Pork Belly Burnt Ends

by Alonzo Cantu August 24, 2020 3 min read

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Burnt ends aren’t just for brisket! Pork belly burnt ends are the melt-in-your-mouth BBQ appetizer you need at your next get-together. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Skinless Pork Belly
  • Honey Hog BBQ Rub by Meat Church
  • Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q sauce
  • Honey 
  • Foil baking pan
  • Baking racks (Optional)

The Process:

Start by prepping your smoker. For this recipe, I used my Traeger Ironwood 650 along with Traeger Signature Blend pellets. You could use any smoker to make these, but the goal is to maintain a temp of 275°F.

Next, cut the pork belly into 1 ½ inch cubes. The burnt ends will shrink as they cook. This will leave you with 1-inch cubes which is the perfect bite size for a burnt end. Make sure your pork belly is as cold as possible, so it is easier to cut.

Season the cubes with the Honey Hog BBQ Rub by Meat Church. You can use any BBQ rub for these burnt ends, but I love the sweet and savory flavor this rub gives the pork belly. It will also result in a nice color on the finished product. Make sure to season every side of the cubes to ensure maximum flavor in every bite. 

I like to cook my pork belly burnt ends on baking racks placed on the grates of the smoker. This is completely optional; however, I find it much easier to insert and remove the burnt ends from the smoker on racks as opposed to placing them in one at a time. You will avoid taking too much time and losing too much heat with the help of the baking racks.

Place the racks of pork belly into the smoker and let them smoke for 2 hours. You can spritz with apple juice if you notice any dry spots.

After 2 hours, remove the burnt ends from the smoker and place them in a foil pan. Drizzle with the Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q Sauce. This sauce is sweet with a touch of heat form the habanero, but I would not consider it spicy at all. You can use any sauce you want, but the Apple Habanero pairs so well with the pork. You want to put enough sauce to completely coat each piece of pork belly. Drizzle lightly with honey for some extra sweetness, and toss the burnt ends, making sure each piece is coated with sauce and honey.

Place the pan back into the smoker uncovered for around 1 hour and 15 minutes. During this time, the burnt ends become tender and the sauce becomes tacky. For a guideline, I find the burnt ends become tender around 200°F internally. You can start temping around 45-50 minutes to get an idea of where you are at with the tenderness, but ultimately you want to go by the way they feel. Use the probe of your thermometer, or even a skewer, and insert it into the pork belly. It should feel like poking warm butter and go in and out with no resistance. The wait might be long, but it is well worth it when you taste these pork belly burnt ends!

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook time: 3 hours and 15 minutes

Amount

Ingredients

2 lbs.

Skinless pork belly

1

Honey Hog BBQ Rub by Meat Church

1

Honey

1 

Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q Sauce

1

Foil pan

  1. Preheat smoker to 275°F.
  2. Cut the pork belly into 1 ½ inch cubes.
  3. Season all sides of the cubes with Honey Hog BBQ Rub.
  4. Place the cubes onto baking racks with enough space between them so they are not touching. Place the racks of pork belly into the smoker and let them smoke for 2 hours.
  5. After 2 hours, remove the pork belly cubes and place them into a foil pan. Drizzle with Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q sauce, enough to completely coat each side. Lightly drizzle with honey. Toss the burnt ends to make sure every side is coated with sauce and honey. 
  6. Return to the smoker, uncovered, for about 1 hour and 15 minute or until the burnt ends are tender. 

* You can freeze the pork belly if you do not want to make the whole thing.

 

 

Alonzo Cantu
Alonzo Cantu



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