Sweet and tender, Pork Belly Burnt Ends are smoked low and slow until each bite is a nugget of super condensed flavor.
“Burnt Ends” originally referred to the over-cooked and flavorful meat cut from the ‘point’ half of a smoked brisket. Burnt ends are the ends and edges that get cooked first before the thicker middle section gets done. They became so popular, pitmasters took note, and now burnt ends were added to many restaurant menus.
A traditional part of Kansas City barbecue, burnt ends are considered a delicacy in barbecue cooking. Either the entire brisket is cooked whole, then the point end removed and cooked further, or the point and flat are separated prior to cookin
Pitmasters then started trimming the ends from pork ribs and pork belly and them serving as burnt ends. Basically, any meat pieces can be prepared and served as burnt ends.
As you probably know bacon and pork belly is all the rage. You’ll find both on a lot of menus now. I had Burnt Ends was at a local restaurant. They were smoked then glazed with honey. I was hooked the very first bite! You can check out my Forklift review for their take on pork belly.
Pork belly is un-cured, not smoked, and not sliced. Bacon is cured with salt, smoked, and almost always sliced. It is, however, the same cut of pork.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends
I first had a pork belly dish two years ago at Kanye Prime in Nashville, TN. It was Cotton Candy Pork Belly. It was an appetizer that had spun sugar on top and it was amazing. I really wanted a huge portion and nothing else for dinner that night. For more, take a look at it in this post.
This pork is smoked much like ribs and Boston butts are. However, the process is quicker than for those larger meats.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- Using a long sharp knife, remove the rind by slicing it away from the rest of the pork belly.
- Slice the belly into two inch cubes
- Mix paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dry mustard, and thyme to make the seasoning. Rub the seasoning all over the pork belly.
- Place the cubes in aluminum pans and hit with the oil and rub and work the cubes around until they are coated evenly
- Smoke for about 2 hours at 300 degrees F
- Cover with foil and place back in the smoker. Continue to smoke until the cubes caramelize and reach an internal temperature of 195-205°F. The pork should pass the toothpick test which is about an hour to 90 minutes when done. A toothpick slides in and out of the meat with no effort at all and comes out clean.