heat on your smoker to 250f. Smoke covered for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the pork belly burnt ends, and smoke for another 30 minutes.
- Let your pork belly rest for 15 minutes before digging in!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 615Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 885mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 41gProtein: 32g