Pork belly burnt ends is the quintessential American BBQ snack. Pitmasters have been testing and perfecting the ultimate snack for years. While the classic is my favorite, I do like to play with sauces. I’m a big bourbon guy so it only made sense for me to create a bourbon flavored sauce. And I think I just made the best one yet! Forget the store bought sauces, homemade is easy, fresh and crazy to say but better for you. The sweetness from the maple syrup, savoriness from the bourbon and little kick from the hot sauce made this the perfect coating. These Maple Bourbon Pork Belly burnt ends were smoked to perfection.
How to prep and smoke the perfect pork belly burnt ends.
While smoking pork belly burnt ends is a long process, it’s also a very simple one. Once you perfect the method you can play around with taste variations in seasonings and sauces.
Cut up a skinless slab of pork belly into 1 by 1 inch cubes. Toss it in hot sauce that will work as the binder and season with your choice of BBQ all purpose rub. Make sure the pork belly cubes are coated on all sides.
Preheat the grill to 275 degrees and set for indirect heat. Place the individual pork belly pieces directly on the grates. This will provide better air flow for the meat, cooking evenly and creating an even bark all around. Smoke for 3 hours.
Tip: Spritz them every 30-45 minutes with apple cider vinegar. This helps keep the meat moist throughout the grilling process.
How to make the best homemade Maple Bourbon BBQ sauce.
While you can use regular BBQ sauce to coat burnt ends, I really wanted to try something different and made my own sweet and savory sauce with maple and bourbon. As most of you know, I’m a big fan of bourbon so why not make a sauce out of it.
While the pork belly bites are on the grill, it’s time to make the sauce. In a sauce pan add ketchup, maple syrup, bourbon of choice, worcestershire sauce, molasses, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar and more all purpose rub. Whisk the ingredients together over low heat. Bring it to a simmer and continue cooking until the sauce thickens. The heat will cook off any alcohol from the bourbon making it safe to eat for children.
Time to sauce up the Maple Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends.
After 3 hours on the grill, move the pork belly cubes into a foil pan and cover with the homemade bourbon sauce. Cover with foil and place the pan back on the grill for an additional 45 minutes. Once done be sure to rest them for 15-20 minutes because they will be HOT! Enjoy!
Printer Friendly Recipe:
Maple Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- 2 lbs Pork belly slab
- 3 tbsp BBQ all purpose seasoning
- 1 tbsp Hot sauce
Maple Bourbon Sauce Ingredients
- 1 cup Ketchup
- 1/2 cup Bourbon
- 1/4 cup Maple syrup
- 1/4 cup Molasses
- 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Hot sauce
- 1 tbsp BBQ all purpose seasoning
- Cut up the slab of pork belly into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes. Toss it in hot sauce and season with BBQ all purpose rub.
- Preheat the grill to 275 degrees and set for indirect heat. Place the individual pork belly pieces directly on the grates. Smoke for 3 hours.
- For the BBQ sauce, in a sauce pan add ketchup, maple syrup, bourbon, worcestershire sauce, molasses, hot sauce, apple cider vinegar and more all purpose rub. Whisk the ingredients together over low heat. Bring it to a simmer and continue cooking until the sauce thickens.
- Next, move the pork belly cubes into a foil pan and toss in the homemade bourbon sauce. Cover with foil and place the pan back on the grill for another 45 minutes.
- Let it rest for 15 minutes after removing from the grill.
Be sure to visit the Recipes page for other tasty ideas.