Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Over the weekend, we cooked up some beautiful pork belly burnt ends. Pork belly is one of the most fatty meats, which means that it has a ton of flavour. While pork belly can be quickly and easily prepared by frying the slices, once you try these smoked burnt ends you will never want to eat it any other way!

To keep these burnt ends full of flavour, we started with our homemade Jamaican dry rub (get the recipe here!) but you can use any dry rub made for pork. Towards the end of the smoking process, we also braised the burnt ends in our Texas BBQ sauce, and added a bit of Holy Smoke Stout from the Firehall Brewery in Oliver BC. Adding the beer is optional but definitely creates a more tender meat!

These burnt ends are a special treat to be enjoyed on their own as an appetizer (seriously, you won't be able to stop popping these in your mouth) or as a main with some of your favourite sides.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Smoking time: 5 hours
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1-2 pounds of pork belly (skin removed)
1/2 cup yellow mustard (optional)
3/4 cup of our Jamaican dry rub or any dry rub made for pork
1/4 cup of dark beer (we used the Holy Smoke Stout from Firehall Brewery)
2 tbsp of honey
1/2 cup of Texas BBQ Sauce

Instructions:

1. Slice pork belly into 1 to 2-inch cubes.

2. Pour your mustard over the meat and mix so that each piece is evenly coated. Yellow mustard acts as a great binder for the rub without giving off any flavour. If you don't want to use mustard, you can skip this step and go straight to the rub!

3. Sprinkle the rub onto the pork belly, ensuring it gets on all sides with an even coating. Place pork belly on a stainless-steel rack or traditional pizza pan and let rest.

4. While the rub sets, set up your smoker for 225 degrees F.

5. Smoke the pork belly at 225 degrees F for 3 hours.

Pro tip: If you're using a vertical smoker with more than one rack, place the pork belly on the top rack and allow the fat to drip off onto another smoked meat or vegetable dish to introduce more flavour!

This is how your burnt ends should look after 3 hours of smoking time:

6. Remove the pork belly from the smoker and place on a single layer on two sheets of tin foil. Laying the pieces in one layer ensures that all the pieces will braise evenly.
 

7. Before closing the foil, pour ¼ cup of your beer and a light drizzle honey over all the pieces. This mixture will help the pork belly braise and render down the fat even further.

 

8. Close the foil tightly around the pork belly pieces, making sure not to leave too much room for steam to form. This will help make sure you do not lose any of the bark you just created from the rub.
 

9. Place the newly made foil package back on the smoker and continue to cook at 225 degrees F for about 2 more hours. You can speed up this process if you desire by increasing your temperature (Cook for 45 minutes at 325 degrees F). You’ll know when you are done cooking by whether or not the pieces start to tear apart easily.

10. Remove the pieces from the smoker and open the foil. Lightly pour BBQ sauce over the burnt ends using just enough to coat all sides, but not to have a pool of sauce in the foil. Place the open foil package back on the smoker, exposing the pieces to the smoke once more for about 10-15 minutes. This will allow the sauce to tack up and become thick and sticky.
11. Remove the burnt ends from the smoker and let rest for 10 minutes and enjoy while still warm!

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