Pork Belly Burnt Ends are super tender, full of flavor, and so easy to make. In one week from publishing this recipe in 2017 we had over 2 million views and today is one of the original, and most popular, pork belly burnt ends recipes on the web with over 24 million views. This pork belly recipe is a delicious twist on classic brisket burnt ends. These morsels of goodness have developed the nickname meat candy for good reason.
Vindulge Recipe Highlights
- Cubed Pork Belly is slowly smoked, then braised in barbecue sauce.
- As it finishes the pork belly is rendered into sticky pork cubes that melt in your mouth.
- It doesn’t matter what type of smoker you use, this recipe will work on all of them.
- Vindulge Recipe Highlights
- What Are Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- What is Pork Belly
- How Much Pork Belly Per Person?
- How to Smoke Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wine Pairing
- Other Great BBQ Recipe Ideas
- Recommended Products
- Food and Cooking Safety Considerations
- Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe
What Are Pork Belly Burnt Ends
Pork Belly Burnt Ends are cubed pieces of pork belly that are slowly smoked, sauced, and then finished in the same way beef brisket burnt ends are made. Pork Belly is the best cut for this style of cooking with the perfect meat-to-fat ratio. This recipe is inspired by the 3-2-1 method of smoking pork ribs.
We started experimenting with them early in our Catering Days back in 2014. Originally we cut them in long slices, and then realized by making them in cubes we get more surface area for smoke and flavor.
The transformation of pork belly into something that resembled the classic perfection of beef burnt ends, was a pretty magical experience.
And in fact, shortly after I released this video for our recipe, it had over 2 million views in less than 2 days. People loved this recipe! The video now has over 24 million views and counting, and is also featured in our cookbook, Fire + Wine.
Cooking low and slow provides more time to dissolve the fat and allow the pork belly bites to absorb the incredible smoky flavor. If you want crispy skin, you can also check out our recipe for crispy pork belly.
What is Pork Belly
Pork belly is a cut of meat that comes from the belly of the pig and is attached to parts of the loin and ribs. This incredibly marbled and tender cut is the base for bacon or Porchetta and has a lot of intramuscular connective tissue. The best way to cook pork belly is to smoke or render out that fat using indirect heat.
Alternatively you can use pork shoulder (or pork butt), but be sure you buy boneless pork shoulder and add one additional hour of cooking time on average.
This cut will come in many sizes at the grocery store, from small strips to a full slab (10+ pounds). Make sure to ask the butcher for skinless pork belly (saves some weight when you have to pay by the pound). If the slab with skin is the only option, then look to be sure it isn’t overly fatty and remove the skin before you make this pork belly recipe.
When buying a smaller belly, be sure it’s the center cut of the slab. One side of the belly is thin and not very meaty. Another end tends to be mostly fat, which is difficult to fully render. So the center cut is ideal as it has a ratio of 50% meat and 50% fat.
How Much Pork Belly Per Person?
Be sure you get enough to feed a crowd because they will be coming back for seconds, and thirds. I like to get at least 3 pounds of pork belly as it gives me enough to get good size piece of pork belly. When we cater events we think 5-ounces of meat per person for a serving, so you roughly get three servings per pound.
Butcher Tip – If you see cubes that are all fat, those won’t render. Discard them. If you are buying the pork belly, look to make sure you have a cut that is a balance of fat and meat. Ask the butcher for the center cut of the belly for the best fat to meat ratio. We mention this again based on a lot of reader feedback.
You can also find quality pork belly from online retailers, like Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork, shipped right to your door or you can source from a local butcher or Big Box store.
If you still see the skin on the pork belly, or there is a little extra fat, trim that off. Then cut the meat into 1 ½ to 2-inch cubes. Don’t be afraid if at first the cubes seem a bit large. After cooking, your pork belly burnt ends will shrink down to the perfect sized bite.
Apply olive oil (enough to coat the meat) and our pork belly seasoning on the cubes. Be generous (we use about 1 cup of dry rub for 5 pounds of meat). Feel free to adjust the amount based off your portion size. Because there is so much fat in the belly, don’t bother with a brine in advance.
Using a wire cooling rack rather than a pan is more ideal for smoking pork belly bites since it allows for better smoke circulation. Also, it will take much less effort to get the meat cubes on and off the grill.
How to Smoke Pork Belly Burnt Ends
The easy steps for perfect pork belly burnt ends is to smoke for flavor, then cover in sauce to baste and rendering out the fat, and then finish uncovered to let the sauce firm up.
- Smoke for three hours at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (F), or until you like the color of the meat. A nice bark will form starting around the three-hour mark. This can take longer based on so many factors like wind and how much bark you like. The key is, once you put it into the braising liquid, your bark is done forming.
- Next, add the pork belly cubes to a pan (we like a disposable aluminum pan or pyrex dish). Into the pan add the braising liquid. We use our rich Pinot Noir BBQ sauce to really add that extra flavor (about 1 cup), 3-4 tablespoons of butter, which adds richness and acts as a fatty binding agent for bringing the sauce and honey together, and then 2 tablespoons of honey (or agave) to bring a stickiness and sweet characteristic. Then mix them all together.
