Pork Country Style Rib Burnt Ends (5 Simple Steps for Juicy Caramelized Meat Candy)

Crispy caramelized burnt ends with a juicy and moist center straight from the smoker is a real crowd-pleaser.

Most people think that burnt ends can only be made from brisket!

But you can use a pork butt, ribs, anything!

Using pork ribs is a much quicker process than a pork butt.

You don’t want to mess these up and disappoint everyone at your cookout so follow my method below.

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What Is Country Style Pork Rib?

Firstly, I want to explain what it means for a pork rib to be ‘country-style’ as it is not what you imagine.

A country-style pork rib does not come from the rib section of the animal and doesn’t include a bone.

The cut of meat is taken from where the top of the loin meets the shoulder. 

This part is great for low and slow smoking and making a burnt end as it contains an even amount of intermuscular fat and lean meat.

The fat and protein come together in harmony through chemical reactions but we will get into all that a bit later!

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What Is a ‘Burnt End’

So for those that do not know BBQ lingo, what exactly is a burnt end?

A burnt end is referred to for the end product that is typically from a large cut of meat like a brisket that has been cooked low and slow.

The ‘ends’ are the literal smaller end parts of the cut that have maybe had a little bit more cooking and appear burnt.

These are normally used as a bite-size snack of goodness but are soon becoming the star of the show rather than just a third-party outcome from making a brisket.

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So Wait, Burning Is Good Now?

There is a difference between chemical reactions occurring during the indirect cooking process and the inedible carbon combustion of the ingredients which are burned.

Burnt ends aren’t exactly burnt which is confusing, I know!

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The Millard Reaction

The Millard reaction in a nutshell is when a sugar reacts with a protein which is accelerated by a heat source. 

As the meat cooks, this reaction takes place and elevates the aroma, taste, and appearance of the food.

You can tell you’ve achieved this reaction by the dark brown color as the sugars caramelized with the fat and spices.

The cut used in a country-style cut has a perfect fat-to-meat ratio to achieve this when introducing sugar in the form of a rub and sauce.

how-to-smoke-pork-tips

Denaturing

Denaturation is biochemistry terminology to explain the process of proteins breaking down and losing structural integrity at a cellular level. 

This is caused by external stressors like salt, acid, and heat.

When combined with the Millard reaction, all those lovely layers of rub and sugars develop an intense smoked crunchy snack to remember.

The harder layers of meat on the outside also protect and keep the meat moist on the inside!

TLDR: Millard (taste, smell & apparence) + denaturation (texture & protection) x smoking = burnt end goodness!

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Why Is the Cooking Method Smoking for Pork Country Style Burnt Ends?

Using a smoker for cooking with indirect heat is my favorite way to perfect burnt ends.

Smoking will of course give a natural smoky flavor and slower cooking for those chemical reactions to get going.

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What Type of Wood Is Best for Burnt Ends?

The best type of wood to use for pork is fruit wood or maple. Mesquite and hickory can be a bit overwhelming.

Load that pellet grill with maple or fruit wood to develop the flavor profile in your pork country-style burnt ends!

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What Seasoning Are We Using to Produce Burnt Ends?

What do I season the pork with?

You will want to add your favorite pork dry rub and add extra brown sugar to firstly cook and set a base.  

We then finish it off on higher heat after adding sauce with another sugar element (ie the BBQ sauce).

The spices and sugar will create the perfect environment for flavor compounds and the chemical reactions I crave in crispy bark pork burnt ends.

Are you hungry yet?

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How to Prep the Country Style Pork for Burnt Ends

What is the catch? How much work is there to be done?

There honestly isn’t any!

15-20 minutes to fire up the smoker and then season your pork.

Time does the rest.

An easy store-bought fruit sauce can be added at the end cooking stage or make your own with your favorite sauce. 

Whatever you do, make sure you have enough for seconds!

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What Temperature to Smoke Burnt Ends

To smoke burnt ends set your smoker to  225F and it set it up for indirect cooking.

225°F is the sweet spot for the first hour. 

We will then ramp up the heat on those grill grates to 350F for the last 20-30 minutes.

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What Internal Cooking Temperature Does the Meat Need to Be?

The internal temperature of the pork needs to be at least 165°F.

However when your cooking burnt ends you want to cook until an internal temperature of 185°.

