RecipesCooking Techniques

Pork Belly Burnt Ends with Barbecue Sauce

Pork Belly Burnt Ends with Barbecue Sauce

Smoky, sweet, and a little spicy, these chunks of spice-rubbed pork belly transform into a crispy-chewy pile of pork in a smoker or oven.


Smoked Pork Belly
  • 3 pounds skinless pork belly, fat cap trimmed to 1/4-inch thickness
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup, plus 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, divided
Barbecue Sauce
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
For Serving
  • Sliced white bread
  • Pickles
  • Sliced white onion
  • Pickled whole jalapeños


  1. Cut pork belly into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Toss together pork pieces and oil in a large bowl. Whisk together salt, chile powder, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar in a small bowl; sprinkle over pork, and rub into pork to coat. Arrange pork pieces, fat cap up, in a single layer on a wire rack that will fit inside your smoker or grill.
  2. Prepare smoker according to manufacturer's instructions, bringing internal temperature to 250°F to 300°F; maintain temperature 15 to 20 minutes (if using a gas or charcoal grill, set up the grill for low indirect heat). Smoke pork on a wire rack, maintaining temperature inside smoker between 250°F and 300°F, until meat is almost tender, about 2 hours, 30 minutes.
  3. While meat is smoking, prepare the Barbecue Sauce: Stir together ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, chile powder, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne in a medium microwavable bowl until well combined. Microwave on HIGH until sauce bubbles and sugar is dissolved, 60 to 90 seconds. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. Transfer pork to a 13-by-9-inch disposable aluminum pan; add 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and remaining 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and toss to coat. Reserve remaining barbecue sauce for serving. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil, and return to smoker; continue to cook at 250°F to 300°F until meat is tender, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Remove foil cover from pan, and toss together pork and juices in pan. Continue smoking, uncovered, at 250°F to 300°F until meat is very tender and glaze starts to caramelize, 30 minutes to 1 hour more.
  6. Serve pork belly burnt ends with remaining barbecue sauce, sliced white bread, pickles, sliced white onion, and pickled jalapeños.

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