- Then cover and braise in the smoker for another 60 – 90 minutes. You will find that the liquid braises at or near a boil and that the fat renders down in the pork belly burnt ends keeping the pan moist. Again, you have added additional fat in the butter, the honey as a binder, and the sauce for the flavor to really render out the fat that is in the pork belly. braise until the internal temperature of the bites are 200-205 degrees F. We always recommend using a good digital thermometer to check your temp.
- Finally, remove the foil cover and cook for another 15 minutes (uncovered) to let the heat tack up that sauce, as you would with ribs or other sauced meats. Remove and eat some well-made pork belly burnt ends. It’s that simple. And that delicious!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you cook them all the way through, then the fat will render out and you’ll be left with a delicate and tasty burnt ends that don’t have noticeable fat.
It’s best to use pork belly. If you can’t find belly use boneless pork shoulder.
Yes. Remove the skin as it won’t render during the cooking process and will be chewy when eating. A more effective way is to buy the pork belly with skin off so you aren’t paying for the extra weight.
Yes. It is possible that over smoking them will make them dry out. Also cutting the cubes too small will cause them to dry out.
If you have leftovers, be sure to save the sauce and juices it is sitting in and store in the refrigerator. The sauce will harden up.
To reheat, pre-heat an oven or the smoker to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pork belly and all the juices it’s in into an oven safe dish and cover in foil. Reheat until it’s warm and the sauce has liquefied. About 20 minutes.
Yes. To modify for the oven follow the same directions of slowly cooking in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, then covering with sauce, and finishing as the recipe suggests.
It will take 5 hours to cook and 15 minutes to finish uncovered to let the sauce harden up.
While I highly recommend a glass of rosé while cooking (since, well, it takes upwards of 4 hours for the magical meal to come to fruition). But come burnt end time, we’re going big — Syrah!
The flavors here are big and bold. You’ve got the smoke, some richness, sweetness, possibly spiciness (if your BBQ sauce has some spiciness). You need something that can handle that weight. There are several options, but I love a bold Syrah.
Syrah from Washington State is my go-to. It has some richness, bold fruit, and some herbal notes. Big and balanced flavors, just like the burnt ends! Malbec and Zinfandel are also good pairings.
You can shop small production boutique wines for this or any of our recipes at the Vindulge Wine Marketplace or consider one of our wine clubs.
Other Great BBQ Recipe Ideas
- The ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4 digital thermometer
- Food safety gloves
Food and Cooking Safety Considerations
Pork belly has considerable amount of fat that will render. This means you need to be sure that you have a CLEAN smoker and a clear path for the fat to drain AWAY from the fire. The grease from the rendering will ignite if it comes into contact with a flame source. If you are cooking a large amount on a small cooking surface be sure that you are changing out the grease tray during the cook.
For consideration, be sure to follow safe food handling practices. You are cooking the pork belly well over the USDA recommended temperature of 145 degrees F so the finished product is safe to eat.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat and consider using gloves when prepping.
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
Mary (a certified sommelier) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been curating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.
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Karen Taylor says
Hi, I have been admiring this recipe for over a year but never tried until today! My husband (kill joy) wants to know what the serving size is and how does it breakdown in calories?
Sean Martin says
Karen I almost didn’t respond, since these are, well pork belly 🙂 We typically serve these as an appetizer in 1/4 pound servings per and for this recipe it’s calculating for a pound. The reality is that most people eat more. I would say that even at a quarter of a pound you are still looking at 600 – 800 calories depending on how large or small you make them.
Gert Kok says
This is surprisingly very good. The name is misleading . I would rate this recipe 2 nd best for 2020/21
The best and VERY, VERY good is the smoked tomato bisque
Roger L says
Just tried these last week. Pretty much followed your recipe. Turned out GREAT!
Rex Kloostra says
Just made this recipe today and it was AMAZING!! We are new to the smoking idea and what a confidence builder to have this meal turn out so wonderful. Easy steps and done by time and not so much by temperature. We both agreed that this was our best smoker meal yet, going to be hard to beat. My advice to others contemplating this one is to go for it, simple recipe but awesome taste & flavor. It will not disappoint!
Patrick G. says
Love this recipe! I think I might make this for Christmas, BUT . . . It’s supposed to be very cold that day here. 25 degrees colder than the day before. If I made these the day before, does anyone know how well these reheat and the best method to do so to retain the texture and moistness? Oven? Crock pot? Other?
Sean Martin says
Patrick feel free to make them the day before and reheat them in the oven. You’ll find the sauce and the fat will harden in the fridge, just spoon all of that into an oven safe dish add a touch more sauce, then add that to an oven safe dish. Warm them at 275 until they are warm. It will be just as good.
Patrick G says
Patrick G. says
Any chance you’ve tried them in a Crock Pot (just re-warmed)? Wife said she’s claiming the oven. So wondering if I warm up in the oven, then Crock Pot or just Crock Pot, would they still be good or would that just get gooey and clumpy and not be the same?
Sean Martin says
The slow cooker may make them soggy because of the low heat. If you have a burner free, consider a large sauce pot, add them to the sauce pot with sauce and then simmer them at higher heat. This way you quickly bring the heat up and keep the nice texture versus a slower heat simmer.
Mike welder says
Your continuous ads blaring really takes away the this site. Right now some sort of zztop is playing. And you can not comment unless I get emails from you?
