Pork Belly Burnt Ends
April 17, 2017

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

We’re talking about Pork Belly Burnt Ends! The Best part of a good brisket is the fatty point and in competitions we turn those into mouth drooling Burnt Ends. These uber tender chunks of brisket will melt in your mouth when done just right, and judges go crazy over them.

This got me to thinking and I decided to come up with my take on a version of Burnt Ends using Pork Belly.

Pork Belly is a delicacy in the bbq world, and what could be better than sweet, sticky little cubes of delicious fatty goodness. (Webster doesn’t have the adjectives to describe these things!)

Pork Bell Burnt Ends

For this recipe I’m starting with an 8lb pork belly cut into 1 ½” squares. The reason for cubing it from the start is to develop a slight bark on all sides of the pork belly. It gives me more surface area to apply dry rub and bark is flavor town.

Pork Bell Burnt Ends

Season each cube with Killer Hog’s The BBQ Rub and arrange them on a cooling rack for easy transportation.

Pork Bell Burnt Ends

The biggest challenge of this cook is to render the pork belly slowly, so the fat melts and leaves behind a tender bite of meat packed with flavor and moisture.

You’ll need an indirect smoker to accomplish this, so today I’m firing up my Gateway drum. Once it comes up to 250 degrees all we need is a little smoke (GrilleWood Cherry does the trick) and it’s time to get those burnt ends on the pit.

Sit the cooling rack right on the grill grate and let the smoker go to work. It’ll take about 2 hours to develop the right color on the outside, then it’s time to tenderize.

Pork Bell Burnt Ends

Carefully remove the cooling rack from the pit (use some gloves) and place each burnt end into an aluminum pan. Cover the burnt ends with ½ cup of brown sugar and a good drizzle of honey.

And if you thought I wasn’t going to add even more fat (flavor) to this recipe you would be highly mistaken. Slice up 1 ½ sticks of butter and scatter around the pan. Cover the pan with foil and return it to the smoker.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

These Pork Belly Burnt Ends are getting real happy now!

The fat is melting and the sugars are caramelizing all over the outsides. They’ll need about 1 ½ – 2 hours in the pan to get perfectly tender so just let the cooker work its magic.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

At this point you’ll want to test a couple. Don a pair of gloves and squish one in between your fingers. It should have some texture but overall feel extremely soft. I didn’t bother to test the internal temp but if I had to guess it should be somewhere in the 205⁰ ball park. Remember we want them to almost melt in your mouth!

Remove the pan from the cooker and drain the liquid. We’re not done just yet; the last step in the process is to add my Pork Belly Glaze.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Glaze:

Combine all ingredients in a small pan and simmer over medium heat until smooth.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Drizzle the Pork Belly Burnt Ends with the glaze and gently toss to coat all sides. Set them back in the cooker for about 5-10 minutes just long enough to caramelize and you’re ready for the most amazing bite of BBQ you’ve ever experienced!

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pork Belly Burnt Ends


  • 8lb Pork Belly skin removed
  • ½ cup Killer Hogs The BBQ Rub
  • 1 ½ sticks Butter sliced
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Honey
    Pork Belly Burnt End Glaze
  • 1 cup Killer Hogs The BBQ Sauce
  • ¼ cup Apple Juice
  • ¼ cup Apple Jelly
  • 1 Tablespoon Frank’s Hot Sauce


  1. Prepare charcoal smoker for indirect cooking at 250-275⁰. Add 2 chunks of Cherry Wood for smoke.
  2. Remove pork belly from packaging and cube into 1 ½” x 1 ½” pieces.
  3. Season all sides of the pork belly cubes with The BBQ Rub.
  4. Arrange cubes onto a full size cooling rack and place on smoking grate.
  5. Smoke pork belly for 2 – 2 ½ hours.
  6. Place each Pork Belly Burnt End into an aluminum pan and cover with brown sugar and honey. Arrange butter in between the pork belly pieces.
  7. Cover pan with aluminum foil and return to smoker for 1 ½ hours or until the pieces are tender.
  8. Drain the liquid from the pan and add the Pork Belly Glaze to the burnt ends. Toss gently to coat each piece and return to the smoker to set the glaze for 5-10 minutes and serve.
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Malcom Reed
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Pork Belly Burnt Ends

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  1. Jeff Carter says:

    My name is Jeff Carter. I really enjoy your YouTube videos and have a question for you. I have been using my Traeger for about 7 years but would like to advance up. I have seen you use a Yoder and wondered if that is a good choice to step up my game? Also I am having a house built. And we are building in an outdoor cooking area. I have seen the Memphis grills and was thinking about one of those for the built in?
    If you can offer any advice I would greatly appreciate it!

