Everyone loves to make pork belly burnt ends but what if we took it a step further by wrapping it in bacon. What if we want even further by using slab bacon instead of raw pork belly. What if we went even further and smoked it on a pellet grill then glazed them in bbq sauce.
And that my friends is how bacon inception was born. This recipe for pork belly burnt ends goes off the rails in a most delicious way and makes you question everything you thought you knew about bacon.
Pork Belly is a fatty section located on the underside of the pig attached to the loin and spare ribs. Most pork belly is cured and turned into slab bacon or roasted and sliced.
Pork Belly may have the skin attached which will become very crispy when dried and roasted. The skin may be removed and turned into pork rinds or chicharrones.
Slab Bacon is just Pork Belly that has been cured with salt sugar and other ingredients. Both products are raw and should be cooked before serving.
Start with about a 3 pound piece of Slab Bacon and cut into 1.5-2 inch cubes.
Wrap each cube with one sliced of bacon then season with your favorite dry rub. Used Big Poppa Smokers Sweet Money Rub which is fantastic for pork.
Once the Bacon wrapped bacon is seasoned place each cube on a baking rack then set in the smoker set at 250 degrees F for about 3 hours.
Once the bacon has a deep mahogany color remove the pork belly from the smoker and place in an aluminum pan then cover and return to the smoker for about 2 more hours until the pork belly is tender.
Glaze each cube of pork belly with BBQ sauce. I used a fantastic sauce from Utz Works 181 Competition Sauce.
Place the pork belly back on the smoker for 20-30 minutes until the sauce has candied up on the meat. Now you may taste what pork belly burnt ends on crack taste like. Pure Pork Perfection!!!
If you sadly don't have a smoker or just want to make pork belly burnt ends in the oven Ive got you covered.
Follow all of the same instructions above but set the baking rack on top of a sheet pan and bake in the oven set at 300 degrees F. for about 90 minutes instead of 2 hours.
Then transfer to a container and cover and bake for another hour.
finally Place the pork belly burnt ends back on the rack, glaze with sauce and bake for 15 minutes until the sauces has candied up and attached to the meat.
Everything effects your cook time when smoking. The temperature outside, the humidity the type of smoker you're using. cook to color and tenderness not to time and temperature. smoking takes practice and its not an exact science.
Try to cut the pork belly into evenly sized cubes so all the pieces will cook in about the same amount of time.
Shake off as much excess sauce as possible when glazing the pork belly burnt ends. you don't want the sauce to overpower the meat. if you don't want to sauce the burnt ends don't. some people prefer the dry rub and that's totally ok.
Serve with pickles. Whenever Im eating something rich and fatty like pork belly I like to have something with a vinegar tang to cut through all the richness. Pickled Jalapeños, Okra or green beens are also great options.