Barbeque Pig Ear Sandwich with Pink Cucumber Onion Relish

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Barbeque Pig Ear Sandwich with Pink Cucumber Onion Relish

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It always amuses me when I see people’s reaction to my love for eating pig ears. If you’ve never tried it, don’t knock it. Many cultures in the world have had to learn to use every part of the animal to survive and as societies evolved, the desire to eat the lesser parts of the animal fell out of fashion. That’s great for me as I can pick up a half a dozen of these delectable morsels at the Asian market for less than a buck. As a kid growing up in Asia, braised pig ears are a common dish served hot or cold. When hot, the gelatinous texture and thick sauce with hints of soy and star anise pair well on steamy rice or noodles. When cold, they are a crunchy addition to salad greens tossed with a cilantro and spicy lime juice vinaigrette. When I barbeque, I like to toss these in the smoker when I cook my pork butts and briskets. After a couple of hours in the pit, I wrap them in a foil pouch with some flavorful pork au jus reserved from my prior cooks. The perfect way to eat them is to contrast the rich gelatinous flavor with some tangy pickled vegetable. They are good hot or cold and I like to take them out of the foil pouch and put them in a hamburger bun with some cucumber and onion relish. Drizzle the au jus in the foil pouch all over the sandwich and sit back and enjoy the soft meat and crunchy cartilage in the middle as you bite into it!

  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale

Wrapping Mixture

  • (use 3/4 cup saved pork au jus from a previous cook if you can, or use this wrapping mixture recipe)
  • 1 stick butter (salted or unsalted are both fine)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 can your favorite beer, or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Thai Red Sweet Chili sauce (skip this if you can’t find it)
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil

Pink Cucumber Onion Relish

  • 1 cucumber cut into thin slices on a mandolin
  • 1/2 red onion cut into thin slices on a mandolin
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Trim ears and remove any rough edges
  2. Apply medium coat of SYD Hot Rub
  3. Smoke in 250 degree pit with some apple wood for 2 hours
  4. Remove ears from pit and wrap in foil. Be sure to add the wrapping mixture before you close the foil pouch.
  5. Put back on to pit and cook another 2 hours or to desired tenderness
  6. After the ears go on the pit, use a mandolin to thinly slice up cucumbers and red onions and place in a bowl. Warm the water in saucepan on the stovetop. Turn off the burner and add the sugar, vinegar, and salt. Pour warm relish liquid over the cucumbers and onions. The heat will help make the mixture pink. Refrigerate
  7. When pigs ears are done to your liking, make a sandwich with the pig ears, cucumber and red onion relish, and drizzle the au jus in the foil. Enjoy.
  • Author: Harry Soo
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Sandwiches
  • Cuisine: American

2 Comments on “Barbeque Pig Ear Sandwich with Pink Cucumber Onion Relish”

  1. I’m sorry Pitmaster Harry, I can’t get on board for pig ears, tails, feet and delicately putting it, the lesser cuts. I can appreciate those who have the knack and knowledge to prepare them into the delicacies of desire.

    1. Yes, nutrition of the snout to tail of an animal is not for everyone even though Homo Sapiens are here today because our ancestors did it to survive. Without them doing so means their DNA was never passed on and they died out. In today’s era, skip if these parts do not give you joy!

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