Pork Bel­ly Burnt Ends? But I thought burnt ends are made from brisket? And who wants some­thing burnt in the first place? Well, yeah, burnt ends are nor­mal­ly brisket. And no, they are not actu­al­ly burnt. They are called burnt because burnt ends come from the point of the brisket. When cook­ing a whole brisket, the flat is done before the point usu­al­ly is, so a lot of peo­ple pull the brisket when the flat is done and cube the point and put it back into the smok­er until the meat is fall off the bone ten­der. They are in fact over cooked in the same way fall off the bone ribs are over cooked. Uber ten­der and deli­cious, but still over cooked. That’s what I did here. Get your tooth­picks ready and sit back for a pho­to­graph­ic jour­ney to fla­vor­town. I’ll explain that tooth­pick thing lat­er. First, I want to give a shout out to Vin​dul​ge​.com because that was the inspi­ra­tion for this recipe. You can check out Vindulge’s author, Mary, on Insta­gram.

Before we start, I high­ly rec­om­mend start­ing the grill/smoker (in this case my Traeger Tim­ber­line 850) but remov­ing the grill grates while the cook­er comes up to temp. More on that lat­er. Set the cook­er to 250.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Ingredients:

1 full pork bel­ly (approx­i­mate­ly 10 lbs)
4 oz olive oil (divid­ed)
4 oz BBQ rub (divid­ed)
8 oz BBQ sauce (divid­ed)
8 oz beer (divid­ed
6 oz hon­ey (divid­ed)
1 tsp fresh ground cin­na­mon (divid­ed)

Mmm­m­mm Bacon!

Looks like bacon, right? That’s because bacon is made from pork bel­ly. This is just uncured bacon.

Trim up any over­ly thick fat. We left the thin­ner stuff on, but the thick stuff on this end had to go:

Carv­ing off some fat with my Shun

And here is dad chan­nel­ing his inner Salt Bae as he rolls up the strip of fat onto his fin­ger:

Fat Flow­er!

For ref­er­ence, this is the min­i­mum you need to trim off. Mary from Vin​dul​ge​.com took it all off. Total­ly a per­son­al pref­er­ence:

Trimmed Pork Belly
Dad holds up the bel­ly, fat side for­ward

Next up, slice that bad boy into cou­ple inch cubes:

Got­ta go wide angle, almost, to get that whole knife in the frame!

Sliced and ready for the sea­son­ing:

Nuggets and nuggets and nuggets and nuggets and nuggets

For this, you want to use some alu­minum pans to real­ly coat the soon to be pork bel­ly burnt ends with sea­son­ing. Put as many as you can in an alu­minum pan (10 lbs won’t all fit into one pan) and driz­zle with olive oil:

Driz­zle my niz­zle

Then slather with your favorite BBQ rub. We used Code 3 Spices 5–0 rub and high­ly rec­om­mend it:

Don’t both­er with the side of the rub can with the lit­tle holes. Shake that stuff on thick and work it through the pan

Work it all around to coat all size sides of the­se can­dy cubes with the oil and rub. Then place the cubes on those grill grates you removed ear­lier, fat side down:

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Ready to Hit the Cooker
Fat side down makes for bet­ter pre­sen­ta­tion. Trust me here.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends on my Traeger Timberline
On the cook­er!

Here are my pork bel­ly burnt ends ready for the foil, all mahogany and gold­en:

If you think it looks pret­ty now…

Com­bine the BBQ sauce, beer, hon­ey, and cin­na­mon in the bot­tom of an alu­minum pan and mix togeth­er well. Add the burnt ends and then put the but­ter on top:

Mmm­m­m­mm But­ter!

Once the but­ter is melt­ed, real­ly work the pork bel­ly burnt ends around until they are com­plete­ly coat­ed. Then cov­er the pans in foil and put them back on the smok­er.

Now comes the some­what hard part. See, try­ing to get the inter­nal temp of the pork nuggets is hard with as small as they are and with how much fat is there. When they become uber ten­der, they are done. One way to test this is if they can can pass the tooth­pick test. Sim­ply spear one with a tooth­pick and pull it back out. If it goes in and out like going through warm but­ter with a hot ice pick, then they have passed the tooth­pick test:

The tooth­pick test
Clean as a whistle

After they passed the tooth­pick test, we removed the foil from the top of the pan and allowed them to cook a lit­tle longer. This allowed the sauce to thick­en up and take in some smoke fla­vor.

