Smokey, sticky nuggets packed with extreme beefiness, follow this recipe to create the ultimate bbq brisket burnt ends.

This post was inspired by #foodrage. It’s a real thing. Not to be confused with Hangry, which is when you’re so hungry that you become moody, irritable and angry. Foodrage is the product of being exposed to food has that been mistreated. Food that either doesn’t make sense, or could be better. Way better. You know, like putting a bone-in meat cut in a sandwich just because it looks good on Instagram. That’s the epitome of #foodrage – who the hell wants to bite into a bone? Stupid.

At any rate… in this case, my #foodrage was inspired by some really underwhelming burnt ends. I’m not even sure they could be called burnt ends. Let’s have a moment of truth together, shall we? Simply cubing and tossing brisket in BBQ sauce does not mean you have made burnt ends. It means you have cut chunks of brisket and coated them in sauce. Which is a tragedy in and of itself.

You are watching: How To Make Burnt Ends

sticky burnt brisket ends

What burnt ends are supposed to be, certainly in my opinion, are cubes of point-end smoked brisket that have been coated and returned to cook. Placed back into the smoker, they transform into delicious dark nuggets of caramelized deliciousness, sticky on the outside and impossibly soft and rippled with beef fat and gelatin on the inside. Now THOSE are some burnt ends I wanna eat.

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The trick for me was to make sure there was enough sugar content to get a decent sticky exterior crust forming. I did this with a small arsenal of ingredients like sugar, cola and a rich BBQ sauce. And butter. Because why the hell not?

Here’s the basic method of how it’s done. I smoke up a brisket point (around 7lb) at 250f for about 4-5 hours, then wrap it with foil. Once wrapped, I take it to an internal temperature of 185f (which is way below done by the standards of normal brisket). Because I return it to cook, no resting is necessary, so the point is sliced thickly then cut again to form cubes. The cubes are coated in the special sauce mix, placed into a large foil tray and returned to a hotter smoker to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and reduced, about another 2-3 hours.

If you want a more detailed understanding of how to cook a brisket, check out this complete guide. It explains why you’re going to be cooking to temperature, rather than time. I use the Thermoworks Smoke unit to monitor the internal temperatures of my meat in the pit – I’ve used others before, and I must tell you I am so impressed with this unit. It works straight out of the box, and is precise to a fraction of a degree. I also use my own rub, Hardcore Carnivore: Black, to help create a vivid black bark.

You do have to be a fan of sweet/beef pairing to enjoy any form of burnt ends, but if you can handle the flavor profile, truly my version of burnt ends are beef candy.

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For my guide to brisket click here.

Recipe after the pics:

slicing the brisket into thick pieces

how to make burnt ends
sauced chunks waiting for the second smoke

delicious burnt ends


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