Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pork belly burnt ends are a barbecue favorite, known for their rich, melt-in-your-mouth texture and deep, smoky flavor. Originating from the tradition of smoking brisket, these bite-sized pieces of pork belly are seasoned, smoked until tender, and then glazed with barbecue sauce to create a caramelized exterior. This dish is perfect for those who love a combination of sweet, savory, and smoky tastes.

Making your own pork belly burnt ends at home allows you to enjoy this delicious treat with family and friends, whether it's part of a larger barbecue spread or as a standout snack.

Why This Recipe Works

This recipe for pork belly burnt ends works wonderfully due to the cut of meat used—pork belly, which is naturally fatty and flavorful. As the pork cooks slowly in the smoker or oven, the fat renders out, leaving behind tender pieces of meat that absorb all the flavors from the seasoning and smoke. The final glaze of barbecue sauce adds a tangy, sweet layer that complements the pork’s rich flavor perfectly. The combination of slow cooking and caramelizing makes each bite juicy and packed with taste.

Additionally, this recipe is relatively simple and forgiving, making it great even for those new to smoking meats. The preparation requires minimal hands-on time, letting the smoker do most of the work. You can customize the seasonings and the type of barbecue sauce based on your preferences, allowing for versatility in flavor. These pork belly burnt ends are sure to impress at any gathering, offering a gourmet experience with hearty, comforting flavors that everyone can enjoy. Whether served as an appetizer or as part of a meal, they’re a delightful way to savor the art of barbecue.

Ingredients

Pork Belly: The star of the dish, known for its rich flavor and fattiness. Substitute: beef brisket for a different but similarly rich taste.

Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness and helps caramelize the surface. Substitute: honey or maple syrup for a different kind of sweetness.

Paprika: Gives a smoky flavor and a nice color. Substitute: smoked paprika for an even deeper smoke flavor.

Garlic Powder: Enhances the meaty flavor with a hint of garlic. Substitute: onion powder for a slightly different savory note.

Barbecue Sauce: Adds moisture and a tangy flavor as a finishing glaze. Substitute: a homemade mix of ketchup, vinegar, and spices for a personal touch.

Tips

  • Trim excess fat from the pork belly to ensure even cooking and better texture.
  • Keep the pieces uniform in size for even cooking.
  • Use a wire rack on your baking sheet for better air circulation and even cooking.
  • Let the pork belly rest for a few minutes after cooking to redistribute the juices.
  • Baste with extra barbecue sauce before serving for added flavor.

How to Serve

Pork belly burnt ends are a decadent treat typically enjoyed at barbecues or as a hearty appetizer. Their crispy, caramelized exterior and tender, juicy interior make them irresistible. Serve them straight from the grill or smoker, and watch them disappear!

  • As an Appetizer: Skewer the burnt ends with toothpicks and serve alongside your favorite dipping sauces, like ranch or a spicy barbecue sauce.
  • With Sides: Pair them with classic barbecue sides like coleslaw, baked beans, or cornbread for a full meal.
  • In Sandwiches: Stuff the burnt ends into buns, top with coleslaw, and drizzle with extra barbecue sauce for a mouth-watering sandwich.

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Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Indulge in delicious Pork Belly Burnt Ends with this easy recipe. Perfect for BBQs, these caramelized bites are ready in just over 3 hours.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pork Belly Burnt Ends BBQ, Pork Belly Burnt Ends in Oven
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Corrie

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of pork belly cut into 1.5-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce plus more for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker or oven to 275°F (135°C).
  • In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss the pork belly cubes in the spice mix until evenly coated.
  • Place the coated pork belly cubes on a wire rack over a baking sheet or directly in the smoker.
  • Cook for about 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the pork is tender and caramelized.
  • In the last 30 minutes of cooking, baste the pork belly cubes with barbecue sauce, continuing to cook until sticky and glazed.
  • Remove from the smoker or oven and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 735kcal Carbohydrates: 178g Protein: 4g Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 0.2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g Sodium: 5292mg Potassium: 885mg Fiber: 4g Sugar: 149g Vitamin A: 1228IU Vitamin C: 26mg Calcium: 154mg Iron: 3mg

Notes

• Trim excess fat from the pork belly to ensure even cooking and better texture.
• Keep the pieces uniform in size for even cooking.
• Use a wire rack on your baking sheet for better air circulation and even cooking.
• Let the pork belly rest for a few minutes after cooking to redistribute the juices.
• Baste with extra barbecue sauce before serving for added flavor.
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