Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends are perfect with hot white rice, wrapped in soft tacos, or enjoyed on their own. This is fatty, melt-in-your-mouth meaty goodness at its finest!

It costs about $36.88 to make these burnt ends. The recipe makes six servings and costs around $6.14 per serving.

The finished Pork Belly Burnt Ends in a foil pan.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

What’s the best way to enjoy pork belly? Smoked, in my opinion! These pork belly burnt ends are a classic for smokers and rookie grillers. It’s a delicious recipe with an easy-to-make seasoning mix and sauce and a quick smoking time of 4-5 hours.

By the way, pork burnt ends are just cubed pork belly braised and slow-cooked in some way. (Just in case you never heard that term before.)

There’s nothing juicier and more delectable, especially during a summer cookout with your loved ones. The following post will show you the simple step-by-step directions to smoke fantastic pork belly burnt ends!

Here’s Why You’ll Love Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Irresistible Flavor: Smoked pork belly burnt ends are known for their incredible flavor. The combination of smoky, tender pork belly, caramelized sauce, and a perfect balance of sweet and savory notes creates a mouthwatering taste that is hard to resist.

Unique and Impressive: Serving smoked pork belly burnt ends can make a lasting impression on your guests or family. It’s a unique and less common dish than traditional barbecue options like ribs or pulled pork, making it a standout choice that will impress and delight anyone who tries it.

Meltingly Tender Texture: When properly smoked, pork belly becomes incredibly tender and juicy. The slow cooking process breaks down the fat and collagen, resulting in a luxurious and melt-in-your-mouth texture that is truly indulgent.

Crowd-Pleasing: Smoked pork belly burnt ends are a crowd-pleasing dish that meat lovers and barbecue enthusiasts alike can enjoy. They work well as an appetizer, a main course, or a filling for sandwiches or sliders.
Cooking Adventure: Making smoked pork belly burnt ends can be a fun and rewarding cooking adventure. It allows you to explore the art of smoking meat, experiment with different rubs and sauces, and develop your culinary skills while creating a truly special and delicious dish.

The finished Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends on a wooden cutting board with pickles and more BBQ sauce.

Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Ingredients and Estimated Cost

Per Serving Cost: $6.14

Recipe Cost: $36.88

  •     4 pounds pork belly – $27.96
  •     ¼ cup smoked paprika – $2.84
  •     2 tablespoons ground black pepper – $0.30
  •     2 tablespoons dry mustard – $0.94
  •     1 tablespoon chili powder – $0.08
  •     ½ teaspoon garlic powder – $0.01
  •     ½ teaspoon cayenne powder – $0.05
  •     ½ cup dark brown sugar – $0.37
  •     2 tablespoons honey – $0.36
  •     1 ½ cups Texas BBQ sauce – $2.52
  •     ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter – $1.45

I use a wood pellet grill for most of this process—specifically, a Traeger smoker/grill. I highly recommend apple or cedar wood pellets for pork belly burnt ends.

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in June 2023.

All of the ingredients needed to make this recipe.

How To Make Pork Belly Burnt Ends

***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. First, mix the dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl with a whisk. 
  2. Next, slice the pork belly into 1 ½ inch cubes and combine the cubes with the seasoning rub. 
  3. Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees F and add the wood chips to start the smoke. 
  4. Set an aluminum drip pan with a few inches of water under the grates to catch any drippings. 
  5. Place the pork belly fat side up on the grates and smoke for about one to two hours. 
  6. Transfer the pork belly cubes to an aluminum pan and top with brown sugar, honey, and BBQ sauce. 
  7. Next, slice the butter and add it to the top of the meat. 
  8. Cover the pan with foil and set it back on the smoker. 
  9. Finally, stir the pork belly cubes every thirty minutes for two hours, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 190 degrees F before serving.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Rub Variations: While the provided rub is a classic combination, you can experiment with different spice blends to suit your taste. Add cumin, oregano, smoked salt, or chipotle powder to customize the flavor profile.
  • Sweetener Options: If you prefer an alternative to dark brown sugar or honey, you can use maple syrup, molasses, or agave nectar as sweeteners. Each option will bring its unique flavor nuances to the dish.
  • Sauce Substitutions: Instead of Texas BBQ sauce, you can try other regional barbecue sauces like Kansas City-style, Carolina-style, or Memphis-style. Each has its distinct flavor profile, ranging from sweet and tangy to spicy and vinegar-based, adding variety to your burnt ends.
  • Pork Belly Alternatives: If pork belly is not readily available or you prefer a leaner cut, you can substitute pork shoulder or pork butt. While the texture and cooking time may vary, it can yield delicious burnt ends.
  • Butter Substitute: If you prefer a different fat source, you can substitute the unsalted butter with rendered pork fat, duck fat, or vegetable oil. This can add different flavors and textures to the dish.

