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Make Pork Belly Burnt Ends Extra Sweet And Sticky With A Proper Glaze

Close-up of pork belly burnt ends
Close-up of pork belly burnt ends - Philoglesby/Shutterstock

Straight from the grill (or even the oven), the glossy brown hue and smoky, charred edges of pork belly burnt ends are always a sight to behold. In the flavor department, it certainly isn't lackluster either. Often prepared with a rub or marinade, the meat is not only tender and succulent but also tastes absolutely divine. With so much to offer already, the only thing this BBQ fixture needs for a completely satisfying eating experience is a glaze of flavor on the outside.

The main thing you can expect with a glaze is an intense caramelized sweetness that flawlessly elevates anything it touches. With pork belly burnt ends, its magic is never-ending. It perfectly complements the meat's rich, savory flavors and smoky undertone. All the while, the sweet notes coat the exterior in a tantalizing vibrancy — a gorgeous contrast with the inside's deep, grilled taste. Depending on the specific ingredient, you can infuse the food with other flavors — from spicy, tangy, and zesty to umami, or even lace it with delectable aromas.

Accompanying the mesmerizing flavor is a texture that's no less alluring. It's often luscious and sticky with a gloss that polishes any normal meat cut into an intriguing delight. More than that, this consistency is also a shortcut to juicy, tender meat. No more dry, flavorless meat; not when you can whip up a simple glaze in a matter of minutes.

Read more: 13 Underrated Cuts Of Meat You Should Be Grilling

An Endless Array Of Choices

Smoked pork belly on wood
Smoked pork belly on wood - Paul Brian Kiser/Shutterstock

It's astonishing how many types of glaze there are. With endless possible ingredient combinations, you may never run out of options. Since pork belly burnt ends is a true BBQ dish at its core, you can make a glaze with quintessential BBQ condiments, like Worcestershire sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, and more. Make a balsamic reduction if you're particularly fond of a darkly sweet, deeply tangy combo. If it's decadence you're after, try something with an edge, like a maple bourbon glaze. You can even bring fruit to the party. Juice, compotes, or preserves can all make the glaze much more vibrant and exciting.

Straying into Asian BBQ territory, take inspiration from teriyaki sauce for sweet-savory, umami goodness. It only requires regular staples like soy sauce, mirin, honey, brown sugar, and some aromatics. Another one to try is char siu (Chinese BBQ pork) glaze. Made with five spice powders and other essential Asian condiments, it offers a unique and very enjoyable blend of deeply sweet, savory, and umami flavors. Sensational as glaze is over pork belly burnt ends, this isn't the only meat cut that could benefit from a glaze. Whether it's salmon, hot dogs, brisket, or anything else that you have in mind for the burnt ends extraordinaire, it's never redundant to include a glaze.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.