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posted May 26, 2022

Maple Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends

These pork belly burnt ends are seasoned with my signature sweet rub and braised in a delicious maple bourbon BBQ glaze for a little bite of meat candy that will have all your neighbors drooling.

Stack of pork belly burnt ends on a wooden cutting board with text overlay - Maple Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends.

What Are Pork Belly Burnt Ends?

Ingredients for Pork Belly Burnt Ends

One reason I love these pork belly burnt ends is that they only require a few ingredients. In fact, you only need to snag 5 things from the store or your pantry to make them! It doesn’t get much easier than that! Here’s what you’ll need to make these tasty BBQ morsels.

These guys are braised in the following:

Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub being sprinkled on pork belly cubes.

How to Make Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Here’s how to make pork belly burnt ends at home in your own backyard. While they don’t require many ingredients, you do need to plan to dedicate some time to making these. Despite this, patience will definitely pay off with a tasty final result!

  1. Preheat. Turn on your favorite smoker and preheat it to 250 degrees F. You can use whatever wood you have available or pick your favorite hardwood for this recipe.
  2. Season. Spray the pork belly with cooking oil and season liberally on all sides with Sweet Rub.
  3. Smoke. Place the cubed pork belly on a cooling rack with space in between each cube. Place the rack on the grates of your smoker, and smoke for 3-4 hours. Pull the pork belly off the smoker when they have reached 165 degrees F.
  4. Braise. Place the pork belly cubes into a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Cover with Hey Grill Hey Grilling Glaze and 4 Tablespoons of cubed butter. Cover the skillet with a lid and place it back on the smoker. Smoke for another 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the pork belly burnt ends reach 195-205 degrees F and the thermometer slides in like softened butter.
  5. Rest and serve. Remove everything from the smoker and rest for 15-20 minutes. Serve with extra sauce and enjoy!

Seasoned pork belly cubes on the smoker.

How Long to Smoke Pork Belly Burnt Ends

These pork belly burnt ends will smoke for an initial 3-4 hours until they reach an internal temperature of 165-175 degrees F. Next, you’ll put them in a maple bourbon & butter glaze and continue smoking for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 195-205 degrees F.

All together expect 4 1/2 to 6 hours from start to finish to smoke these burnt ends. Keep in mind that each cut of meat and each time you smoke food will take a slightly different amount of time to get to your final target temperature. The best way to determine when your food is done is to go by temperature. Invest in a good internal meat thermometer to help guide you through your cook.

Stack of pork belly burnt ends on a wooden cutting board.

More Burnt Ends Recipes

Also known as “meat candy,” burnt ends are a special bite of meat that tastes more like a treat than a main course. If you love burnt ends as much as we do, try out these other variations below!

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Recipe

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Stack of pork belly burnt ends on a wooden cutting board.

Maple Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Susie Bulloch
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 5 hrs
Total Time : 5 hrs 15 mins
Servings : 10 people
Calories : 1258kcal


  • 5 pounds pork belly (skin removed and cut into 1.5 inch cubes)
  • ¼ cup Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub (recipe in notes)
  • avocado or canola oil

Pork Belly Burnt Ends Braise

  • ½ cup Maple Bourbon Grilling Glaze
  • 4 Tablespoons butter (cut into pieces)


  • Preheat. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F with your favorite hardwood. I like Maple wood for this recipe, but apple and cherry would work great as well.
  • Season. Spray the pork belly on all sides with cooking oil and seasoning liberally with the Hey Grill Hey Sweet Rub.
  • Smoke. Arrange the pork belly squares on a flat cooling rack so there is enough space for airflow between each piece. Place the entire rack on your smoker grates, close the lid, and smoke for about 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature reads 165-175 degrees F.
  • Braise. Transfer the smoked pork belly to a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Drizzle with about 1/2 cup of Hey Grill Hey Maple Bourbon Glaze and top with 4 Tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces.
  • Finish smoking. Cover the cast iron skillet with a lid and return to the smoker. Close the lid and continue smoking at 250 degrees F for an additional 1.5-2 hours, or until the internal temperature of your pork belly burnt ends reads between 195-205 degrees F. The internal temperature is an important indicator, but most importantly you’re looking for tenderness and it can happen anywhere in that 10-degree F range. You want your thermometer to feel like it’s sliding into your pork belly burnt ends super easily. It should feel like it is sliding into softened butter.
  • Rest and serve. Once the pork belly burnt ends are at your desired texture, remove them from the grill and let them rest for 20 minutes or so until the sauce tightens around the outside and they cook slightly. Serve with extra Maple Bourbon Grilling Glaze and plenty of napkins.


Calories: 1258kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 125g | Saturated Fat: 47g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 57g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 175mg | Sodium: 257mg | Potassium: 495mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 350IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg
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