Making the Most Delectable Brisket Burnt Ends

Brisket burnt ends with beans
Brisket burnt ends make an excellent substitute for smoked brisket. Making crispy, tender and delicious brisket burnt ends involves the same steps as making smoked brisket. But instead of reducing the meat temperature to 200 degrees F, you remove the meat from the smoker at 190 degrees F, slice it and apply BBQ sauce before smoking for an additional 45 minutes. 

What are Brisket Burnt Ends?

Brisket burnt ends are fantastically tender and flavorful meat cubes derived from the fatty piece of the brisket. 

Native to the Kansas City-style BBQ scene, beef brisket burnt ends are now a staple on BBQ menus around the country. The trend has also spread to other meat cuts. It is not uncommon to see other meats used, including poor man’s burnt ends and pork belly burnt ends to make an imitation of the original.

Despite the name, brisket burnt ends are not burnt. Instead, they are cooked until you achieve an amazing crunchiness and beefy flavor that is enhanced by the addition of BBQ sauce. The slow-and-low cooking style used to prepare this fantastic treat is what makes them so delicious.  

Brisket burnt ends are one of the most delicious BBQ dishes that you can prepare for your next cookout. A burnt ends recipe yields soft brisket cubes smothered in barbecue sauce and smoked until they are caramelized. 

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Brisket burnt ends up close

Best Brisket Burnt Ends Recipe

  • Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


These burnt ends are like bite-sized cuts of meat candy and make a fantastic choice for supper or a special occasion meal with friends and family.   

Everyone at the dinner table will love the smokiness, crispy texture and tender deliciousness of the melt-in-your-mouth burnt brisket ends you prepare.


Units Scale
  • 5 pound Brisket
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder


  1. If you selected a whole brisket, remove the point from the top flat portion and keep the flat. 
  2. Season the point with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder, put in the aluminum pan, seal, and keep in the refrigerator overnight. 
  3. Allow the brisket to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat the smoker to 250°F and place the brisket into the smoker. After 2 hours, spritz your brisket with clean water every 45-60 minutes if it seems dry (you can also opt to use apple cider vinegar). 
  5. Smoke the brisket until the internal temperature of the meat reads 165°F. 
  6. Wrap the brisket in aluminum foil along with the beef stock and return to the smoker until it registers an internal temp of 195°F. 
  7. Take the brisket off the smoker and remove the foil.
  8. Slice your brisket into cubes, toss with BBQ sauce and brown sugar, and return it to the smoker in a clean aluminum pan.
  9. Smoke uncovered for an additional 60 minutes until its internal temperature reads 205°F.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 hours
  • Cuisine: American

Pro Tips to Enhance Brisket Burnt Ends

You can master the art of making brisket burnt ends for the best barbecue delicacy you’ve ever tasted using these pro tips!

  • Avoid trimming excess fat. Leave ¼-inch of the bottom fat to ensure enhanced juiciness and flavor.  
  • Season the brisket before the cook time for maximum flavor.
  • Whether you want to use a pellet smoker or pellet grill, make sure it provides a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process by measuring the temperature.
  • Wrap your brisket in butcher paper or aluminum foil when the internal temperature reaches 165-170°F or when you’re satisfied with the bark color. 
  • When checking for doneness, make sure it registers an internal temperature of at least 195°F
  • It’s extremely important to let it rest. Once it hits the target internal temperature, remove the wrap and allow it to vent for around 15 mins.
  • Remove the point from the flat, but don’t trim off the flat until it’s time to serve

Selecting a Brisket for Burnt Ends

A good way to select a brisket for burnt ends is to do the bend test. Try to bend a few briskets and choose one that isn’t too stiff to ensure there’s a good amount of fat in the meat.  

You can buy brisket in a variety of grades, all with different textures, flavors, and price tags. Get the best variety of brisket your money can buy. For the best results, select a cut with a thick flat along with good marbling as this will enhance tenderness. The marbling in a prime cut can help make it more tender. 