    Thank you,

    Jeff Carter

    • Yoder and Memphis grills are both high-quality pellet smokers. If you like using the pellet smokers, then you can’t go wrong with either of those. And if you aren’t planning on moving it, then I think it would be great to have a built-in smoker in an outdoor kitchen.

  2. Pete says:

    Great recipe. Could the liquid drained before glazing be used as a base for a sauce?

    It looks tasty.

  3. Sergio says:

    Hey Sir, I just wanted to take a moment and thank you so very much for taking time to teach a lot of us about real BBQ, and how to cook it. I also appreciate you sharing your recipes with all of us. The food is truly amazing!!!

  4. John Malysiak says:

    Malcom –

    You and your site are AMA good!! Lov g this recipe. Question – I am transportIng these burnt ends in a car for 30-40 minutes post cook. Any recommendations on how best to serve when I get there? I’m afraid I’ll lose the moisture.

  5. John says:

    This recipe kicked pork butt (actually belly) at my 4th of July BBQ. Thank you! Simple, easy, and amazing results. Then again ….what does not taste amazing with butter, sugar, and honey? lol

    Looking forward to trying more and more recipes.

  6. Gary says:

    Hey Malcolm,

    You are the freekin man! You’ve made me the hit of my family. Thank you. I was wondering if you could answer a question for me. I bout a CASE of pork belly after seeing this video. I made about 8 lbs and it was AWESOME! BUT…….the meat seemed a little tough after I pulled it out of the glaze. The fat was decadent but the meat was chewy..Did I cook it in the bs-honey-butter too long…(2 hours at 275). or glaze it too long? (15-20 minutes at 275) Because it looked perfect when I put it in the tinfoil wrapped container. Please help, because I want to bring 20 lbs to a party I’m having in a few weeks! – By the way….love your BBQ Rub I just got!

  7. Gary says:

    In fact Malcolm,

    The meat was pretty black. What the heck did I do wrong?


  8. Nate A. says:

    Malcolm…this pork belly burnt ends recipe has inspire the Mrs. and I to buy a smoker and try this recipe out. Looking forward to trying out all the recipes on your site.

    When cooking these bad boys…do I need to put a water tray in the smoker To prevent drying out?

    Your help is graciously appreciated! Have a good day!

  9. Chad says:

    Recently made these pork belly burnt ends. I did them in an electric smoker and by the time they were finished the flavor and fat were fantastic but the bacon meat was somewhat hard and dry. Any advice on what i can do different next time?

  10. Captain Matt says:

    Tried this recipe on a Traeger Timberline 1300 with a few modifications to allow for the ability to smoke at a lower temp – it was AMAZING! I rarely give myself a pat on the back for my BBQ, but brother, these turned out awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  11. James Brady says:

    These might be the single best thing I have ever pulled off my smoker. The wife already had me buy another pork belly for the next batch. Thanks so much!

  12. Shane Wrightson says:

    Hello Malcom! Love your YouTube channel and videos! Question regarding the pork belly burnt ends. I would be cooking these in my MES electric smoker. I see you said it should be cooked over indirect heat/charcoal. Any recommendations on cooking them in my MES and having them turn out juicy and perfect?? Any recommendations or tips would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks so much for your time!!!!!

    • It’s all about holding the temps steady – you aren’t going to get the flavor with an electric smoker, but you can still get them cooked. Might take a little longer – but just go by feel.

  13. Cody U. says:

    Hey, I was wondering if you used fresh pork belly or cured or does it matter?

  14. Patrick Licata says:

    Hi Malcom, On the pork belly burnt ends, do you recommend removing the “hard skin” before smoking? I’ve heard both ways, but I would think if you cube rather than smoke whole you would need to remove. Thanks for your input.

  15. Scott says:

    Thank you for the great tasting Pork Belly Burnt Ends. Is there a good way to store them if you don’t eat them all. I have a vacuum sealer I can use, or should I just cover and refrigerate? How do I re-heat them? Thank you

    • It depends on how long you are going to store them. If it’s only a few days, just place them in the fridge and reheat in the oven on a low temp until they are hot. If it’s going to be a while, vacuum seal and freeze.

  16. Bill Rice says:

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your recipe and technique. I had to substitute the honey for maple syrup,but they still turned out amazing.Pork belly burnt ends are my new favorite.Smoke on Sir.

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I'm Malcom Reed and these are my methods and techniques for mouth-watering, slow-smoked BBQ. Recipes, videos, detailed procedures and BBQ tips.

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