Low and slow-cooked pork belly is delicious all on its own, but when you top it with good quality bourbon and citrus barbecue sauce, that is truly a marvelous thing. These Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends are simply amazing. You will be pleasantly surprised by the depth this bourbon brings to the sauce and the pork belly.Jump to Recipe
I recommend using my Kansas City Rub for Pork for this pork belly burnt end recipe. You might just want to make up a good amount of this stuff and keep it on hand.
What you’ll need to make Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends:
- Pork belly, 4 pounds, and 1- 1 1/4″ thick
- Kansas City Rub for Pork or your favorite bottled rub
- Blood oranges or blood orange juice
- Regular oranges
- Real maple syrup
- Soy sauce
- Chili powder
- Unsalted butter
This pork belly will be cooked at 275 degrees F. for 4-5 hours. Look for a doneness temperature of 200 degrees. As always, it’s a good idea to have enough fuel on hand and a reliable instant-read thermometer nearby.
Wood Recommendations: Maple, Pecan, Apple, or Oak. You can also use a combination of woods if preferred.
–Use fresh orange juice for this Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends recipe. The blood oranges are essential for both color and flavor.
–Serve this recipe as an appetizer. After all, bourbon pork belly can be quite rich, so serving it along with other snackable items and cocktails is recommended.
–Use a low sodium soy sauce if preferred or tamari for dietary restrictions such as gluten sensitivity.
–Real maple syrup is essential to this pork belly recipe. I recommend avoiding maple-flavored syrups or pancake syrups for this dish. The real stuff is so worth it, and it has a milder but deliciously sweet flavor.
Bourbon Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- 1 slab pork belly 4 pounds, and 1- 1 1/4″ thick
- Aluminum foil two 20″ long pieces
- 1 disposable aluminum pan 9 x 11
- For rub:
- 1/4-1/3 cup Kansas City Rub for Pork or your favorite bottled rub
- For BBQ glaze:
- 2 small blood oranges juiced (yields 1/4 cup of blood orange juice)
- 2 oranges juiced (yields ½ cup orange juice)
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 3/8 cup ketchup 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder mild
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- Prepare your grill for 275 degrees F. You may add wood chips of choice, but honestly, it would be overkill to get this pork belly too smoky considering the scotch sauce.
- If there is a large fat cap on the pork belly, trim it down a little. If it’s ½” thick or so, leave it alone.
- Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl. Apply to both sides and edges of pork belly.
- Place pork belly fat side down in the smoker, and let it go for 3 1/2-4 hours, depending on which unit you are using. Once the temperature reaches 180 degrees F. carefully remove the pork belly and wrap it in aluminum foil. Place it back into the smoker and let it go until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees F.
- To prepare sauce:
- Add blood orange juice, regular orange juice, maple syrup, and bourbon to a saucepan.
- Simmer over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add soy sauce, ketchup, and chili powder to the mixture, and reduce heat to medium.
- Let the sauce simmer and thicken, stirring often. It will bubble up on the sides, that’s fine; just keep an eye on it. Reduce heat to low if needed. The sauce should simmer for a good 5 minutes.
- Next, stir in the 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, remove the pot from heat and let the sauce stand for 5 minutes. The sauce should be a tad runny and syrup-like.
- Remove pork belly from foil, and carefully place onto a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, cut pork belly into 1 1/4″ cubes. Place cubes into the aluminum pan, and pour sauce over the top, making sure all pieces are well coated.
- Cover the pan with foil, and place into the smoker for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and caramelized on the surface.
If you like this recipe and want to move up to the next level, try our recipe for Pork Brisket. It might just be the next big thing in barbecue.