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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
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x


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


  • 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


  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!


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.'s much easier to brown the pork belly in a wide frypan than a narrow Instant Pot.


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

Slotted Spoon

12-inch frypan (optional)

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Sunday Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

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