What Is the Average Cooking Time to Smoke My Country Style Burnt Ends?

What cook time can I expect before tucking in?

The time is around 90 minutes to enjoy your burnt-end pork from the smoker.

It is worth the wait!

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How Do I Know My Country Style Burnt Ends Are Done?

Other than the internal temperature, how do I know when to take them off my backyard smoker and into the backyard party!?

The texture should be hard but still able to break open with cutlery or your fingers. 

The burnt ends should look brown/black from caramelization. 

Pulling them apart will also reveal a juicy and tender center of delicious meat.

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What if You Don’t Have a Smoker?

What if I don’t have a fancy pellet smoker?

A charcoal smoker or gas grill will of course work but they don’t give you the control an electric smoker does.

Especially if you don’t have a digital probe meat thermometer!

Why substitute for the best and miss using a new favorite smoker?

Our Method for Smoking Country Style Burnt Ends

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What You Need for Country Style Burnt Ends

  • 1kg Boneless ribs pork country style 
  • Olive oil

Dry Rub Seasoning Ingredients 

  • 300g brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt 
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika 
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder

Plumb Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup plum jam
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup real honey
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Chinese 5 spice

Equipment

  • Wood pellet smoker
  • Favorite wood pellets (we used hickory wood)
  • Sharp knife
  • Meat probe
  • Mixing bowl
  • Disposable aluminum foil tray

Smoked Country Style Pork Burnt Ends With a Sticky Plum Sauce

This is my favorite method for creating budget burn ends without the long cooking time.

A fruit sauce like an apple is married to pork but what about a plum sauce like they do in traditional Chinese cooking? 

Find out for yourself with these sticky chunks of goodness!

Step 1: Smoking The Seasoned Pork Ribs

– Load the pellets, prime, and set the grill to a temperature of 225F. 

– Rub olive oil on the meat and apply the spice rub evenly.

– Put them directly on the grill grates avoiding any direct heat or hotspots.

– Insert temperature probe and cook to an internal temperature of 165F. 

– Remove and wait until cooled.

– Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Step 2: Making The Sauce & Finish Smoking To Make Burnt Ends

– Set the grill to a very hot temperature of 350F.

– Evenly mix the sauce in a bowl.

– Put the pieces of pork into the aluminum foil dish and add the sauce recipe mixture.

– Coat evenly and put back on the heated grill.

Monitor until they reach 185°F and have the desired texture and appearance as per the above instructions which will be around 30-45 minutes.

Step 3: Enjoy!

– Try not to make a mess when you devour these delicious pieces of meat candy! 

Want More Burnt Ends Recipes?

Love burnt ends as much as us?

Then you need some more recipes.

Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Pork Shoulder Burnt Ends on a Pit Boss

Burnt Ends From Brisket Flat

Pork Country Style Ribs Burnt Ends

Want some juicy, crispy and caramelized pork rib burnt ends?
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time4 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, lunch, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 256kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 15

Equipment

  • Wood pellet smoker
  • Favorite wood pellets (we used hickory wood)
  • Sharp knife
  • Meat probe
  • Mixing bowl
  • Disposable Aluminum Foil tray

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 kg Boneless ribs pork country style
  • Olive oil

Dry Rub Seasoning Ingredients

  • 300 g brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder

Plumb Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup plum jam
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup real honey
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp white pepper
  • 1 Tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of Chinese 5 spice

Instructions

Step 1: Smoking The Seasoned Pork Ribs

  • – Load the pellets, prime, and set the grill to a temperature of 225F.
  • – Rub olive oil on the meat and apply the spice rub evenly.
  • – Put them directly on the grill grates avoiding any direct heat or hotspots.
  • – Insert temperature probe and cook to an internal temperature of 165F.
  • – Remove and wait until cooled.
  • – Cut into 1-inch pieces.

Step 2: Making The Sauce & Finish Smoking To Make Burnt Ends

  • – Set the grill to a very hot temperature of 350F.
  • – Evenly mix the sauce in a bowl.
  • – Put the pieces of pork into the aluminum foil dish and add the sauce recipe mixture.
  • – Coat evenly and put back on the heated grill.
  • – Monitor until they reach 185°F and have the desired texture and appearance as per the above instructions which will be around 30-45 minutes.

Step 3: Enjoy!

  • – Try not to make a mess when you devour these pork pieces.

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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