Sean Martin says
The ads help fund this very recipe you searched. And those ads are presented based on your search history, not what we present. And lastly the email is a verification. Unless you opt into our email list, which is not based on comments, but based on a separate form on the recipe, you won’t get our newsletter.
What do you think about tweaking the recipe to use asian flavors?
Ginger, garlic, mustard powder, salt dry rub
Make a sauce with thai chiles, soy sauce, sesame oil, and other flavors
Sean Martin says
I think that would be an AWESOME flavor combination. We used a somewhat similar flavor combination with our crispy pork belly. We actually thought about this same thing as another recipe too. Great minds think alike!
Robert Smitherman says
Do you buy a salted or unsalted pork belly?
Sean Martin says
Robert, we buy one that is not salted or cured. You can do bacon burnt ends, but that will be less cooking time given the cure. For this recipe, go with the regular pork belly.
David Webb says
I just wanted to comment to say that I have made this several times now over the past couple of years. It is one of my all time favorite BBQ ricipes so thank you for posting! I tweak it every time I make it and it always turns out awesome. I add more butter and honey to the sauce (Stubb’s Original) along with a diced onion and 2 diced jalapenos. The last two times I’ve also added 2 diced serrano peppers and it was even better. Today I’m going to add a diced poblano pepper as well. Thanks again!
Rebekah Chesney says
I made the mistake and cut the pieces thinner than they should be. Would I reduce smoking time or the 2 phase when it’s in the sauce?
Sean Martin says
So I would keep the smoke time and look at shortening the time in the braise.
Is it possible to just cook it in the oven if you don’t have a smoker?
Sean Martin says
Yes, you can absolutely cook in the oven. It won’t have the smoky component but the flavor will be there from the sauce and consistency.
Mark Green says
This recipe can be made with less quality beef cuts like chuck roasts and round roasts. I think the flavor is best when made ahead and served weeks later.
Sean Martin says
That is a great idea!! And we agree on other cuts like Chuck!
Anne Nelsen says
Can I make these ahead of time and reheat? If so, what’s the best method for that? Thanks!
Sean Martin says
Anne, yes you can. I would simply follow the recipe and store the burnt ends in a dish you will reheat them in with all the juices. Foil it, and then reheat at 300 degrees F until they warm up. The fat will melt again and the sauce and it’ll be delish.
Ashel Richardson II says
Second time to make this recipe turns out remarkable every time. Love them
I’ve made these a few times now and have finally got the process down. These are simply amazing. Everyone now asks me to bring them to parties.
Frank Young says
I executed this recipe precisely as written (except beginning with three pounds of belly and using Applewood instead of cherry) including the specified rub and pinot noir sauce with mixed results. I preheated my medium big green egg to 250°F over Rockwood lump and dry Applewood chinks and added the rubbed pork cubes to a rack on top of the grate. I cooked them there for exactly three hours at 225°F (Egg Genius controlled) over indirect heat (platesetter/convEGGtor in place). Internal temp of some of the larger chunks averaged around 205° but felt more rubbery than tender. I put them in a half size foil steam pan with the sauce/honey/butter mixture, stirred to coat all sides, covered and put back on the egg. I let that go another 90 minutes. When I uncovered the steam pan, there was a solid half inch of rendered fat in the bottom. I left it on the Egg uncovered for the requisite 15 minutes.
There was a LOT of very tender but large, un-rendered fat blobs in the resulting chunks of meat. Despite being a keto fueled ageing athlete, this was a little more than I could stomach. My border collies were thrilled to get these discards in their evening kibble. The lean parts were divine! Bonnie and Blue got a little of this too.
I’m going to do this again but just a little different: 1) I’m going to be careful to choose a leaner hunk of pork belly; and 2) I’m going to cook it at 250 instead of 225 with the goal of speeding up the rendering; and 3) I’m going to leave the slab of meat whole and monitor it’s internal temp while I smoke it. I plan to pull it at 200°F internal, cube it, sauce it, pan it uncovered and return it to the egg for 30 minutes or so.
I really liked the rub and the sauce.
Sean Martin says
Great feedback, we’ll update the post to also mention, that on some of the belly cuts, you will get pieces that can be 100% fat or close to it. Those will never render down. So when grabbing the next belly, I would look to the side of each belly and make sure you see a nice balance of both fat and meat, 50/50 is great.
I love PBBE!! I have a question about smoking them for the 2hrs and then putting them in the fridge to finish later?? I think they will be ok. We are going up to the lake with no smoker, want to get the smoke infused. Then I thought I could vacuum seal them and take them to the lake to be finished later on the grill? Thoughts?
Sean Martin says
Judy it can certainly work, but I would also consider finishing them before the lake trip. Then you can reheat them. The amount of fat still left is perfect for reheating, add a touch more sauce if they seem dry.
I was just wondering if you keep the smoke going when you return it to the smoker for the 60-90 mins?
Sean Martin says
We do because it’s easier, but you can run just charcoal if you want as technically it won’t take any smoke in.
Christy @ Feasting Not Fasting says
This recipe was amazing!!! I made it for Easter along with your mustard rubbed St. Louis style ribs recipe and everyone at our BBQ was fighting over the last little pork belly nuggets! Definitely will be making this recipe again and again.
