I have a confession to make. The first time I tried to make this style of burnt ends, I totally failed. But that’s just the thing about cooking with fire– it’s all a work in progress. Now we’re back for part 2, and it’s better than ever! These Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends are inspired by Chef Cuso, and they are pretty freakin’ awesome.
You know I love pork belly– after all, it’s the place bacon comes from! I’ve cooked pork belly in a variety of different delicious recipes. Between Fried Pork Belly Tacos, Sriracha Bourbon Pork Belly, and Crispy Korean Pork Belly Sandwiches, it’s safe to say I can’t get enough. These Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends are a new one for me, and I’m stoked to be adding them to my pork belly recipe arsenal.
With just a little bit of time and a whole lot of pork belly, you’ll be ready to serve four people. All you need is 30 minutes of prep and an hour of cooking time.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Pork Belly Recipe
- Ingredients for Pork Belly Cubes
- How to Make Smoked Pork Belly
- Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends Tips and Tricks
- How to Store Leftovers & Reheat
- What to Serve With Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- More with Pork
- Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe FAQ’s
- Flavor X Fire & FOOD X Fire
- Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe
Why You’ll Love This Pork Belly Recipe
This is a mashup of Pork Belly Burnt Ends, Crispy Pork, and Chicarrones. The key is the dry brine, making the skin super dry the night before with the salt. It dries out of the skin and lets you get that classic crunchiness.
You can use your favorite BBQ seasonings and sauces for this. I made a Honey GLD BBQ sauce that I thought would go well with it, so I’ll walk you through that process too. In the end, you’ll have some delicious meat candy full of complex smoky flavor.
Ingredients for Pork Belly Cubes
To make this easy recipe, all you need is skin-on pork belly, kosher salt, my Sticky Bourbon Brown Ale Rub (or your fave BBQ seasoning), and white vinegar.
You’ll also make your own Honey GLD BBQ Sauce out of dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, honey, and my GLD FYR Hot Sauce (or your fave hot sauce).
How to Make Smoked Pork Belly
The cooking process for the best pork belly is even easier than you might expect– just a few easy steps and you’ll be enjoying some juicy cubes of pork belly.
Begin 24 hours before cooking. Pat the skin dry on your pork belly then thoroughly poke tiny holes all over the skin. Add a layer of kosher salt over the skin, then place in the fridge uncovered. Let sit for at least 24 hours to dry out the skin.
Next, heat up a skillet over medium low heat and add all the ingredients for the Honey GLD BBQ sauce. Let simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes) then pull off and let cool. Store in the fridge until the next day. Alternatively, you can make this day of in the charcoal box of your smoker while the pork belly is cooking.
Cooking Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends
The next day, pull out the pork belly and brush off all the salt from the skin. Flip the pork belly over and make perpendicular slits every 2” both ways down the pork belly, but make sure not to pierce the skin on the bottom. Slather the pork belly with GLD FYR hot sauce and season generously with Sticky Bourbon Brown Ale Rub.
To start the smoking process, preheat the smoker to medium heat (about 250F) for indirect cooking.
Add the pork belly skin side up to the preheated smoker and let cook for 3 hours, checking with a meat thermometer to know when it’s done. Once the meat’s internal temperature is 175 degrees F and the skin is a light red color, brush some white vinegar over the top of the skin.
Heat up your oven to 400F and place the pork belly on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Place in the oven to cook for 8-12 minutes or until the skin has bubbled up and is very crispy. Pull out into a disposable aluminum pan and let cool.
Drizzle your warmed up, homemade Honey GLD BBQ Sauce over the meat side of the pork belly, then slice up the burnt ends with a sharp knife along your already “almost” cubed pieces until you have one-inch cubes.
Serve your cubed pork belly and enjoy!
Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends Tips and Tricks
Before smoking the pork belly, it’s really important to remove as much salt as possible from the dry brining process. You can clean the majority of it quickly with a paper towel. To ensure it’s completely clear of salt, get a fresh paper towel and clean it again. This time making sure to get every nook and cranny of the pork belly.
Also, don’t skip the vinegar wipedown on the pork skin before placing it in the oven. This helps that skin to get nice and crispy once put in the broiler.
A great way to store your cooked pork belly burnt ends until you’re ready to serve them is to keep them in an aluminum pan with a lid on. If you’re making this recipe for a potluck-style gathering, you can use some food warmer cans to keep your pork belly warm and ready to go during the entire event.
If you’d like to make the final product look more put-together, sprinkle some chopped green onions on top of the finished pork belly.
How to Store Leftovers & Reheat
You can store your leftovers in a disposable pan with a foil cover. The next time you want to enjoy some pork belly pieces, heat them up on the grill if possible. You can also put them in a glass pan and bake them in the oven if that’s more convenient. The results will be delicious either way!
What to Serve With Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends
These epic pork cubes make for an amazing main dish or fun appetizer for any gathering. It’s a great idea to pair your delicious pork belly with some cooked green beans, cornbread, and baked cinnamon apples.
Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe FAQ’s
If you’re wondering how pork belly bites get their name, you might be surprised how straightforward the answer is. This fatty cut of meat comes from the belly of the pig. This is the same area bacon comes from, so if you’re a bacon lover, pork belly might be for you!
Typically, burnt ends are made from brisket, which is a cut of beef. However, they can also be made out of pork belly. This is why I specify when I’m making my burnt ends out of pork belly. If you’d like to try other types of burnt ends, try our Brisket Burnt Ends, Smoked Bologna Burnt Ends, or Smoked Salmon Burnt Ends.
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Crispy Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- 6 lbs Skin On Pork Belly
- 1.5 cups Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Sticky Bourbon Brown Ale Rub
- 1.5 tbsp White Vinegar
Honey GLD BBQ Sauce:
- 3 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
- 2 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tbsp of Brown Sugar
- 1.5 tbsp of Honey
- 2 tsp of GLD FYR Hot Sauce
- Begin 24 hours before cooking. Pat the skin dry on your pork belly then thoroughly poke tiny holes all over the skin.
- Add a layer of kosher salt over the skin, then place in the fridge uncovered.
- Let sit for at least 24 hours to dry out the skin.
- Next, heat up a skillet over medium low heat and add all the ingredients for the Honey GLD BBQ sauce.
- Let simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes) then pull off and let cool. Store in the fridge until the next day.
- Next day, pull out the pork belly and brush off all the salt from the skin.
- Flip the pork belly over and make slits every 2” both ways making sure not to pierce the skin.
- Slather the pork belly with GLD FYR hot sauce and season generously with Sticky Bourbon Brown Ale Rub.
- Preheat the smoker to 250F for indirect cooking.
- Add the pork belly skin side up to the smoker and let cook for 3 hours.
- Once the meat is 175F internal and the skin is a light red color, brush some white vinegar over the top.
- Heat up your oven to 400F and place the pork belly on a baking sheet with a wire rack.
- Place in the oven to cook for 8-12 minutes or until the skin has bubbled up and is very crispy.
- Pull out and let cool.
- Drizzle some warmed up Honey GLD BBQ Sauce over the meat side of the pork belly, then slice up the burnt ends. Serve and enjoy!