You see them more and more often, burnt ends. What are burnt ends? Where do they come from? But above all: how do you make them?
Burnt ends originated in the American barbecue culture and literally means “burned ends” of a piece of meat. In America, large pieces of meat such as brisket, pork belly and Boston butt are mainly prepared on large smokers. After the preparation and cutting of this meat, small pieces of meat often remained that were eaten afterwards. These pieces, also called “meat candy”, are often a bit crispier and very tasty.
Because these are often the ends of a large piece of meat, they often have a bit more “bark” from the marinade or dry rub. The pieces were so popular that barbecue enthusiasts started cutting larger pieces of meat into small pieces to make burnt ends.
During barbecue competitions, burnt ends are often prepared. Burnt ends can be made from both beef and pork. For beef, you can use brisket. If you want to use pork, you must use pork belly without rind.
We made the burnt ends according to the recipe below.
Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- 2 kg pork belly without rind
- dry rub of your choice
- BBQ sauce of your choice
- 20 gr caster sugar
- 40 gr butter unsalted
- a handful cherry wood chips
- Cut the pork belly across the width into strips of approx. 4 cm. Then cut the bars into cubes of about 4 cm.
- Place the cubes in an oven dish or aluminum container.
- Sprinkle the cubes with the dry rub and make sure that all sides of the cubes are covered.
- Prepare the barbecue for indirect grilling and maintain a temperature of 130 °C.
- Place a handful of wood chips in a container of water and let them soak for 30 minutes. Then drain them. When the barbecue has reached the desired temperature, throw the wood chips on the coals.
- Place the pork belly cubes loosely on the grid and leave them on the barbecue for two hours.
- Remove the pork belly cubes from the barbecue. Put them in an oven dish or aluminum container. Sprinkle them with the caster sugar and divide the butter over the dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Put the oven dish back on the grid for another two hours.
- Remove the oven dish from the barbecue and add enough barbecue sauce to cover the cubes on all sides.
- Put the burnt ends back on the BBQ for about 20 minutes. Now the sauce can caramelize nicely due to the amount of sugar in the dish.
- Serve the burnt ends as a snack, or as a meal with a nice side dish such as hasselback potatoes.