This recipe appears in my book "Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue." It comes courtesy of the Old Arthur Barbecue Sauce Company which currently sells a number of barbecue sauce and spice rubs product based on recipes of Old Arthur Watts who learned to barbecue while enslaved. Pork belly burnt ends are a riff on the traditional burnt ends made from beef brisket. This recipe calls for a 3-step process that candies the pork belly by smoking, rendering, and then adding barbecue sauce at the end of the smoking process.


Recipe Summary

30 mins
5 hrs 30 mins
6 hrs
24 servings


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat a smoker to an internal temp of approximately 235 degrees F (113 degrees C). Add wood pieces once temperature has been reached.

  • Place pork belly pieces into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup dry rub on top and toss vigorously with your hands until all pieces are thoroughly coated. Arrange evenly on a wire mesh baking tray, spacing carefully so pieces don't touch one another.

  • Place tray into the preheated smoker. Smoke for 3 1/2 hours at a temperature range between 235 and 250 degrees F (113 to 121 degrees C). If you have not already done so, add wood pieces to the fire so it is producing smoke.

  • Remove the tray from the smoker. Using gloved hands, carefully transfer pork to an aluminum foil pan, arranging pieces so they are uniformly level.

  • Evenly distribute brown sugar, honey, butter, 1/2 cup barbecue sauce, apple juice, jam, and remaining dry rub over the pork. Cover and seal the pan with aluminum foil.

  • Return the pan to the smoker and smoke for 2 more hours at a target temperature of 250 degrees F (121 degrees C).

  • Remove the pan from the smoker and remove the foil lid. Carefully transfer the individual pieces from the braising liquid into a new, clean foil pan and drizzle remaining barbecue sauce over top. Discard the old pan and liquid.

  • Place the new pan back in the smoker and smoke, uncovered, until sauce is a little tacky, 15 to 20 minutes. Don't leave it in too long or you will sacrifice that "rendered" texture which you have worked so hard to achieve.

  • Remove from the smoker and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

If the Old Arthur's products are unavailable in your area, you may order them online, or substitute with your favorite sauce and rub.

Fig jam can be used in place of apple jam.

Nutrition Facts

371 calories; protein 14g; carbohydrates 35.3g; fat 19.6g; cholesterol 51.3mg; sodium 1370.2mg. Full Nutrition