This Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls recipe is my idea of pure fun. Inspired by my good friend @jortskitchen, we will turn pork belly burnt ends into pinwheels. Fileting the pork belly in half helps get a tight cinnamon roll shape. It’s a savory twist (a big one!) on the classic breakfast rolls. Whether you make this recipe today or next week, you’re gonna love it!
Heads up, make sure to control the temperature in the grill and add some foil under the grill gates so we can catch the all fat drippings.
The vanilla icing is optional, but man, do I recommend it! The sweet and salty is so freakin’ delicious.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love Smoked Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls
This recipe combines some of my favorites: pork belly, maple bourbon rub, brown sugar, and a touch of real Bourbon.
- Pork Belly – skin off, we’ll filet it open before sprinkling it with our filling and rolling it up for that classic cinnamon roll spiral.
- Maple Bourbon Rub – this maple syrup-inspired rub has a touch of smoky sweetness
- Brown Sugar – The molasses left on the sugar makes it so perfect for pairing with pork belly.
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- Unsalted butter – You’ll need a cup, which is two sticks of butter for this recipe.
- Brown Sugar – No cinnamon roll glaze would be complete without brown sugar.
- Cinnamon – That sweet, spiced flavor that packs a punch. We simply can’t have a cinnamon roll without this delicious spice, it’s literally in the name.
- Bourbon – you’ll only need a large spoonful, but it will make all the difference to the flavor of the glaze
- Powdered sugar – Did you know that if you don’t have any powdered sugar on hand, you can grind some up in your coffee grinder. Problem solved.
- Heavy cream – Helps bind the icing together and gives it the indulgent creaminess.
- Vanilla extract – Make sure to get real vanilla extract; the fake stuff doesn’t cut it.
How to Make Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls
Start by slicing that pork belly down the middle, like you’re giving it a good book-style cut. Then, season one side with the magic combo of maple bourbon and brown sugar.
Then roll it up, tie it with some twine, and make thick slices between the strands to make your “cinnamon rolls.” Sprinkle the rest of the maple bourbon and brown sugar rub on those rolls.
Now, get your smoker ready at a nice 250 degrees Fahrenheit – we’re cooking indirectly, you know, letting that smoky goodness work its magic.
Toss those Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls onto the smoker for about 4-5 hours until they hit 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside.
Once they’re at the perfect temp, throw them into a foil bin. Mix up a glaze with cinnamon and bourbon – the good stuff – and drizzle it all over those rolls.
Cover them up with foil and let them hang out for another 1-1.5 hours until they’re tender enough for a probe.
Once they’re done, give them a little breather for 15 minutes. While they cool, whip up a sweet vanilla icing. Drizzle that goodness over the top of your Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls.
Now, just plate ’em up and dive in – it’s time to enjoy!
To bring out a little saltiness in the sweet icing, sprinkle with a tiny bit of kosher salt.
What to Serve with Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls
Due to the savory sweetness of our cinnamon rolls, I’d balance it out with some scrambled eggs seasoned with simply salt and pepper… You could also add some garlic if you’d like to get a bit more adventurous.
I also wouldn’t mind some roasted veggies for a fresh, crisp bite. You could add in some asparagus, mushrooms, or bell peppers. You could even sautéed them in with your scrambled eggs and you’ll be eating like a king.
Hash browns are another good options. I like potatoes in all forms, but there’s something extra delicious about some crispy hash browns for breakfast. Yum!
Leftovers & Reheating
If you have leftovers, I’d store them in the same aluminum pan that I cooked them in. Just cover the top with more aluminum foil and then place in the fridge.
If you have the ability to store them without the icing already on top, that would be ideal. But if not, no worries. You might just have to re-icing them upon reheating.
When the time to reheat comes rolling around, preheat your fire or oven to a medium/medium low heat (around 250F). Place the foil bin with the pork belly cinnamon rolls in your smoker or in the oven. Leave them there for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re warmed to your liking.
Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls FAQs
If you don’t have my Maple Bourbon Rub, don’t let it deter you from making this recipe! Simply sub it for one of your favorite rubs that brings some sweetness.
You could also mix some bourbon with warmed maple syrup and brush it on the inside of the pork belly before rolling into the cinnamon rolls. Be creative and let your inner chef guide you!
A spicy cinnamon roll?! Heck yes.
If this recipe seems a bit heavy on the syrup and brown sugar for your taste, then you can definitely spice it up!
To do this, I’d use some hot sauce as a binder and something like my Cherry Chipotle Ale Rub or Hickory Peach Porter Rub to sub for the Maple Bourbon Rub. You still get a bit of sweet from the cherry or peach, but those flavors also pair well with heat. Give it a try and tell us what you think!
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Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls
- 10 lbs Pork Belly skin off
- 3 cups Maple Bourbon Rub
- 2 cups Brown Sugar
Cinnamon Bourbon Glaze:
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter melted
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Bourbon
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 3 tbsp Heavy Cream
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- Begin by fileting open your pork belly so that it's cut in half lengthwise.
- Season the inside half of your maple bourbon and brown sugar.
- Roll into a log and tie 5-6 butcher twine strands about 2-3” apart. Slice in between the strands to show your “cinnamon rolls”.
- Season the rolls with the rest of the maple bourbon and brown sugar rub.
- Preheat your smoker for 250F cooking indirectly.
- Add your Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls to the smoker to cook for 4-5 hours until 165F internal.
- Once you hit temperature, add the rolls to a foil bin.
- Mix all the ingredients for the Cinnamon Bourbon Glaze in a bowl and drizzle over the top of the rolls.
- Cover with foil and cook for another 1-1.5 hours until probe tender.
- Pull off and let cool for 15 minutes once done.
- In a bowl, mix together the ingredients for the vanilla icing and drizzle over the top of the Pork Belly Cinnamon Rolls. Serve and enjoy!