Dad Life says
These burnt ends look amazing. I actually have never tried making just burnt ends but now that I have your tips and the recipe I will be giving it a try soon.
Sean Martin says
Followed time and temp on my charcoal smoker and Burnt them to heck. Other than that delicious. Maybe cut too small? Try, try again.
I am looking into getting a pit boss pellet grill very soon. Would you be able to do this on something like that?
Sean Martin says
Marcus, absolutely. You can do this on any smoker.
Alycia Knapik says
Hi there, can you find uncut pork belly at any local grocery store meat counter?
Not all stores will carry them. My best advice is to call in advance, so you’re not running around from store to store. If you have time to wait you can request it from your grocery store and they should be able to get it for you in a few days time. I’ve seen it regularly at my local Costco, but not regularly at all local grocery stores. Specialty stores, yes. Best to just take a quick second to call so you’re not disappointed when you arrive.
Hi, have you ever tried flash freezing and reheating this burnt ends? If so, was the consistency the same?
No we haven’t, but I’d be interested to hear if you do!! I bet after freezing you can reheat in a simmering water bath.
I did these in my Bradley Smoker yesterday using a mix of Maple biscuettes and Hickory Biscettes. They turned out so amazing!!! My wife and I both just stood there saying WOW. Usually after you make a new recipe, you sit there and say I would change this spice or this ingredient next time, but we both said that we wouldn’t change a thing. Had enough for dinner yesterday and are going to use the rest for dinner tonight with my in laws. Again WOW.
Thank you sooo much for the feedback, we love that you not only enjoyed it, but you also add your own flavors to dishes as well. That’s what we hope to do, influence you to create your own flavors as you like them!!!
I’m curious, In the recipe, it says to smoke uncovered for 3 hours. However, in the video, it shows the lid on the smoker closed after adding the pork cubes on it.
Which is it supposed to be?
The smoker would have to be closed, but what they mean is not to cover them with foil or anything inside the smoker.
Mary, I may have missed this question as I scrolled through them but what are some good side dishes to go with this recipe? I plan to make them this weekend.
Mike that is a great question and we will update the post with some of our favorite sides. Because this dish is SOOOO rich, we go with something light that complements it. We do a smoked pickled onion slaw (no mayo) as an example, or even a grilled salad. It’s also fun to do as a dish with finger foods, you can also try our smoked buffalo chicken wings too. Take photos and tag us on Instagram or Facebook!!!!
Top Shelf!!! Easy, yet so delicious! Only notes we made for the next time we do it is we will cut the salt down a bit on the rub, and, we used an electric smoker and found we did not need 3 full hours, then 90 minutes…. more like 2 and a half hours, then 60 minutes. Overall amazing! Thanks for posting this recipe!
Oh, and we just served it with fresh corn on the cob! A cold salad would have been a perfect addition!
Can you make these with a dehydrator?
I’m not sure, as we don’t have one. Would be a fun experiment to try out!!
Tom Hough says
Just now I put mine in the pan with the sauce. They look a lot like yours in the pictures and video. Some of them got too close to the coals, so we were forced to try some early. Mighty good. I’m eager for them to finish
Tom, awesome!! We get that too, your hot spots will likely sacrifice a few bellies to your belly early 🙂 Share photos on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram!!
I plan on trying this next weekend with a pork butt. Just plan on doing it Saturday night then serving Sunday afternoon. So my question is can I wrap it up and put into a cooler to make sure it stays warm for Sunday afternoon?? We have a ball tournament so I’m limited day time!! Thanks for your feedback
Sammy Shuford says
These are on my Yoder YS640. Soon to be panned.
Awesome!!! We hope you love them!
What are some ideas for what to serve these with?
Andrew for sides, we love to balance the richness of the belly with thinks like our smoked onion slaw, or watermelon salad. Anything that is cold or generally complements the richness. We stay away from things like Mac and cheese and heavier items. Hope that helps!
Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I just made these for a family mother’s day cook out and it was a huge hit. Everyone enjoyed them and requested that I make them again. The only change that I will make is instead of using half of the pork belly I will use the whole thing so I can make more. Thanks again
I’m so happy to hear this! And what a perfect Mother’s Day meal 🙂
I totally agree on doubling the recipe next time! Those things go FAST!!!!
Wow! I made this for a group of 8, doubled the recipe. I have never had burnt ends of any kind, this recipe was unbelievable! Everyone said the same thing, PORK BELLY? Wow, this is fantastic! I had the pork belly on hand to make sausage and ran across this recipe, thought I’d give it a try. I am so happy I did! Thanks for sharing!!
So awesome to hear! Glad everyone loved them. We agree, we can’t get enough of this recipe!
Chris G. says
Now I know why these are so popular. Made them exactly how you recommend and they’re amazing!
Bob V says
I have done this recipe many times and love them. Trying to figure out the best way to do them ahead of time since I may not have time the day of the party to do it all.
Do you think just making them the day before and reheating would be best or smoking them the day before and complete the braising and final cook the day of the party!
Bob you can totally do these in advance. We do it often, I would do it in full, and then reheat in a pan with some sauce covered in the oven at like 300 until they are warm, they will still be very tender.
