Pork Shoulder Burnt Ends On A Pit Boss (6 Simple Steps)

Pork shoulder burnt ends are a fantastic meaty treat!

They deliver a major flavor punch of sweet, savory, and smoky goodness. 

The combination of juicy pork, rich barbecue caramelized sauce, and the crunchy outer layer is just like meat candy!

Burnt ends are a tasty alternative to smoking a whole pork shoulder!

However can be tricky the first time. So make sure you follow my simple steps below.

What Makes Good Pork Shoulder Burnt Ends?

You may have heard of brisket burnt ends.

They originally came from the sections of dried-out, crispy parts of beef brisket, cut off and leftover when smoking.

You can also make your burnt ends from the pork belly or pork shoulder. Both pork belly and pork shoulder work well as they have a high-fat content

You can either use leftover smoked pork shoulder or raw meat.

The recipe below uses raw meat which is cut into 1-2 inch cubes, coated in a dry rub, and smoked until they have a crunchy outer layer.

Finish off with a sticky barbecue glaze, and you have an incredibly tasty treat.

What to Look for When Buying Your Meat

Try to source a piece of pork shoulder with a moderate amount of fat. 

Too much fat will leave you feeling overwhelmed in oiliness, and take away from the pork flavors.  

Bone-in or bone out doesn’t matter, but it will be easier to cut bone out.   

 Wood Chip Recommendations

Wood chips such as hickory are perfect for burnt ends, as they will have a medium to intense smoky flavor.

Alternatively lighter fruitwood pieces like applewood, maple, and cherry wood are also great options.

Mesquite has a strong flavor and can be too overpowering for the pork.

Recipe Variation Ideas

Try splitting the pork pieces over a couple of aluminum pans and try different flavor ideas such as: 

  • Try a beef and brisket rub for a beefy flavor.
  • Add a splash of bourbon to the barbeque sauce for a southern barbecue classic.
  • Swap the honey for maple syrup and add brown sugar for sweeter bite-size pieces.
  • For a spicy treat, add some chili powder rub.

Prepping The Pork

Dice the pork shoulder into 1-2 inch pieces, cubed into bite-sized pieces, removing the excess pieces of fat as you go.

Pat dry with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid that may wash the rub off.

Coat in a dry rub and let sit for 20-30 minutes to come to room temperature, and to allow the pork can absorb the rub flavors.

What You’ll Need

  • 6-8 lbs of cubed pork shoulder
  • Barbecue rub
  • Apple juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Honey
  • Pellet smoker
  • Disposable Aluminum Foil tray
  • Spray bottle

The Steps for EPIC Burnt Epics

Pre-heat the smoker grill to a cooking temperature of 250-275⁰F for 10-15 minutes.

In an aluminum, foil tray pour some of the apple juice. 

This will help retain the moisture in the pork while it’s smoking and acts as a drip tray for any stray pieces that fall through the wire rack.

Place the tray under the pellet grill smoker grate, and arrange the pieces of meat on the grill grates. 

You can line the grill rack with layers of foil if you prefer an easy clean-up.

This will take around 4-5 hours of smoke time. A long slow smoke will slowly break down the connective tissues and fats to infuse with moisture and give a tender meat.

Mix the remaining mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar and pour into a spray bottle. 

Spritz the pork at hourly intervals.

After 3-4 hours, or when the meat reaches 190⁰F internal temperature, remove for the next step. 

Always work on temperature, rather than time to ensure the food is safe to eat and the flesh tender.

Glazing the Meat With BBQ Sauce

Remove the meat pieces from the grill and place them in an aluminum foil tray.

Pour over the bbq sauce and the honey and toss together to coat the surface of the pork pieces.

Reduce the heat of the grill to 200⁰F, at this stage the meat is cooked and it’s all about infusing the smoky pork flavors now.

Then return to smoker grill for another 1-2 hours.

At 30-minute intervals, toss the mixture to recoat and stop it from drying out.

When the sauce has thickened and caramelized and there’s a nice bark on the pork, remove it from the grill.

Pork Shoulder Burnt Ends On A Pit Boss (6 Simple Steps)

Want make delicious meat candy from pork shoulder? These burnt ends wil be so popular at your cookout you'll have to make a double batch!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Appetizer, main, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Barbecue, bbq, dinner, grill, lunch
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 352kcal
Author: Charlie
Cost: 8

Equipment

  • 1 Pellet smoker
  • 1 Disposable Aluminum Foil tray
  • 1 spray bottle

Ingredients

  • 6-8 lbs of cubed pork shoulder
  • 3 tbsp Barbecue rub
  • 1 cup Apple juice
  • .5 cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp Barbecue sauce
  • 4 tbsp Honey

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the smoker grill to a cooking temperature of 250-275⁰F for 10-15 minutes.
  • In an aluminum, foil tray pour some of the apple juice. This will help retain the moisture in the pork while it’s smoking and acts as a drip tray for any stray pieces that fall through the wire rack.
  • Place the tray under the pellet grill smoker grate, and arrange the pieces of meat on the grill grates. You can line the grill rack with layers of foil if you prefer an easy clean-up.
  • This will take around 4-5 hours of smoke time. A long slow smoke will slowly break down the connective tissues and fats to infuse with moisture and give a tender meat.
  • Mix the remaining mixture of apple juice and apple cider vinegar and pour into a spray bottle.
  • Spritz the pork at hourly intervals.
  • After 3-4 hours, or when the meat reaches 190⁰F internal temperature, remove for the next step. Always work on temperature, rather than time to ensure the food is safe to eat and the flesh tender.
  • Remove the meat pieces from the grill and place them in an aluminum foil tray.
  • Pour over the bbq sauce and the honey and toss together to coat the surface of the pork .
  • Reduce the heat of the grill to 200⁰F, at this stage the meat is cooked and it’s all about infusing the smoky pork flavors now.
  • Then return to smoker grill for another 1-2 hours.
  • At 30-minute intervals, toss the mixture to recoat and stop it from drying out.
  • When the sauce has thickened and caramelized and there’s a nice bark on the pork, remove it from the grill.

With a few simple steps, you’ll have mastered the art of burnt ends in no time.

It will also give you another delicious dish to add to your cooking arsenal!

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.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating