Pork belly burnt ends are a popular smoked dish inspired by their brisket cousins. They make a great finger food or main part of a meal. They are sweet, savory, tender, chewy, and a bit crispy.
The pork belly is initially smoked with cherry wood until tender. Then simmered in a sweet mixture including honey and brown sugar. Finally, the burnt ends are finished with a sweet BBQ sauce glaze.
After a few cooks try experimenting with a range of rubs and sauces to get the perfect flavor combination you are looking for. One of the key ingredients in this recipe is ginger beer. Try using cola, whiskey, or regular beer.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe
- 6 pounds pork belly
- 2 tablespoons sweet BBQ rub
- 2 tablespoons savory BBQ rub
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 cups sweet BBQ sauce divided
- 5 ounces unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup ginger beer
- tray fitted with a rack
- smoker or grill set-up for smoking
- 3 chucks of cherry wood
- Cube the pork belly into 1 1/2-inch (4cm) cubes.
- Place the cubes on the tray over a flat tray then add a layer of sweet rub on every side. Repeat with the savory rub. Rest until the BBQ is at temperature.
- Set the barbecue (smoker or closed grill set at indirect heat for smoking) at 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
- Transfer the rack to the barbecue and cook for 2 hours. After this time the bark will be set.
- Transfer the pork belly cubes to a tray and sprinkle with the brown sugar, honey, ⅓ cup BBQ sauce, butter, and ginger beer. Cover tightly with a sheet of foil.
- Return the tray back to the barbecue and cook for another 2 hours.
- Preheat the remaining sweet BBQ sauce for the glaze.
- Remove the pork belly from the barbecue. Submerge in the preheated sweet BBQ sauce and return to the rack.
- Place the rack of glazed pork belly burnt ends into the barbecue for 5 minutes to set.
- Remove from the BBQ and let rest for 5 minutes (or cool not to burn your mouth) then serve.
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