Adam B. says
I have seen people ask about doing it a day ahead but what about several days? I want to serve these at an event on a Friday but have to work that day! I was really hoping to be able to prepare this like 3 days out and then throw the disposable pan on the grill on the big day.
These look Amazing! I bought a piece of meat today called pork brisket/bone riblets. From my research it comes from somewhere near the pork belly so I thought I would cut up this hunk of meat I have and make burnt ends.
Has anyone tried this recipe with a different or similar cut of meat?
Made these for the first time today. All I can say is WOW!!
I’m planning on cooking these tomorrow afternoon for two family dinners. One Sunday, and the other Monday. What’s the best way to reheat these?
Brian, we like to reheat them for sure. First, we add them into a foil pan or whatever baking dish you like. Add a little sauce and then cover with foil. Reheat in the oven at about 300 degrees until it just starts to steam, the sauce will keep the burnt ends moist.
Thank you. I’ll try to send a picture and a report.
This recipe sounds exciting and delicious. Can the belly be smoked whole and cubed before panning to braise like i do my brisket burnt ends? Or is it too hard to cube once fat starts rendering? Curious. Can’t wait to try.
Dave, great question. We like it cubed first because it is easier than after the belly whole is cooked. Second, it is more exposed surface area for the smoke, it gets that much more flavor. You could do the entire belly or quarter it, but overall I like more flavor and the easier cut.
Going to make these tomorrow. I will say I am hesitant to add all the pepper and chili powder! I’m kind of a wuss with spice. Does the smoking process eliminate some of the heat of the rub? Should I cut it in half? Thanks! Happy Holidays!
Mandy, all chili powders come with various levels of spice. Try it first, if it’s spicy cut back on it, if it isn’t you’ll be good to go. As for the pepper, you can always hold back and then preseason when it’s done. Between the smoke and the braise, a lot of that spice will cook out. Also if you grab a sauce that is milder, you avoid the potential for something too hot!
If I don’t like the BBQ sauce , it is necessary to cook them for another 3 hours. I just want them cook in the smoker
You can keep cooking them, the sauce helps render the fat out and prevent them from drying out. You could keep cooking them unwrapped, and spritz them, or you can wrap in foil and some apple cider vinegar to let it braise as well.
These were amazing! I was nervous – the only other time I had pork belly, the texture was terrible. But this recipe for the meat and sauce is incredible. Every bite was gone!
That’s so great to hear!!! 🙂
Nathan H says
Just made these and they turned out fairly dry and a bit chewy. Smoked ribs next to them and those turned out perfect. Any suggestions?
Nathan, we find that if the ends are still chewy they may need more time to let the fat render out. Lots of things can go into play like how large the cubes are. The sauce it bastes in also help keep the general moisture in, it may also be that during the smoke period, it may have dried out and needed more time in the sauce process. Maybe next time, pull back on the smoke timeframe and then put into the sauce pan, and see if that helps. When you taste test the ends in the pan, keep them on until they are of a texture when they almost fall apart soft.
Hi Mary- I followed this recipe and also had some pieces that were chewy or hard on the outside. Are you convinced that they are “undercooked” in that case even if the meat internal temp is 200-205+, or could they have cooked too long at that point? I smoked at 250 for 3 hours before adding to pan and going another 1.5 hours at 250. Thanks!
Ryan great question. I have found if the meat is overcooked, it will get dry and crispy versus chewy. I’d say that depending on the fat content and thickness of the belly, it may have needed more time or more trimming of that larger fat cap on the top. The tell for us when done is really the meat thermometer probe going into the belly like butter, or when checking texture making sure it’s not rubbery or chewy.
So I’d say more time would work while wrapped to get that desired texture.
David Rome says
Cooked some the other day, wife & kids went crazy over these, will be cooking them again soon, Thanks
Jeremy denzer says
When you braise the pork what temp do you do this at? 250? We have an electric smoker that will only get up to 275 degrees. Also what temp after it is uncovered? Do I need to put it on the grill to achieve a higher temp? Planing on giving it a try this weekend.
Hi Jeremy, it’s all done at 250 throughout (the entire time). Your temperature/smoker should be fine.
If you do run it higher, 275, it may just finish faster. All of it is done low and slow at a consistent temp throughout.
Marta Hollen says
If you were serving this as a plated meal what things would you recommend go with this? Would you serve it on white rice? Rye bread with pickle onions, slaw and baked beans? Just looking for ideas! Thanks
Marta, great question. This is a rich dish, so we like to serve this as a stand alone, or with something lighter. We do a pickled slaw and with beans on top that would be delish. Rice is fine, but a bit too band, unless you jazz it up. We also do this as an appetizer, skewering the belly after cooking and then you can add a fresh grape tomato.
Did a similar version with some variations, love these! https://youtu.be/5a-mFy9qdb0
So cool! I watched your video and love that you got the kids involved 🙂
Im definitely trying these. I had a stroke 5 years ago and im just getting back into it. My questions are what type of wood did you smoke with? And some folks differ on how long you add wood to the smike? The whole process? Just a cerfain phase?
Thanks for the inspiration?
Newsh, so glad you are getting back to it, so awesome! We use apple or cherry almost exclusively, being in the Pacific Northwest.
