Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends AKA “Meat Candy” is one of the best bites of BBQ. It’s sweet, smoky, and saucy which will make all of the meat lovers in your life craving more!
This pork belly recipe is a crowd favorite and it’s one of the first things to go. You can serve this up as an appetizer or even as a main dish with a handful of different sides.
What is pork belly?
Pork belly is a cut of meat that comes from the belly of the pig. It has many layers of fat which gives it a ton of flavor. The most common thing that comes from pork belly is bacon – which is one of the greatest things to eat in it’s own respect.
The pork belly that you buy in your local grocery store usually comes with the skin removed, but you can also find it with the skin on.
The great thing about it pork belly is that it’s fairly cost effective. You can get a whole 8 pound slap of pork belly at Costco for roughly $30.
Ingredients you will need
Cut of meat: Skinless Pork Belly
For wrapping: Butter, brown sugar, honey and BBQ sauce
How to make Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Preparing the smoker
Start off by starting your smoker and getting it set to a cooking temperature of 250°F. I used a pellet grill for this cook which gives you a more consistent temperature throughout the cook.
I smoked these with Bear Mountain BBQ’s Sweet BBQ blend which provides perfect sweet, smoky flavor. If you are looking for more bold smoke flavor, you can also add a smoker tube full of wood chips.
Preparing the Pork Belly
Next, cut up a 3 pound slab of pork belly into cubes with a sharp knife. The cubes of pork belly should be about 1.5 X 1.5 inches in size.
Use yellow mustard as a binder then generously season the cubed pork belly with a dry rub on all sides. You can also use a simple seasoning blend of salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
Smoking the pork belly
Place the pork belly fat side down on a wire rack/cooling rack to help prevent the pork belly from sticking to the wire rack. Placing them on a wire rack makes it easier when transporting them to and from the smoker during this cook.
Place the wire rack filled with pork belly directly on the grill grates and let them smoke at 250 degrees f for 2.5 hours. Spritz them every hour with a 50/50 blend of apple juice and apple cider vinegar to help build up some nice bark.
If you do not have a smoker, you can easily do this recipe in your oven by following the same time and temperatures. Place the pork belly on a wire rack and place a baking sheet below it to catch the excess drippings.
Wrapping the pork belly burnt ends
After 2.5 hours, remove the wire rack from the smoker then place all of the pork belly cubes in an aluminum foil disposable pan. This will make clean up a lot easier when the cook is complete.
Add 3 tbsp of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 tbsp of raw honey and 1/2 cup of sweet barbecue sauce. You can also replace the raw honey with some hot honey or maple syrup to give it another layer of flavor. I used some Whiskey Apricot barbecue sauce from my buddies over at Puck’s BBQ.
Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the pan, then place it back on the smoker for another 45 minutes.
The final steps
Remove the aluminum foil that is on top and give them a stir in all of the juices that form up. Let them cook for an additional 15 minutes which will allow the BBQ sauce to tack up.
Check the internal temperature of the pork belly with an instant read meat thermometer. Once the internal temperature reaches 205°F, they’re done and you have some tender pork belly.
Serve the pork belly burnt ends up warm in the pan or place them on a plate.
If you’re short on time the day of your BBQ, making them a day ahead of time is a great option. The best way to keep them fresh for the next day is to store them in an airtight container. When you’re ready to reheat them, simply place them back on your smoker at 250°F for about 30 minutes.Print
- 3 pounds of skinless pork belly
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce
- 3 tbsp of BBQ rub
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard
- Cube the pork belly into 1.5 x 1.5 inch cubes
- Use yellow mustard as a binder then season the pork belly with a BBQ rub
- Place them on a wire rack, then smoke them at 250°F for 2.5 hours spritzing every hour with 50/50 apple juice and apple cider vinegar.
- Move the pork belly from the smoker into a foil pan with butter, brown sugar, honey and BBQ sauce.
- Top the pan with aluminum foil then place it back on the smoker for another 45 minutes.
- Remove the aluminum foil from the pan, stir then let it cook another 15 minutes.
- Once they reach an internal temp of 205°F, serve them warm and enjoy!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours