Smoked Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Last Updated on by What’s Smoking

Smoked crispy pork belly burnt ends are a mouthwatering pork dish that has taken the barbecue world by storm. These delectable pieces of meat candy are made from succulent pieces of pork belly that are slow-cooked until tender, then finished on the grill or in the oven to achieve a perfect charred exterior. The result is a combination of crispy, caramelized edges and melt-in-your-mouth meat that will leave you coming back for more. In this article, we will explore what are pork belly burnt ends, how they are prepared, and why they have become a beloved favorite among smoking enthusiasts everywhere.

What Are Pork Belly Burnt Ends?

For someone not familiar with BBQ or smoked food, this is a legit question. Pork Belly Burnt Ends are a mouthwatering BBQ dish that has become a must prepare dish in the world of BBQ. This dish consists of cubes of pork belly that are seasoned, smoked, and then caramelized with a sweet and sticky glaze.

The end result is a mouthwatering dish that melts in your mouth. Sometimes referred to as PBE or meat candy, pork belly burnt ends are sure to satisfy any carnivorous cravings with their irresistible combination of bold flavors, tender, juicy, and flavorful bite-sized piece of meat that is sure to satisfy any carnivore’s cravings.

The recipe we are about to delve into, takes traditional pork belly burnt ends and adds a twist by smoking these with the skin on and adding a nice crunch to the melt in your mouth flavor. We are going to now dive further into this amazing recipe!

Crispy Pork Belly Recipe

We are going to start off with a slab of pork belly, you will not want to get pork belly strips for this recipe but a slab of pork belly with the skin on. I got my slab at Costco, it was about 9 lbs.

For starters, we need to pierce the skin to allow the salt pull as much moisture out as possible. I used a sharp item for decorative baking. A fork is not sharp enough. If you do not have something, as shown below a knife will work as well. You are going to make a lot of these holes all over.

After piercing it, we are going to dry brine the pork belly with a whole lot of salt. You are going to flip the pork belly over, skin side up and generously coat it with salt. The goal is too pull as much of the moisture out of the skin as we can. Depending on the size of your slab, you are going to use about 2-3 cups of kosher salt. If you do not have kosher salt, pink Himalayan salt is a great substitute as well. If you are going to err, do so on the side of more salt than less.

After laying the salt down on the skin, take the slab and refrigerate and do so for anywhere from a minimum of 12 hours up to 24 hours. I usually split the difference and do about 18 hours of brining. Do not cover the pork belly when brining.

After brining, we are going to move to the next steps. First thing we are going to do after dry brining, is to remove the salt. You should be able to scrape it off with a butter knife, or if you have some other kitchen tool, that is relatively flat blade. Once you have the salt off, pat dry and flip the slab over, pork belly side now up.

Pork belly side up we are going to start scoring the pork belly. The key aspect of this, is we are only going to score, down to the skin, DO NOT, slice through the skin, as it will make the rest of the recipe, nearly unmanageable. When slicing, we are looking for cubes of approximately 1″ x1″.

After scoring the pork belly, we are moving on to dry rub seasoning and BBQ sauce.

Seasoning Crispy Skin Pork Belly

As far as seasoning and dry rubs, the choices are endless. I landed with a Kinder’s Brown Sugar Rub. It is a more traditional flavor profile when it comes to making pork belly burnt ends. When seasoning with the rub, take the extra time to open up the areas you scored, with a butter knife and getting as much rub in between the cubes. It will take a little bit of time and patience but will be totally worth it.

After the the rub, we are going to add the simple BBQ sauce. For this recipe, I modified some Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce with two additional ingredients. You only need two ingredients to make this modification.

  • BBQ sauce
  • Honey
  • Bourbon

Simply add the ingredients, to a small pot and let simmer on a low heat for about 10 minutes, until all three ingredients are well blended. Let the BBQ sauce cool down when you are done, just for a few minutes and then you can start to apply it. As I did with the rub, work the BBQ sauce into all the area we scored, so we get the most coverage and flavor on these cubed pork belly pieces. When you have the BBQ slathered on, you can get these on the smoker.