And technically, once you wrap a piece of meat, it won’t take on smoke, so once you are done smoking, you can easily keep the heat going with charcoal and not use wood. We use wood exclusively (only use charcoal at start up, and lump) so it’s just easier to keep the logs going with a nice base of embers. Hope that helps and share your photos on our FB page!!!
Julie M. says
Freaking AMAZING!!!! Thanks for sharing this fabulous recipe!
I was thinking of trying this for a work gathering. If I smoked them the night before, then pulled them off and put into the fridge. Could I put them in a crock pot in the AM to be served/ready around lunch time? Or just cook them the day before normally, and just warm them up the next day? Thoughts? Wont have smoker/oven available at work.
We have reheated the finished ones the next day and they turn out great. I would finish them fully, then wrap. You’ll see the fat in the sauce and that will harden some, and when you reheat the next day, that will render again and you’ll have just as fresh flavor. If the fat scares you, you can transfer the ends to a new pan and seal with foil then reheat with a sauce.
So do you reheat them wrapped in the foil?? Oven ?? What temp?? Guessing 250 – 300 ?? These do sound amazing and if the “do ahead & reheat ” option is viable truly a winner!! Thanks
Jack yes, when we reheat, we reheat slowly at 300 degrees in a pan covered, it is gentle on the pork so it doesn’t fall apart.
Lisa Behsman says
A friend made this recipe this weekend and it was AWESOME!! Very addicting. They are putting them in homemade baked beans. Great recipe!! ♥️
Oh wow in beans sounds so amazing, we need to try that, thanks for the tip!!!
kevin bonner says
I had 2 of my supervisors over and served the pork belly burnt ends. They threatened corrective action if I did not invite them again and make these!! 2 good!! Thank you!
Haha that’s awesome!!!
lizzy wermuth says
I made this recipe this weekend exactly like you recommended – your homemade rub and bbq sauce. IT CAME OUT UNREAL. I will def. be sending this recipe around to friends. AMAZING!
Wohoo! Awesome to hear! So happy you liked it 🙂
René Paré says
How can I download and/or print this recipe?
What brand smoker do you have???
Chas we have a few we use. Specific to this video it’s a Yoder Smoker Chisolm. We also use a Weber Kettle and pellet smokers.
grace kiringa says
smoked pork delicious. thank you. I love it.
Hi quick question can the skin be left on the pork belly or does it effect the cooking time…..thank you
Great question – and no I would not leave the skin on. The skin is dense, tough and even when cooked will have an unpleasant texture. Try to buy with skin off, as anyone who has trimmed a skin on belly will attest, it is a pain in the behind. If you need to trim off skin, be sure to leave an adequate amount of the good fat that is under the skin for the belly. In the video the fat we are trimming is that collagen that won’t render down.
Can I use a charcoal grill for this recipe, it has a temperature gage so I can keep track of the heat.
Sandra you sure can. We use a Weber Kettle all the time set up for indirect/direct cooking. With a water pan to keep it cool, you can definitely pull this off. I like this link for more smoking tips on a kettle. https://www.weber.com/US/en/blog/smoking-on-a-kettle
Do you use any liquid (water, apple juice) in the smoker for moisture? Thanks!
John, We will run a water pan in the summer months as it’s dry here. But the rest of the seasons it is so humid here we don’t.
On a Big Green Egg, would you cook it direct or indirect heat?
I’m gonna try it out today!
McAuley, awesome! We use an offset stick burner, so I am going to say offset. The reason is that direct or high heat, will crisp up the belly and I find that better for bacon versus the burnt ends. We like it really tender with a nice bark versus crispy. Send us photos on Facebook!!!! Let us know how you did it on the green egg!
I raise my own pigs and have some bellies waiting to be cured for bacon. When I saw this recipe, I had to give it a go.
Daniel, that is awesome….and having access to your own pigs is pretty cool. Show us photos on Facebook!
What is “braising”? What temperature is that accomplished at please? This will happen on Father’s day
Braising is a technique where you simmer liquid to keep moisture in your meat. In this case you are smoking the protein first, getting flavor and bark and then the braising liquid steps will help in keeping meat moist and rendering out the fat so you get a tender flavor. It also adds that liquid flavor into the meat.
Eric Coleman says
I have an indoor smoker and did the recipe with a smoldering hickory! It was to die for! Served with grilled Zellwood corn and greens… Petite Syrah for spice!
That sounds awesome!!!
These are in our smoker right now! Can’t wait to try them! Had a tough time finding pork belly, and every single butcher asked “what do you want THAT for???” – LOL!
Wohoo! We love to hear that! That’s hilarious about your butcher. You should have responded, “To make delicious morsels of smoked pork perfection, that’s what!” 😉
Followed the recipe exactly – turned out perfectly! A lot meatier than I would have guessed! Will definitely make again for future family gatherings and parties!! Husband, son, and I all agreed the leftovers would be amazing in stir-fried rice!! Thank you!
So happy to hear this! And I LOVE the idea of the stir fry. That sounds like an excellent use for the leftovers!
