Appetizers and Drinks, Pressure cooker, Sunday dinner
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Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends

A bowl of pork belly cubes, tossed in barbecue sauce, with a small bowl of barbecue sauce, a bowl of barbecue rub, and a pressure cooker in the background
Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends

Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends. Pressure cooked pork belly with barbecue flavors, a smoky, saucy main dish or appetizer.

Inspired by a picture from Friend Of The Blog Chris at Nibble Me This, burnt ends are traditionally the edges of a barbecued beef brisket, chopped into small cubes. Chris had the idea to start with pork belly instead of brisket. The moment I saw his picture, I had to try them.

Now, I’ll do some smoking from time to time, but I wanted to use my pressure cooker for this one. Last year I figured out pressure cooking pork belly, turning chunks of fatty pork into melt-in-your mouth tender bits of meat. Barbecue seasoning is the a fantastic flavoring for this technique.

The only trick to this recipe is finding pork belly. My local grocery stores don’t carry it, though they can get it if I ask. I get mine at Whole Foods, where they usually have it in the meat case, or from one of my local specialty butchers.

The other trick is liquid smoke. I know it weirds some people out, so I make it optional in the recipe, but wood smoke is a natural product. It is distilled from wood smoke condensation, and truly is “liquid smoke.” Beyond the smoke, I find it adds a meaty, umami flavor when I add it to my pressure cooking liquid.

Recipe: Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends

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A bowl of pork belly cubes, tossed in barbecue sauce, with a small bowl of barbecue sauce, a bowl of barbecue rub, and a pressure cooker in the background

Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends


  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends. Pressure cooked pork belly with barbecue flavors, a smoky, saucy main dish or appetizer.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 pounds Pork Belly, skin removed, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (optional, for frying step)

Barbecue Spice Rub (2 tablespoons of my Homemade Barbecue Rub), or use your favorite store bought rub

  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt (or 2 teaspoons kosher salt)
  • ¾ tablespoon paprika
  • ¾ tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder

Barbecue Sauce (1 cup of my Easy BBQ Sauce), or use your favorite store bought sauce

  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or cheap yellow mustard)
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Make the spice rub and sauce (if not using store bought): Put the spice rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix until completely combined, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar with your fingers. Put the barbecue sauce ingredients in another small bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Everything in the pot: Add the water and liquid smoke to an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Sprinkle the pork belly cubes with the barbecue spice rub, then add them to the pot. Drizzle ½ cup of the barbecue sauce over the cubes.
  3. Pressure Cook for 30 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 25 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid the hot steam. Scoop the pork belly cubes into a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  4. Optional “Burnt Ends” pan-frying: Heat the tablespoon of vegetable oil In a 12-inch fry pan over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. (Or, for a one-pot meal, pour the liquid out of the Instant Pot, wipe out the pot, and set the pot to Sauté mode adjusted to high to heat the oil.) Spread the pork cubes in the frypan in a single layer and cook until the bottom is browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Scoop the pork belly back into the bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible.
  5. Toss with barbecue sauce and serve: Drizzle ½ cup of barbecue sauce over the pork belly and toss to coat. Serve, passing any extra barbecue sauce at the table. Enjoy!

Notes

Can’t find pork belly? You can substitute boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes. The cooking time stays the same. It won’t have the jellied fat consistency that makes pork belly so unique, but it will have tender, shreddable pork.

The extra pan-frying step is worth it, if you have the time. And yes, I get another pan dirty by doing it on my stovetop. But…it’s much easier to brown the pork belly in a wide frypan than a narrow Instant Pot.

Tools

6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

Slotted Spoon

12-inch frypan (optional)

  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Pork Belly Burnt Ends, Pressure Cooker Pork Belly Burnt Ends

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Homemade Barbecue Rub
Easy Barbecue Sauce – DadCooksDinner
Instant Pot Crispy Brisket Bites
Instant Pot Spare Ribs with BBQ Rub and Sauce
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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2 Comments

  1. Jen says

    This was great! Served it with your mac and cheese. I get my pork belly at Costco.

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