Packer Brisket

A whole packer brisket is the whole primal cut with the point and flat still intact. These two muscles are attached by a layer of fat.

The brisket point has good marbling and makes the best meat for burnt ends. The flat is lean and more ideal for sliced brisket. Keep in mind that whole packer briskets weigh from 10 pounds to 24 pounds. 

Brisket Cubes

Brisket cubes are juicy bites of the brisket point section that is sliced into smaller cubes. These brisket cubs are full of irresistible, mouth-watering flavor. You may be able to buy brisket cubes from your butcher, or you can make them yourself from a whole packer brisket.

Chuck Roast (For a Poor Man’s Burnt Ends)

Briskets are huge pieces of meat and are usually very expensive. That is why a chuck roast is a good option if you are on a budget and want to make burnt ends. 

Instead of buying a large brisket that weighs between 10 pounds and 20 pounds, you can get the smaller chuck and make a poor man’s burnt ends without hurting your wallet! 

Although briskets with more fat content in the point end are better for making burnt ends since they produce a richer flavor, chuck roast makes a good alternative and can produce the beefy burnt ends flavor if you get the temperature right.  

Chuck is obtained from the shoulder region of a cow, just above the brisket. It boasts an excellent beef flavor, but it can be chewy because it is a highly exercised muscle. 

It’s great for slow cooking and most people prefer it for stew. Slow cooking can help melt the connective tissues and make it tender. 

The good news is that many people cannot tell the difference so you will still be able to treat your guests to a mouthwatering meal!

Are Brisket Burnt Ends Tender?

Yes! By following the best brisket recipe closely, they should be tender.

You can achieve this by cooking for a few hours, cutting the point into small cubes, adding BBQ sauce, and then continuing to smother them. The tenderness occurs when the fat is fully rendered out at around 190 to 200 degrees F.

How to Make Sure Your Burnt Ends are Caramelized

The caramelization process in a brisket helps create that signature sweet taste and rich flavor. During the prolonged cooking process, the fat cap gradually renders out and prevents the meat from drying out, keeping it juicy and tender. 

To ensure your BBQ brisket burnt ends are caramelized, keep things simple. Slather your favorite rub on the brisket. The rub will cover a lot of surface area, so choose one that has the flavor you like most! You can use a mix of onion powder, black pepper, kosher salt, and garlic powder to avoid overdoing it. 

Another important thing to do is to give your brisket burnt ends a chance to render all the excess fat while caramelizing the BBQ sauce. Be ready to wait for an additional 1 to 2 hours for your sauce to caramelize on your brisket burnt ends. This will help deliver that intense flavor you are craving! 

Best Sides to Serve with Brisket Burnt Ends

This iconic meal needs similarly fantastic sides to serve with it.

Here are some of the best BBQ side dishes to do with brisket burnt ends.

No matter what you decide to serve with your brisket burnt ends, you can rest assured that you and your friends will enjoy these smoky bites.

Can You Make Burnt Ends in the Oven?

Yes! You can still make your burnt ends in the oven.

Simply set the oven to 275 degrees F and cook for three hours. Crank up the heat to 350 degrees F, add BBQ sauce, and roast for 30 more minutes.

How to Store and Reheat Brisket Burnt Ends

Brisket burnt ends are a BBQ delicacy, so make sure to store your leftovers properly. If you intend to eat them soon, cover them well and place them in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.  

If you plan to store them for longer, wrap them in aluminum foil and put them in a zipper-lock bag to get as much air out of the bag as possible. 

If you want to reheat the burnt ends in the pellet smoker, preheat it to 225 degrees F. Then, put the brisket burnt ends in a high heat-resistant plastic meat tray. Reapply BBQ sauce and reheat for 30 minutes. 


At heart, Patrick is a passionate cook, adventurous eater, recipe writer, and bargain hunter. He aims to provide creative ideas on how to how to cook amazing food with everyday ingredients in a hassle-free manner.When not writing or standing over a grill, Patrick enjoys traveling and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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