Cooking with Fire Episode 38: Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pitmaster Josh Cary and Chef Tom Jackson talk a bit about a food with almost no history, pork belly burnt ends, and discuss what makes them so fantastic.

Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Ingredients

  • 5 lb pork belly, skin off
  • BBQ Rub (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 6 tbsp wildflower honey, divided
  • BBQ Sauce (recipe below)

For the BBQ Rub:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the BBQ sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

Preheat your smoker to 250ºF.

Slice the pork belly into 2” cubes. Rub the cubes with a light coat of oil. Season with the BBQ rub. Transfer to the smoker, leaving space around each cube. Smoke until a mahogany brown bark is formed on the outside, about 3 hours.

Remove the pork cubes from the grill. Place on a sheet of foil in a single layer. Pour the apple juice and 3 tablespoons honey over the pork. Wrap tightly with the foil. Return the foil to the smoker.

Increase the grill temperature to 300ºF. Continue cooking until the cubes are very tender, nearly falling apart, about 45 minutes. The internal temperature will be around 205ºF-210ºF.

While the pork cooks, combine the bbq sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce to low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Open the foil packet. Pour about 1/2 cup sauce over the pork burnt ends. Drizzle the remaining 3 tbsp honey over the top as well. Toss gently to coat. Return to the grill and cook until the sauce is tacky, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from the smoker and serve warm.

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