The entire season has come down to this moment. All of the blood, sweat, and tears shed through twenty weeks of gladiator duels to get to the last two teams standing. In honor of their sacrifices and hard work, let’s grill a bunch of food and feast into a food coma! The Winter Game Day Series continues with perhaps the most perfect appetizer ever for a football game, much less the Super Bowl – Pigskin Classic Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends. Succulent fatty pork belly smoked and rendered till burnt and glorious, and then caramelized with sticky sauce to make bite-sized morsels of goodness. A bowl of these and a refreshing drink, and I am good!
Begin with a large pork belly of at least five pounds cut into two-inch cubes. Create a dry rub of brown sugar, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Combine olive oil and the dry rub with pork belly cubes, and then smoke in smoker or grill at 225 degrees for 3 hours until dark and lovely. Remove the cubes into a foil pan and combine with your favorite barbecue sauce, butter, and honey. Continue to smoke or grill for another 90 minutes. These burnt ends with dark color and crust are addictive nuggets of love combining savory with salt and sweet. So fire up the grill, grab your favorite drink, and get ready for the pigskin classic with the Winter Game Day Series.
Pigskin Classic Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Ingredients
- 5 pounds of pork belly, sliced into cubes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup dry rub
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup kosher salt (we use Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
- 4 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Sauce
- 1 cup favorite BBQ sauce, we used Pinot Noir BBQ Sauce
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
Pigskin Classic Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends Directions
- Preheat smoker to 225 – 250 degrees using fruitwood (we used cherry for color and sweeter flavor)
- Trim excess skin and fat off the pork belly and slice into 2-inch cubes, and place into a large bowl.
- Add olive oil and dry rub liberally, and then place cubes onto a wire rack or directly on the smoker.
- Smoke uncovered for three hours. Look for a darker red color and a modest bark to develop.
- Remove the pork belly cubes from the smoker, place them into a foil pan and then add your BBQ sauce, butter, honey, and stir. Next, cover the pan with aluminum foil and put it back on the smoker.
- Cook for an additional 90 minutes or until the internal temperature (IT) is roughly 200 – 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the foil, close the lid to the smoker, and smoke for another 15 minutes to let the sauce thicken up.
- Remove from smoker and serve.
- Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Transfer to an airtight serving container (like a mason jar or other dry rub container). It will keep for up to a year if sealed tight and kept in a cool place.