Smoked pork belly pinwheels with maple bourbon glaze

Photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

Pretty much meat candy on a stick! These smoked pork belly pinwheels with maple bourbon glaze are some of my favorite things to make. Not only is this recipe easy, but they are so delicious and really fun to serve. I mean who wouldn’t want a pork lollipop?

The maple bourbon glaze has some citrus notes from fresh orange juice and makes a sweet and tacky coating for the pork belly. The juicy pork is bite through tender and all of the ingredients works together to make this recipe memorable!

How to make smoked pork belly pinwheels

This recipe takes a few hours to smoke but there are only a few steps. The pork starts with a simple rub and is rolled up onto skewers then smoked for 3-4 hours before glazing. The glaze only has 4 ingredients and will get nice and tacky giving you that candy like coating on each pinwheel.

A word about skewers

You can use metal or wooden skewers but I prefer wood for a few reasons. For one, they don’t get hot like metal skewers so they are much easier to handle. I also think the wooden skewers look better and feel better when handling.

It is important to note that your wood skewers should be soaked in water for at least 30 minutes prior to use. This will prevent them from burning while on the grill. I also recommend using thicker wood skewers so they hold up to the pork belly.

Preparing the pork belly pinwheels

Starting with a 2-3 pound slab of pork belly with the skin removed, cut 1 inch slices lengthwise.

Then I season the pork on all sides with my homemade bbq seasoning. If you don’t have time to make your own, use an all purpose bbq seasoning that you like.

Roll each slice of pork belly into a pinwheel and take a wooden skewers and push it through the meat. Now it’s time to put them on the smoker.

Smoking pork belly pinwheels

Preheat your smoker to 250°F and place your pinwheels side by side. Smoke them for about 3 hours and then check the temperature. Once the temperature of the pork belly is about 175 °F it’s time to glaze them for the last hour.

Making the maple bourbon glaze:

In a small pot add orange juice, bourbon, maple syrup and brown sugar. Then whisk together and reduce for 20-30 minutes until the glaze thickens. As the glaze cools down it will also get thicker.

And pro tip, add 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and whisk in to thicken more if needed. The glaze should be a syrupy consistency.

Glazing the pork belly

Once the pork belly pinwheels have reached an internal temperature of 175°F or more, start brushing on the glaze. I brush few coats of the glaze on both sides of the pork for the first 10 minutes. Then smoke them for another hour until they reach an internal temperature of 200 °F. When finished the glaze should be nice and sticky and adhered well to the pork. If you have any glaze leftover, brush on another coat just before serving.

Want more pork recipes? Try these.

Smoked pork butt burnt ends

Bacon jam burgers

Smoked buffalo style pork spare ribs

Smoked atomic buffalo turds

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Smoked pork belly pinwheels with maple bourbon glaze

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  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 23 pound slab pork belly
  • 2 tablespoons bbq seasoning 
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes prior to using.
  2. Cut pork belly into 1 inch thick slices and roll into a pinwheel.
  3. Skewer each pork belly pinwheel so it looks like a lollipop. The skewer should go through the bottom and out of the top to hold everything together.
  4. Smoke pork belly pinwheels at 250°F for 3 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 175°F.
  5. Prepare the glaze in the mean time by combining orange juice, maple syrup, bourbon and brown sugar in a small pot on medium heat. Once to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes until sauce has thickened. (The glaze will thicken some as it cools. If needed to thicken further, whisk in 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar)
  6. Glaze pork belly pinwheels by brushing them on each one while they are on the smoker. Make sure you flip the pinwheels to get both sides and continue to brush on a few coats of the glaze for the last hour. Once the pork belly reaches 200°F internal remove from the heat, brush glaze one more time and serve.
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: BBQ

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