I’ve got this on the smoker right now! Another half hour and it will be ready. Looks and smells delicious. Serving it as a meal over rice with a salad on the side. Everyone’s mouth has been watering for hours. Can’t wait! Thanks so much for posting this recipe. Also thanks for your patience responding when everyone asks the same questions over and over. Much admiration as I was about to have a meltdown just reading them! Thanks for your great work!!
Chad thanks so much. Let us all know how it turned out and email us a photo or post on our Facebook page!!!! I know folks may be looking for various tips or feedback not in the actual post, so I do want to take the time and respond to folk on the questions. Then over time, I’ll be sure to update with a FAQ.
I do a fair amount of smoking year round, even though I live where the ‘normal’ season is short (Northern Vermont) and I came across this recipe and I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before. You can bet this is on my list very soon, I will have to come back and give an update when I DO make it. This sounds terrific, “meat candy deliciousness”!
I’ve had pork belly in a restaurant before (Korean style) and it was good, but this takes it to a whole new level…stay tuned!
So glad you found this! Yes, please report back with your feedback on the recipe! We hope you love it 🙂
Ken Britt says
I rubbed mine with pure maple sugar and dark grade b syrup from the sugar shack up the road from the house, then I seasoned with, ONO Hawaiian seasoning, black pepper and garlic. Vacuum packed and plan on cooking tomorrow.. wish me luck
Ken Britt says
And I got my belly from a local hoof to table farm here by the compound..
Ken that sounds amazing! Did you use the maple syrup as a slather or did you go a little heavier? Curious how that caramelizes during the smoke. We love using maple syrup in glazes with fish and some pork dishes as well. Yum!!!
I’ve found a good deal on pork belly but it has the skin on and it’s not in a store where I can ask to have it removed. Do you have instructions for removing the skin? I’ve heard it’s not easy.
LuAnne, getting the skin off can be very tedious. I would start with a very sharp boning or filet knife…a narrow shorter blade you can use with precision. Next grab paper towel, and use that to grip the skin which can be wet. After pulling on a corner of the meat, cut just under the tough skin and try and separate from the good fat. Continue to pull back on skin while you make the slow cuts parallel to the skin. After you do that, go back and trim off the extra fat. You will see this slimy fat that needs to come off versus the more dense white fat cap that you do want to render out. Then you are good to cut and season. Likely there are some videos out there as well.
Frank Young says
I cut the skin off of mine after cubing it. Pretty easy. Can’t rate it yet as I am in the braising stage still an hour away from eating but—when of mixed it with the pinot noir BBQ sauce mixture, it seems a bit on the rubbery side. Hope that changes in the braise.
Sean Martin says
Frank, feel free to FB Messenger us too for more real time update – but if it still rubbery, let it go longer in the braise. Or you can remove from braise and let continue for another 30 minute to an hour. Likely the pork is still temping at 170 – 180 internal temp right now. Once it hits 200 you will find it gets to the melt in the mouth texture.
If you don’t have a Costco card try and find an Asian market. The larger ones will usually have Pork Belly at their meat counter.
Thanks, Dave! A few others have suggested Asian markets as a good place to find pork belly too! Good suggestion.
Stephanie Simpson says
Where can I get pork belly?
Stephanie, look for pork belly at Costco. We buy through a local butcher, but I know Costco sells it. If you don’t have a Costco or similar box store, check your local butcher as they can usually get it special ordered.
Sams club carries them as well
Scott thanks for sharing!
Did everything the same way. Way to much fat for me. Why would you ever do this. Never do it again!
Danst so sorry this was your experience. So many variables can go into the cut of pork belly and the fat content, as well as the cooking scenarios (wind, weather, etc). While we can’t anticipate everything, we do like all feedback to help along the way. If it felt too fatty when you finished, it may be that an hour or more uncovered may have been needed, or extra time in the bath to let the fat render out as that is what sounds like the issue, the fat may not have totally rendered out which I agree will cause the meat and texture to be chewy and an unpleasant texture.
Mary Beth says
I get it at sams mostly. However. International markets have it too. That is where I first found it.
I don’t have a smoker. Could I cook long & slow in oven or on grill?
Gary packard says
My question is do you use a cured or uncured pork belly
Gary, we go uncured. We have found that the rub and sauce will get you your flavor and your moisture.
These look delicious! But I live in an apartment and don’t have a smoker. Is there an alternative cooking method?
You can attempt these in your oven. Same concept, low heat (250 ish) to render the fat and get that exterior bark and flavor, so roughly 3 hours. Then braise in the pan for an hour and then uncovered to firm up the sauce. If you use a rub with a lot of sugar, just watch it uncovered to avoid burning.
I’m 2/3rds done the recipe, Deeelicious already!!! Will definitely make again.
Wohoo! Awesome to hear!
How many would you say this (5 lb.) will feed?
Natalie, these are super rich. So we go with 5 ounces (pre cooking weight) per person. So roughly three people a pound. A five pound should feed 15 people. Lots of variants here, like is this the main dish? If so consider 1/2 pound per person. If this is an appetizer may even be less. But on average we see about a 5 ounce portion per person.
I made these today and they are wonderful! My doctor recommended them. Full disclosure – I’m my own doctor. And I don’t have a medical degree.
Well I will trust your medical advice any day 😉
So glad you liked them!!!
My mouth literally drools. It looks juicy and yummy. I bet the seasoning makes the meat texture more tender. Thanks for sharing your recipes.
