Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
What are Burnt Ends?
The term “burnt ends” refers to the dense and tough ends of a piece of meat that has been slow smoked. They are typically a bit chewy and on the drier side after cooking… Which makes them absolutely perfect to drench with tangy barbecue sauce, and cook a second time to tenderize!
If you love classic beef brisket burnt ends you are going to go crazy over decadent Pork Burnt Ends. Similar to beef, these pieces of smoked meat are thick and meaty, but with a slightly softer and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Why We Love This Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe
These little morsels of porky perfection are smoked and kissed with barbecue sauce. The recipe starts with a slab of pork belly, cut into generous “bite-size” cubes. We coat them with our classic pork rub seasoning blend that is made with brown sugar and a few key spices, and then slowly smoke.
The smoked pork is tossed with barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar, and then finished in a 250-degree F oven for another hour. Once they are done, each piece of these crispy pork burnt ends is fork-tender and bursting with delightfully intense sweet and smoky flavors.
Pro Tip: Smoked pork belly burnt ends recipes are best made on a smoker, but if you don’t have one, you can replicate this process entirely in the oven with a little bit of liquid smoke.
What Ingredients You Will Need
- Pork belly slab – the boneless and fatty underside of the pig
- Light brown sugar – packed
- Spices – salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder
- Texas-Style BBQ Sauce – Your favorite brand
- Apple cider – tenderizes the smoked pork (or apple juice)
How to Smoke Pork Belly in a Smoker
First, preheat the smoker to 250°F. In a small bowl mix together the spice rub ingredients: brown sugar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Cut the pork belly into 1 1/2-inch cubes with a sharp knife. Toss the pork belly cubes with the dry rub.
Set out two large rimmed baking sheets and place baking racks on top. Spread the seasoned cubed pork belly over the wire rack.
Set the baking sheets on the smoker. Close the lid and smoke for 2 1/2 hours.
Get the Complete (Printable) Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Mix the barbecue sauce and apple cider in the baking dish.
Once the burnt ends recipe comes off the smoker, placed the cubes in the baking dish. Toss to coat the pork belly cubes in barbecue sauce.
Then cover the baking dish tightly with foil in place in the oven for one hour. Or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F with a meat thermometer.
Once done, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes. Uncover and serve the pork belly burnt ends warm.
Serve your BBQ pork belly as a main dish piled on top of white bread and southern sides. We love to pair luscious, meaty smoked pork belly with collard greens, mac and cheese, or macaroni salad, and creamy potato salad.
Or serve as an appetizer with sharp cheddar cheese cubes, spicy mustard, pickles, and Ritz crackers or saltines.
Frequently Asked Questions
To “smoke” the pork belly burnt ends in the oven, preheat the oven to 250 F. Toss the pork belly cubes with 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke, before you toss them with the dry rub. Then place them in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. Follow the remaining instructions as directed!
If you are making this BBQ pork belly in the oven, liquid smoke helps to infuse the meat with a smoky flavor. However, you can technically omit it if you don’t have it on hand. The flavor will be different, but you can still have some delicious chunks of meat! I recommend adding a little smoked paprika to the spices for a little bit of a smoky flavor!
Pork belly is basically uncured, unsliced bacon! Bacon comes from pork belly, but you can do so much more with pork belly than just bacon! If you can’t find pork belly at the grocery store, definitely ask the butcher to see if they have any on hand in the back. If not, try a local butcher instead of the grocery store.
No burnt ends are not supposed to be tough! They should be chewy with crispy bits and pretty tender overall. Pork belly needs to be cooked low and slow, and it is possible to overcook pork belly burnt ends. Once they are overcooked, they can become tough!
Smoked pork will keep well for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Let the burnt ends cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge.
Looking For More BBQ Recipes? Be Sure To Also Try:
- Grilled Pork Chops + Carolina BBQ Sauce
- Crock Pot Brisket Sandwich Recipe
- Coffee Brushed Barbecue Ribs
- Smoked Pork Loin (+ Tenderloin)
- Chipotle BBQ Chicken Skewers
- Honey Sriracha Chicken Skewers
- Classic Brisket Burnt Ends by Hey Grill Hey
- Meat Candy (Bacon Wrapped Smokies) by NeighborFood
Check the printable recipe card below for the nutrition information including calories, carbohydrates, protein, polyunsaturated fat, monounsaturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, fiber, vitamin c, and calcium percentages.
Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- Preheat the smoker to 250°F. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Cut the pork belly into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Toss the pork belly cubes with the dry rub.
- Set out two large rimmed baking sheets and place baking racks on top. Spread The seasoned pork belly cubes over the baking racks.
- Set the baking sheets on the smoker. Close the lid and smoke for 2 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Mix the barbecue sauce and apple cider in the baking dish.
- Once the pork belly comes off the smoker, placed the cubes in the baking dish. Toss to coat the pork belly cubes in barbecue sauce. Then cover the baking dish tightly with foil in place in the oven for one hour.