Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Kent Rollins' Hot Cherry Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Cherry Hot Glazed Pork Belly smoked low and slow is the perfect recipe for tailgating, having a barbecue, or just because. A big pork belly costs about a third of what a brisket does and I promise you people will be stepping over each other to get a taste of these. I mean, just LOOK at them!



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How to Get Pork Belly Ready for the Smoker

Start by asking your butcher for a whole pork belly. There will be a large layer of fat over the bottom. We want to keep that fat so it will render and create an amazing flavor. By looking at the side of the pork belly, you’ll want to see some good pink meat layered throughout. Really, if it looks like the perfect piece of bacon from the side, it’s a good’un.

A beautiful 3 1/2 lb. pork belly

Tip: Before slicing, pat the pork belly dry. This will help the seasoning adhere to the surface.

The seasoning blend to start with is a mix of Rib Rub, coarse ground pepper and brown sugar. Sprinkle it over all of the pork belly and make sure you get it on every side of each piece.

Tip: Smoke pork belly on a wire rack inside a roasting pan. The airflow underneath the wire rack will allow smoke to spread the flavor all over.

Put foil down on the bottom of a roaster. This will make clean-up easier. Place the wire rack over the foil. Spread the pork belly out over the wire rack to let some air in between each piece, if possible. If they touch, don’t worry – just allow some space under the wire rack so the smoke can get all around the meat.

For a finishing touch, slice up a pat of butter and place it around on top of the pork belly to add to the flavor.

Seasoned Pork Belly seasoned with Kent Rollins Rib Rub and butter
Right before the magic happens in the smoker

What Type of Wood is Best For Smoking Pork Belly?

Start with some Fogo Hardwood Lump. For pork belly I like to use Hickory and Cherry wood. You’ll want the temperature of the smoker to be between 250-275F.

Now that everything is sliced and seasoned, it’s time to start the smoke.

How Long to Smoke Pork Belly

When the grill is pre-heated, smoke for about 2 hours and 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Remove the roaster from the smoker and add another stick of butter and some more brown sugar. Seal the roasting pan up tight with tinfoil and smoke at around 270 for about another hour.

When the hour is up, it’s time to add the cherry glaze. (See recipe below).

Smoke the pork belly with the glaze on it for about 15 minutes. You will have the most delicious pork belly burnt ends you’ve ever eaten. You will be the most popular tailgater in the whole fanbase. You better make extra!

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More Great Tailgating Recipes

Products Used in This Recipe

Kent Rollin’s Roughneck Smoker

Pork Belly Burnt Ends – Cowboy Kent Rollins

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings 10


  • 4 to 5 pound pork belly skin off
  • 1/2 cup Kent’s Rib Rub or your favorite all-purpose pork seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
  • cup light brown sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 sticks butter
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup cherry juice or 1 cup cherry preserves
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce


  • Preheat the smoker to 250 to 275 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, combine the Rib Rub, black pepper and brown sugar.
  • Cut the pork belly into 1½- inch cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl and toss in the seasoning mixture, to generously coat.
  • Place a wire rack in a large foil pan. Evenly spread the pork cubes on the wire rack. Cut 1 stick of butter into tablespoons and place on top of the pork.
  • Place the foil pan on the smoker and smoke for about 2 ½ to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the pork is 170 degrees F. I like to add a few chunks of hickory and cherry woods to the smoker for additional flavor.
  • Remove the pan from the smoker and place the pork directly in the foil pan. Cut the remaining 1 stick of butter into tablespoons and place on top of the pork. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar on top.
  • Cover with tinfoil tightly and return to the smoker. Smoke for 1 hour.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the BBQ sauce, honey, cherry juice or preserves and hot sauce.
  • Remove the tinfoil from the pan and pour the glaze over the pork belly cubes, and stir to coat. Smoke, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before serving.
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