Burnt ends are one of those barbecue recipes you can never make enough of. Whether you're making pork belly burnt ends, brisket burnt ends, or even Spam burnt ends, they always seem to disappear quickly.
While pork belly or brisket burnt ends can take all afternoon to prepare, spam or bologna burnt ends are far quicker, making the perfect game-day snack. Don't worry if these delicious Spam Burnt Ends vanish before the first half is over; you'll have more than enough time to finish another batch by the 4th quarter!
How to Make Smoked Spam Burnt Ends
This recipe is simple, but don't get complacent. Read all the steps once or twice before getting down to business. Smoking is like construction; measure twice, cut once.
Give yourself time to understand a new recipe before diving in; I promise it will be time well spent.
Gather all of your ingredients and tools.
As always, you should start all of your recipes by gathering the necessary tools and ingredients.
For these smoked spam burnt ends, you'll need Spam, barbecue spices, sriracha, your favorite whiskey, and a smoker, among other things.
Once you've gathered all of your ingredients and fully understand the process of the recipe, move on to the next step.
Prepare the Spam.
Unlike other barbecue recipes that require a lot of meat fabrication, trimming or slicing, the prep for these spam burnt ends is pretty straightforward.
To begin, open the cans of Spam and remove the Spam itself. Pat, the outside of the Spam, dry and throw away any liquid left in the tins.
Cut the Spam into 1" pieces, you can cube the Spam to create perfect burnt ends, or you can cut the Spam into batons, depending on your needs and how many people you plan to feed.
Prep, your smoker.
Smoking spam is very similar to smoking whole bologna. Because the protein is fully cooked, you won't need to cook it for nearly as long or at as hot a temperature as pork belly or brisket burnt ends.
For the first stage, you'll be slow smoking the Spam at 185°f. This low temperature can be harder to maintain for certain styles of smokers, like a stick burner or a charcoal smoker.
You'll have no issues if you are lucky enough to be cooking on a pellet grill like a Traeger. If you're using a hotter means of cooking, you can increase the temperature slightly to accommodate your hotter smoker profile. Just make sure to reduce the time and check on your Spam frequently so you can adjust or remove it if you see it's cooking too quickly.
Rub the Spam and pop it in the smoker.
While the smoker is preheating, you can throw together the burnt ends, dry rub, and finish preparing the Spam.
To prepare the rub, whisk together your onion powder, garlic powder, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and then dump into the bowl with your spam pieces.
Being careful not to break up the Spam, toss the pieces with your hands until they are well covered in the rub. Place the spam pieces in an even layer on a foil-lined sheet tray or foil pan.
Spam is pretty salty, which is why this rub is so spice-forward, with only minimal amounts of salt and no sugar at this stage. You can use whatever rub you like, but we definitely recommend using a spice-forward rub that's low in salt, so as the spam cooks, it doesn't become even saltier.
The key to a good spam burnt end is to balance the saltiness of the already cooked Spam with a perfect level of smoke, spice, and, finally, sweetness from the whiskey sriracha barbecue sauce.
Once the Spam burnt ends are rubbed and your smoker is preheated, place the tray into the smoker. You can use a meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the Spam. Still, it's not really necessary as Spam is a precooked product, and this recipe is more about adding flavor than hitting a specific temperature. You'll definitely want a good meat thermometer to measure your pit temperature as this recipe calls for lower temps than most bbq recipes.
Whip up the Whiskey Sriracha Barbecue Sauce.
The final stage of the Spam burnt end process is a high heat glaze in a sweet and spicy Whiskey Sriracha Barbecue Sauce.
To prepare your barbecue sauce, combine the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, whiskey, sriracha, chopped garlic, and brown sugar in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
You can use whatever whiskey you prefer but stay away from super high-end spirits. While good whiskey certainly adds flavor to any barbecue, there's an upper limit to how much flavor it can add, and mediocre bourbon will still impart much flavor to the finished product.
Glaze the burnt ends and turn up the heat.
Once the burned ends have been smoking for an hour, it's time to glaze them and turn up the heat to crisp the edges.
Open the smoker door and apply the glaze to the burnt ends. You can do this one of two ways, carefully apply the glaze with a mop/brush, or pour the glaze over the pan and then shake/brush the burnt ends to glaze them.
Finally, turn the smoker up to 225°f and return the burnt ends to the smoking chamber to cook for another hour and a half or until they are hot through with a nice crust.
Serve and Enjoy.
After about an hour has elapsed, begin to check on your burnt ends every ten minutes or so and pull them when they are hot throughout and the glaze has caramelized into a nice crust.
Remove the burnt ends from the smoker and place them on a cooling rack to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving warm. You can store any leftovers you may have in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, but given how tasty these burnt ends are, we don't foresee that being an issue.
Smoked Spam Burnt Ends With Sriracha Whiskey BBQ Sauce
- Aluminum Pan
- Mixing bowl
- 2 (12 oz) cans of SPAM (we used SPAM made with Bacon flavor)
For the Rub
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp ancho chile powder
- 1 tsp spanish smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
For the Sriracha Whiskey BBQ Sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp sriracha sauce
- 2 tbsp whiskey of choice, (I used Crown Royal Texas Mesquite)
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 clove of garlic, diced
- Preheat the smoker to 185 degrees F.
- Cut the Spam into 1 inch pieces and place into an aluminum pan.
- Then make the rub by adding the garlic powder, onion powder, chile powder, paprika, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Whisk until combined.
- Pour the rub over the Spam pieces and use your hands to combine and make sure all of the pieces are covered evenly.
- Place the pan in the preheated smoker uncovered, close the lid, and let smoke at 185 degrees for one hour.
For the Sriracha WhiskeyBBQ Sauce
- In a medium bowl combine the ketchup, Worchestire Sauce, Sriracha, Whiskey, brown sugar, and garlic.
- Whisk until all is combined.
- After the hour is up remove the pan from the smoker, pour the sauce over the Spam and mix to coat.
- Raise the temperature of the smoker up to 225 degrees.
- Place the pan of Spam back in the smoker, close the lid, and let smoke for another hour and a half or until hot throughout.
- Enjoy warm.