Glazed Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Sunday, August 4, 2019
If you love pork and smoked meats, these glazed pork belly burnt ends are going to be epic to you!

When I first started cooking with my smoker, I had no idea I was going to love smoked foods as much as we all do.

We have smoked just about every meat there is.

Burnt ends made with pork belly is a favorite treat now especially for an appetizer, our guests devour them in an instant.

They're so soft tender and a little sweet, with a hot kick to them.

The recipe is very easy to make and the results are fantastic.

If you have a love for pork and smoked meats this is the one to try.

I really love our new electric smoker for easy precise cooking since everything is timed and makes it much easier than smoking on the grill.

The instructions easily can be done on your grill by adding the wood chips and following this recipe using a timer and getting the heat at the right temperature.

We have also used many kinds of wood chips, our favorite with pork is cherry wood for this recipe, but you can use any other kinds you like.

The glaze these are tossed in at the end, makes them mouth-watering and irresistible!

Scroll down to the recipe card and print off how to make these delicious burnt ends.

This is an old roasting pan that has pork cubed made into burnt ends. It is glazed with a sweet shiny apricot, barbecue hot sauce and has a arugula salad with tomato on the side. This pan sits on a checkerboard napkin style paper

A Little Secret on Burnt Ends

Smoked pork belly burnt ends are tender, bursting with flavor and easy to make.

A total crowd-pleaser kind of appetizer for any kind of get together.

The sauce is a little sticky and oh so flavorful!

The real secret to smoking these burnt ends is cooking them slow and low.

Any cowgirl or cowboy is going to praise you with the first bite!

This is an old roasting pan that has pork cubed made into burnt ends. It is glazed with a sweet shiny apricot, barbecue hot sauce and has a arugula salad with tomato on the side. This pan sits on a checkerboard napkin style paper

Where Did They Originate?

Burnt ends are pretty much a legend in the barbecue world and started in Kansas City.

This beef brisket burnt end phenomenon became an addicting star on most Kansas City barbecue menus quite by accident.

Crispy chunks of beef brisket that came from the lower front end of the cow and required slow cooking to burn off the fat, making the ends burnt.

That result made a delicious cube of meat that melted in your mouth, but they were deemed to be charred, fatty and discarded.

Arthur Bryants's, pitmaster, and famous restaurant. ended up giving them away as a free snack to patrons while waiting for their menu order.

Sometime in 1972 a famous food writer and native to the city, Calvin Trillin, wrote "I dream about those burnt ends," and continued his story saying Arthur's restaurant is the best in the world.

That sure got more top-rated attention to local businesses, and soon started and making these scrumptious morsels everywhere.

The rest is history there are over 100 places that are famous for those little charred bundles.

Pork Belly is perfect for making these crispy charred bites!

This is an old roasting pan that has pork cubed made into burnt ends. It is glazed with a sweet shiny apricot, barbecue hot sauce and has a arugula salad with tomato on the side. This pan sits on a checkerboard napkin style paper

Beef or Pork?

Either way, using pork or beef brisket, these ends are delightful.

If you ever had beef brisket, you have to cook that meat low and slow to get it tender.

Use this recipe for either meat.

Brisket is much more expensive meat than pork belly.

This is a pan of burnt ends in a butter honey sauce baked with an espresso barbecue rub on top

Easy Peasy

I have an electric smoker and pretty lucky, that makes them even easier using a timer and setting the heat.

But even on a smoker gas grill, just add the wood chips you like, use a timer and make sure your gauge is at 275 degrees. Keep refilling the wood chips as they burn down for the best results.

You can set your pork cubes on oil sprayed grates or buy a wire rack to grill the pork belly on.

The smokers come with racks.  just oil spray them before adding your seasoned pork, set it and forget it!

I really love the fact that these burnt ends actually look like I've been a professional smoker cooking genius, everyone raves about them.

I am brand new to this style of cooking using an electric smoker, I have always used the gas grill.

Trust me there's nothing to it.

Even making homemade rubs and the actual homemade barbecue sauce. I have done for years. is easy peasy.

This is a pan of burnt ends in a butter honey sauce baked with an espresso barbecue rub on top in a foil pan

Espresso Rub

You can use any kind of rubs you like.

The markets and specialty stores are full of them.

We love this espresso rub for pork, it evenly flavors the pork perfectly and gives it a unique outer coating we love.

this is an espresso barbecue rub homemade for pork

Pork Belly Ends

I honestly am more apt to look for pork belly already cut up and all I have to do is trim off the skin.

I am no butcher,  but I can usually manage to get the skin off of a pork belly with no problem.

This cut of meat is pretty inexpensive and can be found at any kind of meat store, just ask the butcher.

However, if you buy a big pork belly slab and need to cut it, it's pretty simple.

Slice the skin off, then 1 inch long rows, then across to make a nice even size cube, like a crisscross.

You will need a good sharp knife to remove that skin.

this is raw pork belly being cut into cubes to be smoked to make burnt ends

Ingredients You Will Need

  • any kind of pork rub (or use my recipe)li>cubed pork belly
  • butter
  • honey
  • brown sugar
  • apple juice or water
  • apple jelly or apricot
  • hot sauce
  • barbecue sauce (any kind or use my recipe)

these are ingredients of brown sugar, butter and honey going to be put on top of a pan of pork belly that is cubed for burnt ends recipe

The First Step:

Smoke the meat with my recipe rub to get it all nicely flavored and browned with that cherry smoked flavor, but that's just the beginning.

After that first 2 1/2 hours, its time to get this juicy meat tender.

This is a pan of burnt ends in a butter honey sauce baked with an espresso barbecue rub on top butter, brown sugar and honey

Step two:

The first kind of mixture is with butter, honey and brown sugar for the next hour and a half to get into the deep veins of that pork to tenderize.

