From leftovers to becoming a delicacy, Burnt Ends have surely come a long way from gaining quite a reputation, and that too in no time!
In today’s article, we bring you one of the best burnt ends recipe so you can get that Kansas City style barbeque burnt ends at your own house no matter where you are.
What are BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends?
BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends originally came from the sides of the brisket. But as their demand increased, the sides were not enough. So, the point muscle of brisket was chosen to meet the increasing demand! Brisket Points are way more fattier and when smoked low and slow, it gives the same intense smoky flavor and juicy interior just like those BBQ Burnt Ends!
As the name says it, Brisket Burnt Ends are not really burnt. They just have a super dark bark as compared to the rest of the whole brisket. A darker bark means more caramelized and smoky with a slight crisp on the outside.
A Brief History About How BBQ Burnt Ends Came Into Existence
Long time ago, there was a BBQ joint in a city called Kansas City. Every day they would chop off the sides of the brisket, because they thought it just wasn’t suitable enough to be included in a sandwich.
But by the end of the week, they would find themselves with a huge pile of chopped off sides, and that created a problem. However, one day an impatiently hungry customer walked in with an order of a sandwich. While the Brisket was being trimmed in front of him, he couldn’t resist but take a bite of what the BBQ joint deemed unsuitable.
But with a bite of it, his mouth exploded with flavors. The crunchy smoky exterior and the juicy tender interior just pleased him so much!
And from that day, Kansas City got the solution to their issue. They started serving up these beef bites with BBQ Sauce under the name of burnt ends!
How To Make Burnt Ends From Brisket – A Detailed Step-By-Step Guide
For all the beginners and perfectionists, I have arranged this brisket burnt ends recipe in a simple and detailed structure, so you can get smoking that huge chunk of Brisket like a pro!
- Preparing The Brisket
What part of The Brisket is Burnt Ends?
Brisket is a huge beef cut that is often divided into two muscles – a Flat cut and a Point cut. This is where Brisket Point comes handy, because point muscle itself is the part of brisket that serves as burnt ends. So, without it you can’t really have classic burnt ends!
You can buy a Brisket Point from the market or you could just get a whole Brisket to yourself and trim it down accordingly, the choice is all yours!
How To Cut A Whole Brisket?
For a whole Brisket, there is a hard fat layer between point muscle and flat muscle that is separating these two. So with a sharp knife and a well-stabled cutting board, separating these two muscles becomes as an easy task.
With the sharp knife, trace the fat layer from one end to the other. And if your knife accidentally slices into the meat, readjust the knife and get back to the original path of fat!
Once done, put the flat muscle aside and bring your attention to the point muscle because we are still not done here yet. Trim down the fat on the sides completely and also trim the fat cap of Brisket Point to at least a ¼ inch – trust me you really don’t want your brisket to be too fatty, it ruins all the fun that comes along with BBQ.
- Seasoning The Brisket
To bring out the enhanced flavor of a meat, season the brisket with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
I prefer mixing all these seasonings in a bowl, and then drizzling it on the brisket. This saves time, and evenly spreads out the seasonings. Give your Brisket a nice rub as well when you are seasoning it, so it really sticks to the beef.
- Preheating The Smoker
Consider this step as a default because no meat smoking turns out good without preheating your smoker! Preheat the smoker to 225° F – 250° F.
- Smoking The Brisket
Add the brisket in the smoker with marbled side facing downward and close the lid of the smoker. In a separate chamber, add your favorite wood pellets to get your brisket nicely smoked – because without hardwood, you can’t really smoke.
Since the Brisket itself comes with a bold flavor, I prefer smoking it with a relatively lighter flavored wood such as pecan, apple or oak wood. These three woods are neither too strong nor too light, giving your smoked brisket a touch of mild flavor. This mild flavor from woods perfectly balances the strong flavor of the brisket!
Smoking is a time-consuming process, and smoking a brisket is a triple time-consumer! No jokes, seriously. It is a fact known by the whole wide world that brisket is a tough meat, and of course to overcome its toughness means giving your precious time to make it nice and tender.
For this recipe, smoke the brisket until the internal temperature reaches 165° F – this will roughly take 6 hours. After that, take the brisket out, wrap it up in foil or butcher paper, and pour beef stock in it before wrapping it completely and putting in the smoker for further 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 195° F.
- Preparing The Burnt Ends
How To Cut Burnt Ends?
Once you get that nicely done smoked brisket, cut it all into equal sized cubes. I prefer keeping my cubes no more than 1 ½ inch – not too large and not too small.
At this point your Brisket should be very tender, and cutting it up should feel like cutting a room temperature butter.
- Smoking Burnt Ends
Put these cubes or more preferably the burnt ends in a tray, and add 1 cup of BBQ Sauce (whatever you prefer, I prefer homemade BBQ sauce) and 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey. Mix it well and put it in the smoker for another hour.
Midway through the time, mix the burnt ends again so more sauce can seep into it, making it super tender and flavorful!
- Serve it Up Saucy!
Unlike the rest of the smoked beef cuts, brisket burnt ends require no resting time. So once you take these meaty and tenderly soft cubes out of the smoker, serve these burnt ends up immediately!
For a classic touch, you can also serve these brisket burnt ends with a bread just like Kansas City style!
Since I am a sucker for BBQ Sauce, I drizzle more of it on top of the burnt ends before devouring these finger-linking goodies.
With this best burnt ends recipe, you can have your friends and family swoon over you, because my family fell head over heels for these classic burnt ends when I made it for the first time! So, be a BBQ hero in your neighborhood and show them how the smoking is really done.
Thank you for reading my recipe, and I hope you will try it as well. If you have any questions related to BBQ then hit up the comment section. And remember, when you can’t go to Kansas City, bring the Kansas City at your home for these lovely, juicy and classy burnt ends!
The Best BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends
- 6 pounds of Brisket Point
- 2 teaspoons of Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoons of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
- 1 cup of Beef Stock
- 1 cup of BBQ Sauce
- 3 teaspoons of Honey
- Cut out the point muscle from a whole brisket, trim down the hard fat and trim the fat cap to ¼ inch.
- Add 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 2 teaspoons of black pepper and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder in a bowl and mix it well. Season your Brisket Point with it and rub it well.
- Preheat the Smoker to 225° F.
- Put your well-seasoned brisket in the smoker along with your favorite wood pellets. Smoke it for 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.
- Take the brisket out, and wrap it up with foil or butcher paper. Before wrapping completely, add beef stock in it.
- Put the wrapped brisket back into the smoker until 195° F internal temperature is achieved (roughly takes 2 hours).
- Cut up your tender brisket point into 1 ½ inch sized cubes.
- Add these cubes in a tray along with 1 cup of BBQ Sauce and 3 tablespoons of Honey. Mix it well.
- Put the tray, without covering it, in the smoker for another hour.
- Serve these burnt ends immediately with a bread and more BBQ Sauce!