Dave Stoner says
OMG. These are the best appie I have ever made. Followed the recipe and wife and I could have ate them all for a meal. Give’ um a try. You won’t be disappointed.
We love hearing from folks who have made our recipes. Were so glad you enjoyed them 🙂 Thanks for the feedback!
Todd grimes says
I cooked 2 slabs of pork bellies last weekend using this recipe, on my huge smoker. They were so good using apple wood for flavor.
Wohooo! That’s awesome!
Adele Aiken says
Is there any way to make this if you don’t have a smoker or a grill?
Adele, You can attempt these in your oven. Same concept, low heat (250 ish) to render the fat and get that exterior bark and flavor, so roughly 3 hours. Then braise in the pan for an hour and then uncovered to firm up the sauce. If you use a rub with a lot of sugar, just watch it uncovered to avoid burning. Many have asked. Let us know if you want a smoker recommendation :)?
What do you think of using pork loin for this?
I would caution that it may not have as much fat content. I definitely think pork butt will be great and I know there is a video from All Things BBQ out there using pork shoulder. Feel free to try it and let us know if it works out. If I did attempt with loin, I would likely watch the time on the smoke setting so as to not overcook it too soon. Different muscle, so different cooking method.
Will it work with pork side?
Nick, it may since it has similar fat content. Check out the marbling and if you see a good amount of fat, and no skin, then I say go for it. Similar technique.
Don’t have a smoker. Could you give recipe for oven?
Lisa, You can attempt these in your oven. Same concept, low heat (250 ish) to render the fat and get that exterior bark and flavor, so roughly 3 hours. Then braise in the pan for an hour and then uncovered to firm up the sauce. If you use a rub with a lot of sugar, just watch it uncovered to avoid burning.
Carol Cotter says
can this recipe be done on a gas grill? I have wood chips to smoke but I’ve never smoked on a grill.
Carol, yes. You can do this on a gas grill, you may not get as much smoke influence as gas grills have a lot of open vents preventing a tight fit for keeping the smoke in the cooker. However, I would try it using a lower heat setting getting as close to 250 as possible and cook the pork belly on the indirect side of the heat (so not over the flame). Add your chips over the direct flame or in your smoker box. Same principle, smoke for the flavor and getting the bark/color on the bites, and then finish in the braising sauce.
Sarah Althouse says
You had me at burnt ends! Seriously my husband would go nuts over these too.
It’s hard not to go nuts over these 😉 They’re pretty addicting!!!
Yes, they are!
Todd grimes says
I cooked two slabs of these burnt ends, well over 100 chunks and they disappeared quickly.
That’s awesome!! So glad you enjoyed them 🙂
Catherine @ Ten Thousand Hour Mama says
I’ve never heard of burnt ends, but I know quite a few people whose mouth would water just looking at these photos!
Thanks so much 🙂
Dont you think you should credit Malcom Reed for this recipe?
Not at all. It’s a very different recipe than Malcom Reed. Lots of folks have been experimenting with pork belly and discovering different flavors and recipes. His is great if you like them on the sweeter side.
Daniel Solari says
I’d like to say something
What would you like to say? 😉
What if you don’t have a smoker? Can you do these in the oven?
Jay, yes. You can do these in the oven or gas grill. While you won’t get the same smoke flavor, if you cook at a low heat, 225 – 250 you are using that temperature to render the fat and get the color. I would cook in oven uncovered until you like the color of the bites. Then add to foil pan for the braise. The key will be watching for the color you want, and if you have a sugary rub, just watch and avoid any burning.
Oh THANK YOU so much for the question AND answer! I’m in an apartment that doesn’t allow any outdoor cooking, and I MUST try these! Yay for versatile pork! 🙂
Yeah!! And thanks for reaching out with your question 🙂
Thurman Watson says
I’m going to give your Pork Burnt Ends a try, it sounds so good and the video was great.
I have a question do you marinade the pork at all?
No, we don’t marinate or brine. This is primarily because the fat content keeps it juicy, so no need. You could always dry rub the day before to get more of that flavor into the meat. If you do marinate I’d love to hear how it turned out!
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife says
Ahhhh I love pork belly and you just took it to a whole new level! And, I do like that Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah. I can just imagine what a great pairing that would be!
I plan on making this in a few days. I’m curious though, not questioning your cooking skills lol. Why an internal temp over 200? That’s seems too high. Won’t the meat be dry. Also, what’s the purpose of the olive oil as opposed to just the dry rub. Once again, just curious. Thank you!
Jeramie both good questions.
First in regards to the temperature, this is specific to pork belly (and pork shoulder). These cuts have a lot of fat and collagen. So we cook at the lower temperature so we can break down the fat and collagen into flavor, it melts away leaving a juicy cut of meat. If you go too far, yes it will dry out, but if you pulled at 165 or 180, it would still be chewy because the fat and collagen did not have enough time to break down.
The olive oil is really to help bind the dry rub to the meat. You can use any liquid, some use mustard (we do this for ribs). But in this case, it prevents too much of the rub from flaking away while cooking. It acts as a binder between meat and the rub.
Sean really is the meat whisperer! And I have no doubt the Boom Boom! Syrah tasted great with this recipe.