Storage Tips

SERVE: This is a recipe you’ll want to serve immediately. I doubt I could wait that long to dig in, anyway!

STORE: Store leftovers in the fridge.

REHEAT: Simmer your pork belly burnt ends in a saucepan with some BBQ sauce and a little water to keep them nice and moist. Alternatively, use the oven at a nice and toasty 350°F until heated through, which should take only 10–15 minutes.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe FAQs

How many servings does this burnt ends recipe make?

It should make enough for six people, depending on your portions.

How long does it take to make pork belly burnt ends?

The prep time is only about 10 minutes (making the sauce, etc). But, then, when using a smoker like in this recipe, you should expect your meat to cook for at least four and up to 5 hours. This is, of course, if you keep it at a constant 225°F temperature!

What temperature should my pork burnt ends measure when finished?

Your smoked pork belly burnt ends should have an internal temperature between 190° – 205°F to finish smoking.

Why do you suggest apple and pecan wood pellets?

Applewood pellets are great for adding a slightly sweet, fruity touch to any grilled meal, but especially for pork dishes! On the other hand, pecan wood pellets give you smoke with a smoother and much more subtle flavor, characterized by hints of vanilla and a nutty taste. Both of these pair very well with pork belly.

How should I cut the pork belly?

Slice it into cubes around 1.5-2 inches each. Make sure each cube of pork belly has a consistent size and shape so they’ll cook consistently. Keep the fat-to-pork ratio roughly even for each pork cube.

How do I avoid overcooking my pork burnt ends?

Keep an eye on the internal temperature. (Investing in a meat thermometer is always good if you love grilling.) Once the internal temperature starts hitting between 190–200°F, you should stop cooking.

A pile of Pork Belly Burnt Ends on a white serving plate.

More Smoked Recipes

A close up picture of the finished Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends.
5 from 5 votes

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Recipe Cost $ $36.88
Serving Cost $ $6.14
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
6 people
Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends are perfect with hot white rice, wrapped in soft tacos, or enjoyed on their own. This is fatty, melt-in-your-mouth meaty goodness at its finest!

Equipment

  • Smoker grill
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • liquid measuring cup
  • small mixing bowl
  • whisk
  • Aluminum pan
  • Carving knife

Ingredients
 
 

MEAT:

  • 4 pounds pork belly

SEASONING RUB:

  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons dry mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne powder

SAUCE:

  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ½ cup unsalted butter

Instructions

PREP PORK BELLY:

  • Mix all dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl using a fork or a whisk.
  • Slice refrigerated pork belly into 1 ½ inch cubes.
  • Toss the pork belly cubes together with the seasoning rub.

PREP SMOKER:

  • Bring the temperature of the smoker up to 225 F.
  • Add the wood chips to start the smoke.
  • Place an aluminum drip pan with a few inches of water under the grates to catch drippings.

SMOKED PORK BELLY:

  • Place the pork belly fat side up on the grates and smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, which will take 1-2 hours.

ADD SAUCE:

  • Transfer Pork Belly cubes to an aluminum pan and top with brown sugar, honey, and BBQ sauce.
  • Slice butter and add to the top.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place back on the smoker at 225 F.

SECOND SMOKE:

  • Stir Pork Belly cubes every 30 minutes for 2 hours until the burnt ends internal temperature reaches at least 190 F up to 205 F.

SERVE:

  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5pound | Calories: 951kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 100g | Saturated Fat: 48g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 79g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 188mg | Sodium: 867mg | Potassium: 937mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 3356IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 4mg

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4 Comments

  1. Shadi Hasanzadenemati says:

    Love how easy this recipe is. It’s perfect for our family! Can’t wait to try it this weekend.

  2. Amanda Wren-Grimwood says:

    POrk belly is my favourite cut of meat so I’m making this at the weekend. The pictures look amazing.

  3. This is really good!! Truly melts in your mouth! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!

  4. Sara Welch says:

    Enjoyed this for dinner tonight and it was a savory success! Turned out tender, juicy and packed with flavor!