Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love burnt ends and I particularly love the pork burnt ends more than the ones made from brisket but then I'm not all that picky. I'll devour any and all burnt ends, regardless of whether it's beef or pork.

Since I love these so much, I found myself thinking about a way to make them even better (if that's even possible). Along this line of thinking, I love the “barky” outside but if there's anything that can be improved upon, it would have to be the inside and perhaps this can be done by injecting something into it either for more flavor and/or more juiciness.

This newsletter article is me taking pork country style ribs, cut from a whole pork butt, and using those to make the pork burnt ends. Using this cut makes them easier and speeds up the process so that you can make these, start to finish in around 7 hours.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F – 240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 170°F  first then 200°F or until tender
  • Recommended Wood: Mesquite and Apple Mix
What You'll Need

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Mustard and Seasoning

The first step in making pork burnt ends is determining whether you want to use a whole pork butt, a half pork butt or country style ribs (usually from pork butt).

As you can see, both will work just fine but the country style ribs will get done quicker since they are cut up into pieces that are less thick.


Apply mustard to help the rub to stick. It won't make the pork burnt ends taste like mustard so there's nothing to worry about there.

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Sprinkle my rub all over the top sides and bottom of the meat. Make sure to get it down in all of the nooks and crannies.

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Now you can relax for about 20-30 minutes while the rub does it's magic on the meat. The little bit of salt in my rub will pull some of the juices to the surface. There the meat juices, mustard and rub will mix together and create a very nice paste.

Wait for it..

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The meat is now ready to go into the smoker. You will notice in the images above, that I placed it (as usual) into Bradley racks for super easy transport to and from the smoker.

These Bradley racks are about 11 x 15 so if they fit your smoker, I highly recommend getting a set (4) of these.

Getting the Smoker Ready

There is just no way I can give instructions on every type of smoker since there are so many types, sizes, styles, brands, some with water pans, some without, etc..

I will give you the basics but your first priority should be to learn everything you can about your particular smoker and figure out how to make it maintain the right temperature within certain parameters.

For these burnt ends, anywhere between 225-240°F will work just fine.

If you have a water pan, use it. The water pan serves 3 purposes:

  1. Creates a barrier between the heat and the meat
  2. It moisturizes the air and moist air does not dry out the meat as fast as dry air does.
  3. The hot steam does a great job of keeping the heat in the smoker at a consistent temperature

For those of you using a temperature gauge other than the factory gauge on your smoker (something I highly recommend) make sure to measure at grate level, right where the food sits.

If possible, check your thermometer in boiling water to make sure it is reading about 212°F. Alternatively, you can place it in ice water and it should be reading about 33°F.

Be sure to use seasoned wood (wood that has been allowed to sit in the dry for a few months). Freshly cut wood or “green” wood, will produce creosote and coat the food and the inside of your smoker with this sticky substance. You don't want to eat that and you sure don't want to spend hours scrubbing and scraping this stuff off the inside walls of your smoker.

Preheat the smoker to your goal temperature and when it is holding steady, you are ready to smoke.

Smoking the Meat – Step 1

Place the pork directly on the grate or use the Bradley racks and set them directly on the grate.

I used a mixture of mesquite chunks with apple chips for these pork burnt ends and the flavor was out of this world.

The idea in this first step is to get the meat to 170°F.

For the pulled pork roast, this will take about 7 hours. If you are using the country style ribs cut from a pork butt, you are looking at about 4-5 hours tops.

Once they reach this magical temperature, remove them from the smoker and bring them into the house.

Let them cool just a bit since you don't want to lose all that precious juice that's on the inside. By letting them cool down, the juices will settle down a bit and when you cut into them, you want have juices running out all over the plate.

I let mine cool for about 30 minutes and then cut them into cubes about 1-inch by 1-inch.

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Making the Spicy Butter Injection


  • 1 stick (¼ lb) real butter
  • 1 TBS of your favorite hot sauce or to taste. (I used Habanero Tabasco)


Melt butter in microwave or on stove top. Add hot sauce and stir well.

Injecting the Meat with Spicy Butter

Use an injection needle, found in most grocery stores, big box stores and on Fill the injector with the spicy butter then push the injector needle into the meat so that the holes, where the fluid come out, are inside the meat.

Press the plunger to force the spicy butter into the meat and continue on each piece until you see butter running out.


Tip: perform this injection process inside of a gallon sized zip-top bag to prevent an accidental geyser that shoots melted butter halfway across the kitchen.

Once all of the pieces have been injected, place them into a foil pan and sprinkle on more rub depending on how much bark you want. Lots of rub = lots of bark.

The pork burnt ends (to be) are ready to go back into the smoker.

Smoking the Meat – Step 2

The meat is now inside of a foil pan and coated with more of my rub so I recommend that you keep the smoke going even if you are using an electric, gas or charcoal smoker to further enhance the smoky flavor.

Smoke the pork burnt ends, stirring every 30 minutes or so for an additional 2 hours or until they get as tender as you like them. You can take the meat all the way up to 200°F if you want to and they will be fall apart tender with a nice “barky” exterior.

Tip: To get these done even faster, finish them on a very hot grill, stirring constantly. They will be done in 30 minutes or less and oh so good!

Serving the Pork Burnt Ends

There are endless ways to serve these, but here's a few that comes to mind:

  • Stick a toothpick in each one and make an appetizer out of them
  • Pile them on a french bun for a pork burnt end poboy
  • Top a pile of lettuce and veggies with some pork burnt ends for the ultimate BBQ salad

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Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats-- you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.
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Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

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Printable Recipe

Pork Burnt Ends With Spicy Butter Injection

Making burnt ends using pork butt and my rub recipe means that you get the flavor of pulled pork with that amazing, tasty bark in every single bite.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time7 hrs
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Jeff Phillips


  • 3-4 lbs of Country style ribs (make sure they are cut from the pork butt)
  • Regular yellow mustard
  • Jeff’s rub recipe (purchase the recipe here)
  • Spicy butter (recipe below)


Mustard and Seasoning

  • Apply a coat of regular yellow mustard to all sides of the meat
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of Jeff's rub onto all sides of the meat
  • Wait for about 20-30 minutes until the meat starts to get a "wet" look

Smoking the Meat - Step 1

  • Place meat directly on grate
  • Smoke for 4-5 hours at 225-240°F or until the meat reaches 170°F in the center
  • Bring the meat into the house and let it cool for about 30 minutes
  • Once cool, cut the meat into 1-inch by 1-inch cubes

Spicy Butter Injection

  • Mix 1 stick of melted butter with 1 TBS of your favorite hot sauce (I used Tabasco with Habanero)
  • Use an injector to inject each piece with butter until the butter runs out of the meat
  • Place injected pieces into an open foil pan
  • Sprinkle on more rub to create a nice bark all over

Smoking the Meat - Step 2

  • Place the pan of injected pieces back into the smoker
  • Continue to smoke cook for about 2 hours or until they get tender to your liking.
  • Stir occasionally while they cook

Finishing up

  • Serve immediately on toothpicks as an appetizer, piled onto a bun or as an entree with several vegetables or sides.


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