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Summer Time Barbecue: How to Make Mouthwatering Pork Burnt Ends [Recipe]

by David Farrell

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In Texas, where brisket is king, burnt ends are made when they smoke a whole brisket. Many people think they are the best part of a brisket smoke. Well, I have great news, you don’t have to go to Texas to get great burnt ends and you don’t have to buy a whole brisket, you can make it with a pork shoulder or pork parts and prepare a delicious roast! 

Barbecue is a big part of American cuisine and if you are looking to create the perfect barbecue dish this summer, you don’t even need a smoker, it can be made in an oven or gas grill. However, note that it probably won’t have that great smoky taste.

Nevertheless, I believe that the real secret to achieving a delicious barbecue is to make sure that you cook the meat slow and low. What exactly do I mean by this? Read on to find out!


The author preparing pork burnt ends


The Ingredients


  • 1.5 kg (3 pounds) boneless pork butt or shoulder roast
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) barbecue rub (commercial or make your own)
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) apple juice
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) barbecue sauce


How to Prepare


  • Preheat your smoker or oven to 230 F or set one burner of your gas grill to medium low and turn the other burner off.
  • Take 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of the rub and set it aside for later use. Rub the remaining rub into all surfaces of the pork roast.
  • Put the roast on a rack in a pan and put it in the oven or smoker. If you are using a gas grill, put it over the unlit burner.
  • Cook the roast until the internal temperature of the roast is 150 F. This will take a long time. In a smoker or an oven, it will be about 5 hours and a little less on a gas grill. Spray the surface of the roast with apple juice every hour or so.
  • Take the roast off the rack and put it right in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of apple juice and cover the roast with foil.
  • Put it back in the oven, smoker or grill and cook until the internal temperature is 190 F. I can not tell you how long this will take. Every piece of meat is different. The important thing is the internal temperature must be 190 F, not how long it cooks. It usually takes another 4 hours in my smoker but it has taken up to six.
  • Take the roast out of the pan and let it cool.


fresh pork burnt ends


  • ‘De-fat’ the liquid in the pan. I do this by putting it in a clear measure and pulling the liquid from under the fat with a turkey baster. Another method is to put it in the fridge until the fat sets and removing the solid fat.
  • Cool the liquid and the pork. Cut the pork into 1-inch cubes. At this point, you can store the pork and liquid covered in the fridge for up to two days.


sliced pork burnt ends


  • Put the cubes in a 230 F smoker or oven and smoke for 2 hours, stirring the cubes around twice. If you are cooking on a gas grill, turn one burner to medium low and turn the other off.
  • Put the pan on the side with the burner turned off and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring twice. Depending on your gas grill, it might cook quicker. You are looking for the cubes to be nicely coated and the barbecue sauce to have caramelized on the surface.


cubed pork burnt ends


These cubes of pork remind you of the great taste of the first slice of a roast and can be served as a meal or as appetizers. Make some up for your next barbecue. Your family and friends will genuinely thank you!


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