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- Cut Pork into Cubes: Ok, they don’t actually have to be perfect cubes. Pieces, whether square or oblong that are about 1 inch wide will work perfectly.
- Add Rub: There’s two ways you can go about adding the rub:
Bag Method (best if you want to season them the night before): Place all of the pieces into a bag. Add 2-3 TBS of vegetable oil and ¼ cup of barbecue sauce to the bag. Seal bag and shake, roll, massage bag to coat the pieces of meat. Place in fridge until ready to use
Fast Method: Place the meat onto a cooling rack or Bradley rack in a single layer making sure to leave a little space between each one so the smoke and heat can get to them.
Spray top and sides with vegetable oil. Sprinkle barbecue sauce onto meat.
- Smoke Cook the Meat to About 160°F : If you used the bag method, remove the meat from the fridge and place the pieces onto a cooling rack or Bradley rack in a single layer making sure to leave a little space between each one so the smoke and heat can get to them. Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225°F with pecan smoke or other favorite smoking wood. If your smoker has a water pan, use it. Once the smoker is ready, place the racks of meat into the smoker and let them cook until they reach about 160°F. This will take 3-4 hours depending on how cold the meat is when it goes in and how well the smoker maintains the goal temperature. During this time, the most important thing is the smoke flavor so keep a light smoke going constantly.
- Into a Foil Pan with Sauce and More Rub: When the meat reaches about 160°F it is time to start creating the delicious bark on the outside of the pork burnt ends. Place all of the pieces of meat into foil pans. Keep it to a single layer rather than piling it on top of each other. You may need to use multiple pans. Add sauce to the top of the meat and stir it around. This is for flavor, bark creation and to help the rub to stick. Sprinkle my rub (purchase recipes here) generously to the top of the meat and once again stir the meat to coat well.
- Cook Until Tender or about 185°F: Place the pans of meat into the smoker and continue to keep the smoke and heat going as before for 1-2 more hours. If you have a smoker that is capable of higher temperatures, bark can be best achieved at 275°F or even higher. The grill will also work for this. The meat will need to be stirred every 30 minutes or so. More often at higher temperatures. When the meat reaches 185°F and has a nice bark formation all over, it is done and ready to eat.
- Serve as Appetizer or Entree: Burnt ends are great appetizers eaten with a toothpick or a pile of burnt ends next to mashed potatoes and barbecue beans is a real crowd pleaser.