Now there are a num­ber of ways of serv­ing the­se. Just take the lid off the pan and hand out forks or tooth­picks:

That pan is worth it’s weight in gold

The fun­ny thing about hand­ing out tooth­picks is that they have passed the tooth­pick test. Watch as your guests try to pick them up and the burnt ends keep slid­ing off the pick. You can help them get the pork bel­ly cubes out of the pan and onto the plat­ter for an ele­gant pre­sen­ta­tion (with a can of beer!)

Apps are served!

Or pile them on a plat­ter for some­thing in between:

Grab a tooth­pick and go to town!

Or a bit of both:

No mat­ter how you serve them, pork bel­ly burnt ends will be a hit

But how do they taste? First, the meat absolute­ly melts in your mouth. It’s almost as if all you would need to do is crush them on the roof of your mouth with your tongue to eat them. Sec­ond, the sauce is a com­bo of sweet and savory from the hon­ey and BBQ sauce as well as vel­vety from the but­ter. Out­stand­ing mouth­feel. Did I men­tion you can make the­se up ahead of time and warm up the next day or weeks lat­er after freez­ing? When we made the­se two pans, some friends/neighbors helped to scarf down one pan. The oth­er is in my freez­er right now!?!? #Luck­yGuy

If you have any ques­tions or com­ments, feel free to leave them below or send me an email.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pork Bel­ly Burnt Ends
Recipe type: Appe­tiz­er
Cuisine: Bar­be­cue
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Pork bel­ly sliced into cubes, smoked and then thrown into a pan of beer, but­ter, hon­ey, and bar­be­cue sauce and cooked some more until uber ten­der and oh so sweet!
  • 1 full pork bel­ly (approx­i­mate­ly 10 lbs)
  • 4 oz olive oil (divid­ed)
  • 4 oz BBQ rub (divid­ed)
  • 8 oz BBQ sauce (divid­ed)
  • 8 oz beer (divid­ed
  • 6 oz hon­ey (divid­ed)
  • 1 tsp fresh ground cin­na­mon (divid­ed)
  1. Trim the fat off the back of the pork bel­ly
  2. Slice the bel­ly into two inch cubes
  3. Place the cubes in alu­minum pans and hit with the oil and rub and work the cubes around until they are coat­ed even­ly
  4. Pull the grill grates out of the grill and spark it up to 300 degrees
  5. Place the soon to be pork bel­ly burnt ends on the grill grates and then into the grill when it hits 300
  6. Smoke for about 2 hours
  7. Pre­pare the glaze in new pans by pour­ing in the BBQ sauce, beer, hon­ey and the ground cin­na­mon and com­bine thor­ough­ly
  8. Remove the pork bel­ly cubes from the smok­er and place in the pans with the slur­ry and top with the but­ter
  9. The warm pork bel­ly burnt ends should melt the but­ter quick­ly and then mix the pork nuggets around in the sauce to coat entire­ly
  10. Cov­er the alu­minum pans with foil and place back into the smok­er until the pork bel­ly pass­es the tooth­pick test (a tooth­pick slides in and out of the meat with no effort at all and comes out clean) which is about an hour to 90 min­utes
  11. Remove from the smok­er and serve
Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Orig­i­nal Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to col­lege with a suit­case and a grill where he over­cooked, under­cooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thou­sands of fail­ures, and quite a few suc­cess­es, near­ly two decades lat­er he start­ed a web­site to show step by step, pic­ture by pic­ture, fool­proof instruc­tions on how to make great things out of doors so that oth­ers don’t have to repeat the mis­takes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas


https://t.co/lVWgniik3V#Grill­Porn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Pulled pork skills on point! . Video cour­tesy of @bbq_bboy : Pulling Pork Like A Boss 🐷 . You ready to take your I…… https://t.co/3QuPwwo0ZD — 7 hours ago
Scott Thomas

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one comment

Thanks Scott — 8:30am on a Wednes­day and now I know what I will be doing today! 


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