Cherry Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends are the perfect bites of BBQ you need to try!

AKA Meat candy, these delicious bites of pork belly are smoked to juicy, tender perfection for several hours then they’re coated in a sweet, tart cherry bourbon sauce. The sauce flavor is super versatile and goes great on chicken wings or one of my holiday favorites: Cherry Bourbon Smoked Ham. 

Be sure to give this pork belly recipe a try the next time you’re looking to show off your BBQ skills! 

Ingredients you will need 

Cut of meat: Skinless pork belly

Seasoning: Sweet Preacher BBQ Rub

Spritz: Tart cherry juice or apple juice 

Cherry Bourbon Sauce: Tart cherry juice, cherry preserves, Cherry BBQ sauce and bourbon

How to make Cherry Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Preparing the smoker and pork belly

Preheat the pellet grill to 250° F and smoke with Sweet BBQ pellets from Bear Mountain BBQ for a sweet smoky flavor. If you’re cooking over charcoal, I would recommend using either cherry wood chunks or cherry wood chips. 

With a sharp knife, cube the pork belly slap into 1.5 x 1.5 inch pieces then coat them with yellow mustard as a binder.

cut up pork belly chunks

Season the cubed pork belly with Sweet Preacher BBQ rub. Make sure all sides of the pork belly are coated in the rub for optimal flavor. Place the seasoned cubes of pork belly on a wire rack fat side down. This will help prevent the pork belly from sticking to the wire rack.

pork belly seasoned with BBQ rub

Smoking the pork belly

Place the wire rack directly on the grill grates of the smoker (indirect heat) then smoke them at 250° F for 2 hours. Spritz the pork belly with tart cherry juice every hour to help build nice bark. This will also give the pork belly a nice dark red color as the cook goes on. 

pork belly on the smoker

Cherry Bourbon Sauce

Put together the cherry bourbon sauce by combining the ingredients in a sauce pan: 1 cup cherry juice, 1/2 cup cherry preserves, 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce and 4 oz of bourbon. Cook the ingredients over medium heat for 5 minutes until it begins to thicken then remove from heat.

Remove the pork belly once it reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees F and the bark is set. Place the smoked pork belly in a disposable aluminum pan then pour the sauce over the top. Cover the top with aluminum foil, then place the foil pan back on the smoker for another hour. 

pork belly with cherry bourbon sauce

Remove the foil top from the disposable pan the last 15-20 minutes to help the sauce thicken and tack up. Stir the pork belly bites in the pan to ensure each piece gets coated in the sauce. 

Remove the pan from the smoker once the pork belly reaches an internal temperature of 200°F. 

Serve them up warm and enjoy!

Looking for other appetizer ideas?

Be sure to check out some of these other delicious appetizers!

Bacon Cheeseburger Jalapeno Poppers: Jalapeños stuffed with grilled burger, thick cut bacon and cheesy goodness smoked to perfection. These are packed with a ton of flavor!

Bourbon Bacon Jam Chicken Wings: Juicy grilled chicken wings coated in a sweet bourbon bacon jam. These wings are next level and will be the talk of your next BBQ.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Sliders: Grilled chicken, crispy bacon, gooey cheese coated in zesty ranch. These ones are super popular for a reason! These will quickly become a regular menu item.

Smoked Buffalo Chicken Queso Dip: The perfect appetizer for game day! Smoked chicken smothered in gooey cheese with some spice. This is the classic buffalo dip on steroids!

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Cherry Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Cherry Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends are the perfect appetizer to make! Smoked juicy pork belly coated in a sweet cherry bourbon sauce.  

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 pounds of skinless pork belly
  • 3 tbsp Sweet Preacher BBQ rub
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard for binder
  • 1 cup cherry juice for spritz

Cherry Bourbon Sauce

  • 1 cup tart cherry juice
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves 
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 4 ounces of bourbon 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the smoker to 250° F and smoke with cherry wood for a sweet smoky flavor. 
  2. Cube the pork belly into 1.5 x 1.5 inch pieces. Use yellow mustard as a binder then season the pork belly with Sweet Preacher BBQ rub. 
  3. Place the pork belly pieces on a wire rack fat side down. Place the wire rack on the smoker at 250°F for 2 hours. Spritz the pork belly with cherry juice every hour to help build bark.
  4. In a pot, combine: 1 cup cherry juice, 1/2 cup cherry preserves, 1 cup BBQ sauce and 4 oz of bourbon. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes until it begins to thicken then remove from heat.
  5. Place the smoked pork belly in an aluminum foil pan then pour the sauce over the top. Cover with foil, then place it back on the smoker for another hour. 
  6. Remove the foil the last 15-20 minutes to help the sauce tack up.
  7. Remove from the smoker once the pork belly reaches an internal temperature of 200°F. 
  • Author: Nick Nesgoda

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