I served these smoky, slightly spicy burnt ends at my first tailgate party this football season and they were a big hit. They’re double smoked to produce a lot of the crispy, crusty surface bark that everyone loves. They’re also injected with a spicy Cajun butter mixture for over the top flavor! I used inexpensive boneless “country style ribs” that are available at most grocery stores. Of course they aren’t ribs at all but are cut from the near the pork shoulder. This is a quick recipe that’s doesn’t require a lot of prep and is easy to make in any kind of smoker.
- 5-7 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs
- Obie Cue Sweet N’ Heat rub
- 1 tbsp Daigle’s Cajun hot sauce
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- Spray on oil
I used Obie Cue Sweet N’ Heat rub for this recipe because the brown sugar base makes such a great bark while the jalapenos give the spicy side a little more depth. Daigle’s Cajon hot sauce has a perfect balance of flavor and heat for most people. Both are available at BBQ Pit Stop but be sure to experiment with your own favorite rubs and hot sauces as well.
Pre-heat your smoker to 225-250 degrees so that it’s ready for the pork. The prep is very easy and won’t take long. Lay the pork pieces out on a rack or in a pan. Spray them on all sides with oil. Coat them generously on all sides with the Obie Cue rub.
Now it’s time to place them in the smoker. Leave them in the rack where you prepped them or if they’re in a pan I recommend you put them directly on the smoker grate. I find it easier to move them in and out of the smoker in the rack. Add plenty of wood chunks or chips. For these burnt ends I like to use a combination of maple and pecan chunks.
Leave them in the smoker until they reach an internal temp of about 165 degrees. Plan on about 5 hours to reach that temperature. If you’ve put them in a pan be sure to turn them over about half way through the cook.
Once they’ve reached the target temperature remove from the smoker and let cool off for 20-30 minutes. This will allow the juices to settle and they will be easier to work with in the next step.
After the pork has rested for 20-30 minutes cut it into 1″ cubes.
Prepare the injection by melting the unsalted butter in a pan. Do it over low heat – you don’t want to brown the butter. Once it’s melted stir in the hot sauce.
For the next step you can use any meat injector but I really recommend the large animal syringes we sell at BBQ Pit Stop. The needles are very sharp and give much better control over where you inject.
Carefully inject each meat cube with the butter/hot sauce mixture Take your time and don’t inject too quickly. You’ll also minimize clean up if you do this step inside of a 1 gallon bag since the butter often shoots out the other side.
Place the pork cubes in a foil pan in a single layer and generously dust them with the Obie Cue rub for a second time. Be sure to get all sides of the pork for maximum bark.
Place the uncovered pan in the smoker. Add more wood chunks to get extra smoke flavor on the exposed sides of the cubes.
Smoke the pork until it reaches about 200 degrees. This will take about 2 hours. Be sure to turn the cubes about every 30 minutes so that all sides develop bark.
Once the burnt ends reach 200 degrees they’ll have amazing crispy bark but practically melt in your mouth. I like to serve mine with warm sauce on the side but you can also toss them in sauce if you prefer.