Recipe: Burnt Ends
Traditionally, the “burnt ends” of a brisket were cut off each end because they weren't considered suitable to serve as brisket. Instead, they were given out as samples while people were waiting in line to order at BBQ joints. These flavorful, chewy, tender, bark-encrusted pieces ended up being desirable and eventually made it onto barbecue menus. To yield a lot of burnt ends, simply trim the outer 1 inch or so of the entire brisket and cut it into 1-inch cubes.
- 1 (12 to 16 lb.) “packer cut” brisket*
- 24 to 32 tsp. ‘Cue Glue (about 2 tsp. per pound of meat)*
- 1/4 cup Salt & Pepper Tableside Seasoning
- 1/3 cup extra coarse ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup BBQ seasoning of choice:
- Native Texan BBQ Rub
- Team Sweet Mamas KC Style Rub
Try it with one of our Small Batch BBQ Sauces:
- Southern Gold Barbecue Sauce
- Midwestern Sweet Barbecue Sauce
- Black Dust Coffee & Spice Rub
- Black Dip Barbecue Sauce
*On buying brisket: Ask a local butcher for a “packer cut” brisket which is a full brisket with both a lean and a fatty end. A grocery store brisket is typically in the 5 to 7 lb. range and is likely just the lean half, not the full brisket. You want "choice" beef or better with about a 1/4-inch fat cap; if it has more fat, trim it down to 1/4 inch.
*Savory's 'Cue Glue helps the seasoning stick to your protein and creates a tender yet chewy bark.
This recipe requires a smoker. You’ll also need a thermometer to measure both the internal temperature of the smoker and the internal temperature of the meat. We use a Maverick dual probe wireless thermometer.
About 45 to 60 min. before you’re ready to prep the brisket, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.
Meanwhile, prepare smoker: Clean the grates, fill an aluminum pan with water to set under the brisket, and start the fire with wood of choice. You want to get the smoker temperature to between 225 and 300 degrees.
While smoker heats, prep brisket: Use a brush to slather entire brisket with ‘Cue Glue. Season all sides generously with Salt & Pepper Tableside. Mix the extra coarse pepper and BBQ rub of choice together then use the mix to coat all sides of the brisket with seasoning. (The coarse black pepper is an homage to Texas BBQ and it adds texture to the bark.)
Set brisket on smoker: Place the brisket fat cap side up with the thicker side toward outer walls of the smoker where the heat will be higher. You’ll want to have a thermometer that measures both the smoker temperature and the internal temperature of the meat.
Monitor temperature: Check the heat about every 30 minutes or so to ensure smoker stays between 225 and 300 degrees; adjust heat as necessary. Check the water pan once or twice and refill if necessary. It's hard to say how long the smoking will take, but plan for at least 12 hours and up to 18. It’ll go faster if you stay in the 300 range. Keep checking the smoker temp and the internal temp of the brisket as you go. You want the internal temperature of the brisket to reach between 195 and 205 degrees.
Wrap brisket in butcher paper and let it rest: Once brisket reaches temp, remove it from the smoker and wrap it in butcher paper. Let it rest in a cooler with the lid propped open or in a cold oven with the door shut for at least 2 hours or up to 5 hours. It’s amazing how hot it remains and how juicy and tender it becomes when you have the patience to let it rest.
For burnt ends, trim the outer 1 inch or so of the brisket (to get bark and meat) and cut into 1-inch cubes. Serve with barbecue sauce and sides. Slice or shred remaining brisket and serve on a barbecue plate or as sandwiches.