Barbecue: Burnt Ends

A while back, my partner in barbecue crime here at SE, James Boo, wrote an amazing piece on burnt ends, and why they're so delicious. Though it already thoroughly covers their history and role in this world, I'll just tell you that they're so good, you'll want more than just the few trimmed off a whole smoked brisket. Luckily, there's an easy solution to that.

With an extra brisket point separated from the flat used for this pastrami, I chose to rub it down and smoke it on its own to the normal temperature I shoot for in a brisket, about 195 degrees.

Once it hit that mark, in a mere 12 hours, I took it off the smoker and cubed the entire point—stealing a few pieces of the beautifully moist, smoky beef for myself. The brisket pieces were then tossed with a spicy and sweet tomato based sauce and a little bit of drippings collected in a tray below the brisket as it smoked.

It was back into the smoker for these little morsels of excellence; they'd become burnt ends. Each additional hour in the smoker brought a deeper crust and extra smokiness that makes this barbecue treat so incredibly irresistible.

After about four hours, I deemed them pretty near perfect, piled a bunch on a bun with a little extra barbecue sauce, and went at it. The outsides had a sight crispness and chew, while the insides remained moist and tender due to the large amount of fat in the point. There was a smokiness throughout that combined with beefiness and spiced bark, created a flavor so intense and delicious that any resistance to eat more was laughably futile.

About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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Barbecue: Burnt Ends

About This Recipe

Yield:8 to 10
Active time:1 hour
Total time:16 to 20 hours
Special equipment:Smoker or Grill
Rated:

Ingredients

Procedures

  1. 1

    Cut smoked brisket point into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large disposable tray. Add in 1 cup of barbecue and brisket drippings, if reserved, and toss to thoroughly coat brisket pieces.

  2. 2

    Place tray back in smoker and smoke at 225 degrees until brisket pieces darken and become crisp around the edges, 2 to 4 hours.

  3. 3

    Remove from smoker, let cool for 10 minutes, then serve, with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.

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