Smoked pork belly burnt ends are a barbeque favourite that will have you savouring every bite and coming back for more. These little morsels of joy are perfect for any gathering or just a delightful weekend treat for your family. The homemade BBQ sauce adds the finishing touches to this pork belly burnt ends recipe.

Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends 

smoked pork belly burnt ends on smoker grill rack.

There are a lot of things you can do with pork belly on the BBQ or in your smoker, but these smoked pork belly burnt ends are definitely at the top of the list. They are full of flavour, tender and juicy, with a slightly crispy exterior that will have you coming back for more.

If you’re wondering what are pork belly burnt ends, they are essentially diced pieces of pork belly that are slow smoked and braised in BBQ sauce, adding a slightly crispy bark to the outside.

I can guarantee there are never leftovers when there are burnt ends on the menu!

Ingredients

Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you will need for this smoked pork burnt ends recipe:

  • Pork belly portion – You want a decent-sized portion of pork belly of around 1kg. This means more smoked burnt ends to go around.
  • Dry rub – I use my own simple pork dry rub for this recipe. It’s just a great all-rounder, but you can use what you already have if you aren’t keen to make your own.
  • BBQ sauce – You can either cheat and buy your favourite sweet BBQ sauce to add towards the end of the cook or you can make a sauce from scratch with my homemade BBQ sauce recipe below (it’s a good one).
  • Butter – Add a couple of tablespoons of butter to your burnt ends along with the BBQ sauce for the perfect flavour mix.

How To Make Pork Belly Smoked Burnt Ends

To make your crispy smoked pork belly burnt ends recipe, follow these steps:

STEP ONE – Remove the pork belly from the fridge approximately 1 hour before you start cooking. To prepare the pork belly, pat down the surface of the belly with paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Doing this will help with binding the dry rub to your meat.

STEP TWO – Cut the pork belly into 3cm cubes and toss the cubed pork belly pieces in a large bowl with the pork dry rub. Make sure all surfaces are generously covered.

STEP THREE – Place the pork belly pieces on a baking rack and put them back in the refrigerator until you are ready to start cooking.

STEP FOUR – Set up your smoker to an internal temperature of 120 degrees Celcius (250F). Once the temperature is stable, add a block of apple or cherry wood to the charcoal and allow the smoke to become a consistent ‘thin’ and ‘blue’ smoke before placing pork belly pieces on the smoker rack.

Getting the right smoke is important and a life BBQ lesson learnt early!

pork belly burnt ends cooking on a smoker rack.

STEP FIVE – Place the pork belly pieces on the smoker (away from direct heat), fat side up and smoke for approx 2 hours. Once the pork belly pieces look springy and have a nice dark golden brown colour, remove them from the smoker and place them in an aluminium tray.

pork belly burnt ends in foil tray with bbq sauce and butter heaped on top.

STEP SIX – Drizzle the homemade BBQ sauce over the pieces and add a tablespoon or two of butter, cover the tray with foil and put it back on the smoker for another 1 ½ hours. 

STEP SEVEN – Remove the foil tray. Increase the smoker temperature to 180 degrees (350F) and place the individual pieces of the pork belly back on the smoker rack for the final 20 minutes, allowing the pork to brown up and create that ‘burnt end’ taste. 

SERVE AND ENJOY – Remove the burnt ends from the smoker and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve them warm and watch them disappear faster than you can say ‘BBQ’!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

If you want to make your own homemade BBQ sauce to go with this recipe, here’s how I make mine:

  • Tomato paste ( 2 tbsp)
  • Tomato ketchup (1 cup)
  • Apple cider vinegar (1 cup)
  • Garlic powder (1 tbsp)
  • Onion powder (½ tbsp)
  • Worcestershire sauce (1 tbsp)
  • Liquid smoke (1 tsp)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Brown sugar (1 ½ Cups) 
  • Honey (2 tbsp)
  • Pork dry rub (2 tbsp)

Combine all the ingredients in a medium pan over a medium heat and stir consistently. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to allow it to simmer and thicken into a sticky consistency. Usually around 10 minutes.

Allow it to cool before using, so make sure you prep your sauce before you need it. If you want it spicy, add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Get the full homemade BBQ sauce recipe here as well as serving suggestions and variations to make it your own!

What Wood To Use When Smoking Pork Belly?

For this recipe, I highly recommend using a fruitwood such as apple or cherry for the best results. The sweetness from the wood pairs perfectly with the pork belly and creates some delicious bark on the outside.

Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Pork Belly Burnt Ends

pork belly burnt ends cooking on a bullet smoker in a backyard.
  • Resting: Allowing your burnt ends to rest for a short period after coming off the smoker. This can help redistribute juices, ensuring maximum flavour.
  • Timing: Cooking times can vary depending on individual smokers and the outside temperature, so keep an eye on appearance and tenderness rather than just the clock.
  • Get Saucy: Experiment with different barbecue sauces, from classic smoky to tangy mustard-based, to find your perfect match.

What To Serve With Pork Belly Burnt Ends

While sides might not be the hero of your BBQ, they do make the meal complete! Here are a few pork belly burnt end side dish ideas:

  • Coleslaw
  • Fries
  • Baked potatoes
  • Mac and cheese
  • Grilled veggies
  • Corn on the cob
  • Garlic bread

For more ideas, check out these prep-ahead BBQ side dishes and these BBQ sides that kids will enjoy too.

Smoking pork belly burnt ends is a delicious recipe that will have guests coming back for seconds. With a little patience (that always comes with smoking any cut of meat) you can create mouth-watering bites of sweet and smoky goodness – made even better with your homemade BBQ sauce and pork rub!

pork belly burnt ends on smoker grill rack.

Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends

These smoked pork belly burnt ends are a crowd favourite at any BBQ with their sweet and smokey flavours.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • 1 Smoker

Ingredients
  

  • 700-1200 g Pork belly portion
  • Pork dry rub
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Butter

Instructions
 

  • Remove the pork belly from the fridge approx 1hr before cooking. Pat down the surface of the belly with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
  • Cut the pork belly into 3cm cubes.
  • Toss the cubed pork belly pieces with dry rub ensuring all surfaces are generously covered. Place on a baking rack and put back in the fridge until ready to cook.
  • Set up the smoker to 120 degrees internal temperature (250F). Once the temperature is stable, add a block of apple or cherry wood to the charcoal and allow smoke to become a consistent ‘thin’ and ‘blue’ smoke before placing pork belly pieces on the smoker rack.
  • Place pork belly pieces on the smoker, fat side up and away from direct heat. Smoke for approx 2 hrs.
  • Once the pork belly pieces look springy and have a nice dark golden brown colour, remove from the smoker and place in an aluminium tray.
  • Drizzle the BBQ sauce over pieces and add butter. Cover the tray with foil and put it back on the smoker for another 1 ½ hours.
  • Remove the tray, Increase the smoker to 180C (350F). Place individual pieces of the pork belly back on the smoker for the final 20 mins allowing the pork to brown up.
  • Remove and serve immediately with your favourite sides.

Notes

  • Resting: Allow your burnt ends to rest for a few minutes after coming off the smoker. This can help redistribute juices, ensuring maximum flavour.
  • Timing: Cooking times will vary depending on individual smokers and the outside temperature, so keep a close eye on appearance and tenderness rather than just the time.
  • Sauce: Experiment with different barbecue sauces to find your perfect match.
Keyword pork belly, pork belly burnt ends, pork burnt ends, pork candy, smoked pork, smoked pork belly burnt ends
pinterest image - smoked pork belly burnt ends on smoker.

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