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Smoked pork butt burnt ends

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

These little pork pillows are super tender and delicious when made into burnt ends. My method is very similar to how I make my pork belly burnt ends by smoking them low and slow until I get a nice bark, then placing them into a foil pan to finish cooking with a mix of honey, brown sugar and bbq sauce.

These saucy nuggets are so good, you may never go back to pulled pork again! 

Why you should make pork butt burnt ends 

Affordable

Usually 2-3 dollars a pound, pork butt is super affordable. You can get enough servings from 1 whole pork butt to feed 8 people easy. 

Easy to make

This method doesn’t require a whole lot of steps and is hard to screw up. As long you follow the guidelines for when to wrap and when to remove the pork from the smoker, you will be rewarded with tender juicy meat candy. 

Different but better

I don’t know about you, but I like to change things up so I don’t get bored with cooking. Everyone uses pork butt to make pulled pork, why not try something different and delicious? Honestly, this is way better anyways. 

Ingredients you will need: 

Pork butt 

Bbq Seasoning

Butter 

Brown Sugar

Bbq sauce 

Boneless or bone in?

You can use a boneless pork butt to make things easier but if you have a bone in one you can just cut the meat around the bone to remove. Some people make this recipe using pork shoulder which I do not recommend.

Pork butt or a Boston butt (same thing) is the way to go. They have better flavor and are more tender due to the fat content. 

How to make pork butt burnt ends

Preparation 

I start by removing any excess fat including the fat cap from the pork butt before cubing.

Then I cut the pork butt into thick slices and make 1-inch cubes. If the pork is hard to slice you can always place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up before cutting.

I do the same for brisket when I’m trimming it. Having a sharp knife is always important to get nice even cuts. 

Seasoning

Feel free to use a binder like olive oil or mustard but I don’t think it’s necessary. The moisture from the pork should allow the seasoning to adhere well. 

You can use any all purpose bbq rub or make your own. I have a killer recipe for one right here that will take you 5 minutes. I season the pork generously with the rub on all sides then place them directly onto the grill grates of my smoker.

If you have any remaining pieces, throw those on the smoker too for a little snack later. 

Smoking 

I like a blend of cherry wood and pecan for smoking. This blend along with the rub gives the pork a really nice mahogany color. 

I’m using a Pitboss pellet smoker and smoking them at 250°F. Every 30-40 minutes I spritz with a little apple juice to keep the pork bites moist. These will smoke for about 2-3 hours before they are ready to wrap.

Once the internal temperature of the pork reaches 175°F and you have a nice bark and smoky flavor it is time to wrap. 

Wrapping

Once its time to wrap, I place all of the pork butt burnt ends into a disposable aluminum pan. This makes for easy clean up later as I can just throw away the pan when I’m done.

Once the pork is in the pan I add a mixture of brown sugar, butter, more dry rub, and my favorite bbq sauce.

Then I gently mix it all together being carefully not to break any of the pork pieces.

Once everything is well incorporated, cover with aluminum foil and place them back into the smoker. It will be another 1-2 hours in the smoker covered in foil. I cook them until they are 205°F internal.

At that point they will be nice and tender and the combination of butter, brown sugar and bbq sauce will make a beautiful caramelized sauce on the meat. Use a good quality meat thermometer to keep an eye on temperatures and never go by time alone. 

Finishing 

Once the pork reaches an internal temp of 205°F remove the foil pan from the smoker and open one corner of the foil to vent. Allow the pork to cool down and rest for 15-20 minutes before serving.

These will make for a delicious appetizer for your next tailgate party and these small bites pack a big punch! Try serving them with some pickled red onions or pickles on the side which go great together. 

FAQ

How long will this take to make? 

The whole process will take between 3-5 hours at 250°F. 

Can I make these in my oven? 

You can make them in the oven but they will be missing the smokey flavor and the bark you get from smoking. 

How to store these? 

You can store any leftovers in a sealed container for a week in your refrigerator. 

For more recipes on the smoker try these!

Smoked atomic buffalo turds 

Pork belly burnt ends 

Smoked meatball subs 

Smoked Mississippi pot roast 

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Smoked pork butt burnt ends

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5 from 1 review

Smoked pork butt burnt ends are super tender and delicious. Smoked low and slow and tossed with a delicious sauce. 

  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 68 lb pork butt (Bone in or boneless) 
  • 4 tablespoons Bbq rub 
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup Bbq sauce 

Instructions

  1. Cut pork butt into 1-2 inch slices then cube each slice. 
  2. Season pork cubes on each side with 3 tablespoons of bbq rub
  3. Smoke pork at 250°F for 2-3 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 175°F. Spritz with apple juice every 30 minutes if pork looks dry and to help build bark.
  4. Once the pork reaches 175°F place into an aluminum disposable pan with butter, brown sugar, bbq sauce and 1 tablespoon of bbq rub. Mix gently together and then cover with foil. 
  5. Place pan back into the smoker until the pork reaches 205°F. (About 1-2 hours) 
  6. Once pork is done, pull one corner of the foil back allowing it to vent for 15-20 minutes before serving. 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: American

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2 Comments

  1. My husband made these for dinner tonight. The smaller bits became crispy candy, amazing flavor. The larger pieces were juicy with just the right amount of sweetness. We made these into BBQ bowls instead eating as an appetizer. Served in rice with homemade pickles and a drizzle of sauce from the pan. Will definitely make these again!






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