You’d be hard-pressed to find a food more universally adored than bacon. It’s such a staple in American cuisine–and American culture in general–that it’s difficult to imagine anything better. As it turns out, though, there is a lesser-known meat treat that’s proving a worthy challenger. We asked some of our MEATER fans whether they preferred classic bacon or pork belly burnt ends, and the latter proved to be the pinnacle of pork dishes.
These tasty bites are the perfect blend of sweet and smoky, with just a little kick to add some excitement. You can also put your own spin on the flavor by using any BBQ sauce you’d like for the final step! Whatever you choose, these melt-in-your-mouth indulgences will make you look like a pro at your next gathering!
- 8 lbs pork belly
- 4 tbsps kosher salt
- 2 tbsps paprika
- 2 tbsps chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 cups brown sugar
- ¾ cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
- Preheat your smoker to 225F/107C.
- In a bowl, create your rub by combining the salt, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, and 1 cup of brown sugar. Whisk together with a fork.
- Cut the pork belly into 1.5 inch cubes, and liberally coat each cube with your rub mixture.
- Place the pork belly cubes on a wire rack, making sure to leave at least 1 inch between them. Insert your MEATER probe in the largest cube, set up a pork belly cook to the “Fall Apart” doneness in the app, and place the rack in your smoker. Once you’ve started your cook, tap the bell icon, and set an alert for when your internal temperature rises above 180F/82C.
- Once you reach 180F/82C, place the pork belly cubes in an aluminum tin, and generously coat the top of the pork with the remaining brown sugar.
- Cube the butter and disperse it over the top of the pork.
- Cover the tin with foil, making sure that the black ceramic portion of your MEATER probe is sticking out. Put the tin into your smoker, and pump up the heat to 325F/163C.
- When your MEATER app gives you the “Remove From Heat” alert, take the pork out of your smoker, but don’t turn off the heat yet!
- Brush BBQ sauce on each cube and place them back on the wire rack. Cook the pork belly in the smoker for an additional 10 minutes at 325F/163C.