Home Recipes Appetizers Sweet and Savory Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Sweet and Savory Pork Belly Burnt Ends

finished pork belly burnt ends
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If you’ve heard of burnt ends, you know that they’re usually associated with brisket. Traditionally, they are cut from the point end of the brisket and are so incredibly delicious that they’re often referred to as meat candy. They are amazing!

This recipe is a spin on those brisket burnt ends using a pork belly and it captures all the flavors of sweet spare ribs – without the bone. If you’re not sure what a pork belly is, it’s where the bacon is cut from and is the most succulent portion of the pig. I use it for pulled pork, homemade bacon, and, of course, burnt ends. These are always a hit at any gathering.

Step-by-step with photos | Download recipe (PDF – 1MB)

Sweet and Savory Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Serves: 12 | Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 2.5 – 3.5 hours

Ingredients

10 lbs pork belly
¾ cup Head Country Championship Seasoning, The Original
1 cup Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce
Butter
Brown Sugar
Honey

Equipment

Smoker or Grill
Wire Rack
Mini Muffin Pan
Aluminum Foil
Wood chunks, I use apple wood
Thermometer

Directions

  1. Heat the smoker to 275 degrees.
  2. Cut the pork belly into 1.5 inch cubes.
  3. Season the cubes all over with Head Country Original Seasoning.
  4. Arrange pork cubes on a wire rack, leaving space between each cube.
  5. Place the rack into the smoker for 2 hours or until the internal temperature is about 170 degrees.
  6. Remove the rack of cubed pork belly from the grill and bring inside.
  7. Inside each cup of a mini-muffin pan, place a pat of butter and about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.
  8. Warm up the Head-Country Bar-B-Q sauce in a pan over medium low heat to thin it out slightly.
  9. Dip each cube of pork belly into the sauce to coat and place into one of the prepared muffin cups.
  10. Once all of the cups are filled, drizzle each cube with a touch of honey and cover the entire pan with aluminum foil.
  11. Return the covered pan to the cooker for about an hour or until a meat probe easily slides in and out of each cube.
  12. Remove from the cooker, garnish, and serve.

Step-by-Step

Step 1: Heat the smoker to 275 degrees.

Step 2: Cut the pork belly into 1.5 inch cubes.

cutting pork belly into cubes

Step 3: Season the cubes all over with Head Country Original seasoning.

pork belly cubes seasoned with spice rub

Step 4: Arrange pork cubes on a wire rack, leaving space between each cube.

Step 5: Place the rack into the smoker for 2 hours or until the internal temperature is about 170 degrees.

seasoned pork belly cubes on rack in smoker

Step 6: Remove the rack of cubed pork belly from the grill and bring inside. This is where the magic happens!

Step 7: Inside each cup of a mini-muffin pan, place a pat of butter and about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar.

Step 8: Warm up the Head-Country Bar-B-Q sauce in a pan over medium low heat to thin it out slightly. Instead of brushing the sauce on the cubes, we are going to dip them to get a uniform coating; warming the sauce to thin it a bit helps get a nice, even coat.

pork belly cubes coated with sauce in muffin tray

Step 9: Dip each cube of pork belly into the sauce to coat and place into one of the prepared muffin cups. You can use a large tin for this and cook them all together, but I find that cooking them in the individual mini muffin cups like this results in a more uniform taste.

Step 10: Once all of the cups are filled, drizzle each cube with a touch of honey and cover the entire pan with aluminum foil. Wrap the foil tightly under the rim of the pan, to maintain moisture and break down the remaining fat in these morsels of deliciosness.

pork belly cubes coated with sauce and honey in muffin tray

Step 11: Return the covered pan to the cooker for about an hour or until a meat probe easily slides in and out of each cube.

Step 12: Remove from the cooker, garnish, and serve. I usually put out some party toothpicks for individual bites. Don’t worry about these getting cold, they wont last long enough to do so!

Printable Recipe

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