Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends – Game Day Grilling Series

Football season is getting ready to kick off, and the Game Day Grilling Series is back with more terrific recipes to get the party started! Get ready to indulge in the best bite-sized appetizer for your next football watch party or tailgate with the Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends from our Game Day Grilling Series. This succulent fatty pork belly is smoked and rendered till burnt and glorious and then caramelized in a sticky, garlicky-sweet barbecue sauce.

Start with a sizeable five-pound pork belly cut into two-inch cubes. Create a delicious dry rub of brown sugar, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Combine the dry rub with olive oil and pork belly cubes, and then smoke slowly for 3 hours until dark and beautiful.

Next, combine the cubes in a foil pan with your favorite barbecue sauce, butter, and honey. Smoke or grill for an additional 90 minutes, resulting in bowlfuls of dark, crusty, burnt ends with a savory-salt-sweet flavor.

So what are you waiting for? Fire up the grill and grab your favorite drink because these mouthwatering bites will turn your next game day into a Pigskin Classic. The Game Day Grilling Series Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends is guaranteed to be your next party's MVP.

Serves 8-10

Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Ingredients

  • 5 pounds of pork belly, sliced into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry rub

Dry Rub

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • 4 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Sauce

  • 1 cup favorite BBQ sauce, we used Pinot Noir BBQ Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Directions

  1. Preheat smoker to 225 – 250 degrees using fruitwood (we used cherry for color and sweeter flavor)
  2. Trim excess skin and fat off the pork belly, slice it into 2-inch cubes, and place it into a large bowl.
  3. Add olive oil and dry rub liberally, and then place cubes onto a wire rack or directly on the smoker.
  4. Smoke uncovered for three hours. Look for a darker red color and a modest bark to develop.
  5. Remove the pork belly cubes from the smoker, place them into a foil pan, and then add your BBQ sauce, butter, and honey and stir. Next, cover the pan with aluminum foil and put it back on the smoker.
  6. Cook for an additional 90 minutes or until the internal temperature (IT) is roughly 200 – 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Remove the foil, close the lid to the smoker, and smoke for another 15 minutes to let the sauce thicken up.
  8. Remove from smoker and serve.

Dry Rub

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to an airtight serving container (like a mason jar or other dry rub container). It will keep for up to a year if sealed tight and kept in a cool place.


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