Smoked Pork Belly with Skin

You will want to get your smoker up and running while you are prepping the pork belly cubes. Cherry wood is a great pairing for this recipe but feel free to mix it up and choose something to your liking. Set your smoker for 225° and while this is getting up to temperature you can work on final preparations for the pork belly.

Once you are finished getting the pork belly prepped and the smoker is up to temperature you can place the pork belly on. When getting it on the smoker, I used my Weber Smokey Mountain, I placed the skin side down on the smoker. We want to retain as much of the BBQ sauce as possible by placing it skin side down. We are going to smoke this until the internal temperature reaches 175°. While its on there you will not need to do anything, just let it ride. Depending on the size of your pork belly slab, you could be looking at approximately 3-4 hours for this process.

Use the ThermoPro TP19H to spot check your IT.

We are going to finish this recipe in the oven with some high heat to finish crisping the skin. Before you are ready to pull the slab off the smoker and either set your broil to “High” or crank up the oven to 500°. Broil is the better option here but the oven on high heat will do the trick as well. We will place this in the oven now, skin side up.

This part in the oven can happen fast, you are going to want to keep an eye on the pork belly during this time period. It should only be in the oven for about 15-20 minutes while we work on getting a nice crisp on the skin. While in there the edges will get some char on them but that should also enable the center portions of the skin to crisp up for you.

After about 10-15 minutes do a check and see how much crisp you are getting on the skin, and then if its not done, keep checking every few minutes based on the progress you are making. As soon as you reached desired crispiness of the skin, go ahead and remove it from the oven.

Per usual, give it a few minutes to rest and then you can sauce it up again and finish slicing the cubes. After slicing, you can enjoy this dish.

Concluding Smoked Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Start your summer BBQ’s off with a bang this summer by serving up some smoked crispy pork belly burnt ends to your guests. Get their taste buds going with this melt in your mouth appetizer. Sweet and tangy, you are going to make this a recurring menu item when hosting!

Looking for some other recipes, here are a few suggestions:

Thanks for being here and checking out this Smoked Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!

Smoked Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Smoked Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Crispy pork belly burnt ends are a melt in your mouth piece of meat, combine with a crackle that will have you coming back for more.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes


  • 9 lbs. of skin on pork belly
  • Kinder's Brown Sugar Rub
  • 2 cups of salt

BBQ Sauce

  • 2 cups of BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup bourbon


  1. Remove the pork belly from the packaging, turn skin side up
  2. Generously coat the skin with the salt for a dry brine
  3. Place in the regfrigator for 12-24 hours
  4. After the 12-24 hours brine, remove from the regfrigator remove the salt and then pat dry. Continue to next steps to prepare for the smoker.
  5. Turn the pork belly, skin side down and score the pork belly. DO NOT slice through the skin, just down to the skin. Make approx. 1"x1" cubes.
  6. After scoring, coat with the dry rub, ensure to get as much dry rub into the areas you scored.
  7. Make the BBQ sauce by combining the BBQ sauce, honey and bourbon and simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. If you want, you can just use a store bought BBQ sauce.
  8. After the BBQ sauce is made, slather the pork belly slab up, getting again, as much into the scored areas as possible.
  9. Prep the smoker with cherry wood for 225°.
  10. When the smoker is up to temperature, place the pork belly slab on the skin side down.
  11. Smoke for about 3 hours or until we reach an IT of 175°
  12. When you reach and IT of 175°, remove from the smoker and transfer to the oven, skin side up.
  13. Broil in the oven on high or crank the oven up to 500° and monitor until skin is crispy. This should be about 15 minutes. Monitor closely because you can burn quickly.
  14. Once skin is crispy, remove from the oven. Let the pork belly rest for about 10 minutes.
  15. Turn skin side down add additional BBQ sauce and then finish slicing through the skin and serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 671Total Fat: 44gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 171mgSodium: 3312mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 47g

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