Cover and place back into your cooking smoker.

Continue to smoke this adding chips.

Be patient it's worth!

this is an aluminum pan full of pork belly cubed to make burnt ends in a smoker

Final Step is the Glaze:

This is just a fast combination of flavors with a barbecue sauce of choice ( or use my recipe) a little hot sauce and sweetness with jelly.

We like the apricot and pineapple jelly, you can use whatever you have, it really doesn't matter.

Just get it smooth by warming on the stovetop or microwave.

these are three ingredients to make the glaze for burnt ends, jelly, homemade barbecue sauce and water

Woods To Use

The go-to wood chips around here for smoking is cherry wood, but applewood, pecan, and peach are all pretty good too.

It's really a matter of taste.

It is subtly sweet with a mild flavor that goes great with the pork belly.

Avoid maple and mesquite for smoking pork, as they are much too strong

Again, the best wood is honestly the one that you like the best.

This is cherry wood used to fill the a chamber for a smoker to smoke meats. This is a bag of Western cherry wood chips for grill of smoker


  • Make the rub and place in a mason jar, it lasts a long time if you make a large batch for more smoking meals
  • Make all the sauces first and put them aside
  • Preheat the grill to 275 degrees or smoker
  • Always spray your grates, wire rack or pan you may be using
  • Smokers have the racks in them already for a regular grill you will need to buy a wire rack
  • Don't forget if you are using an electric smoker to add the water in that bottom tray or apple juice
  • Smoking chips are a preference, I like the cherry, apple and peach the best
  • You can purchase pork belly at a meat market already cleaned and cubed or do it yourself with some easy tips below
  • You will also need aluminum disposable pans after it's initially smoked for the glazing steps
  • One more tip, after they are done, let them rest 10 minutes before eating them!
  • The perfect appetizer for any party

This is a pan of burnt ends in a butter honey sauce baked with an espresso barbecue rub on top

Other Recipes You May Like

Oven Smoked Pulled Pork

Baked Barbecued Chicken

Barbecued Cowboy 15 Beans

My Master Built Smoker at 275 degrees ready to smoke pork belly burnt ends

Pin for Later

Watch my Quick Video on Burnt Ends

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Yield: 8

This is a pan of burnt ends in a butter honey sauce baked with an espresso barbecue rub on top

Glazed Pork Belly Burnt Ends

prep time: 25 Mcook time: 4 H & 5 Mtotal time: 4 H & 30 M
This is a recipe for smoked burnt ends using a grill or electric smoker. They have a homemade rub, then smoked for several hours, drizzled with the honey barbecued mixture, smoked again and in the end drizzled with an apple glaze.


  • 8 pounds of cleaned, cubed pork belly ( did half this recipe and used 4 pounds)
  • wire rack
  • oil spray
  • aluminum pan disposable kind or any baking pan
  • wood chips ( cherry, apple or peach)
  • Espresso Rub for Pork Belly
  • 2 tablespoons ground espresso
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • if you want a little heat, then add some red pepper flakes
  • Combine espresso, brown sugar, salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and black pepper (and red pepper flakes if using) in a small bowl and blend well. This can be made in bulk and kept for at least 6 months in a mason jar in a cool dry place. This makes enough for 6 pounds.
  • First Glaze ( after 2 1/2 hours of smoking with rub)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Dot the top with pieces of butter evenly, drizzle the honey and sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Cook in smoker 1 1/2 hours.
  • Ending Glaze ( This goes on after the last glaze is drained for 5 minutes back in the smoker)
  • 4 tablespoons apricot juice, apple juice or water
  • 4 tablespoons apricot, pineapple or any kind of jelly
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce any kind
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • Combine in a saucepan and heat until smooth. Drizzle over drained burnt ends place back on the smoker, uncovered, or on your grill for 5 minutes.
  • Note: this recipe is written for 8 pounds of burnt ends, you will have to cut it in half to make only 4 lbs


How to cook Glazed Pork Belly Burnt Ends

  1. Preheat your grill to 275 degrees.
  2. Spray an aluminum foil disposable pan with oil spray set aside.
  3. Oil spray wire racks on your grill or smoker racks that you are using.
  4. Cube the pork belly into squares as close to the same size as possible, trimming off the skin leaving the fat.
  5. Note: I remove the skin, you can leave it on if you want to. After researching, there are a lot of body toxins on pig skin so I choose to remove it.
  6. Mix the rub in a dish or ziplock bag and shake the pork cubes into the mixture.
  7. Place on a rack if doing this on a barbecue grill or if using a smoker on the middle rack.
  8. The grill should read or smoker 275 degrees when ready and set it for 2 1/2 hours.
  9. Fill the container for smoking chips with cherry wood.
  10. Don't forget (in the smoker) to add the water in the tray or apple juice. (not for the grill instructions)
  11. After the 2 1/2 hours, add the pork belly to an aluminum foil disposable pan.
  12. Next Step:
  13. First glaze: Cube the butter and measure out the sugar and honey.
  14. Dot the pork belly in the aluminum pan, with the butter, then evenly and drizzle the sugar and honey over the top.
  15. Cover with foil.
  16. Place back on your grill or smoker at 275 degrees, for 1 1/2 hours, this will tenderize the meat.
  17. Final Step:
  18. Ending Glaze:, combine the jelly, juice, barbecue sauce and hot sauce ingredients on low heat until smooth then drain off the juice from the first glaze, drizzle with this ending glaze for 5 minutes in your smoker/grill.
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Pin for Later

This is a pin for later how to make burnt ends using pork belly in a smoker glazed in a honey barbecue sauce

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This is a pan of burnt ends in a butter honey sauce baked with an espresso barbecue rub on top in a foil pan