Pitmaster's Favorite Burnt Ends

20:00 - Prep 12:00 / Cook 8:00
Expert

Burnt ends are renowned and on the menu at exceptional BBQ joints across the country. But it wasn’t that long ago that burnt ends were the pitmaster’s secret and favorite treat.

Originally, burnt ends were the bits and pieces of brisket edges and ends that were leftover on the cutting board after slicing up a whole brisket. They are “burnt” only in appearance. Burnt ends are tender, luscious, and heavily seasoned. Once the secret got out, everyone wanted these chef’s treats.

Now that they are in high demand, pitmasters intentionally created burnt ends from the point of the brisket. Some create the burnt ends from the point by separating the point from the brisket flat AFTER smoking. Others split the brisket point and flat before smoking because that gets the tasty, dark crust all over the point.

6-8 Servings
Ingredients
Burnt Ends
  • brisket point from a 15-20 pound brisket
  • 1 cup brisket injection mix
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil or other high temp cooking oil
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
Dry Rub
  • 1/2 cup black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt, coarse ground
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Equipment
  • meat syringe
  • remote probe thermometer
  • food-safe spray bottle
  • 18" x 24" piece aluminum foil
  • half-sized steam pan or other grill-safe container
  • fat separator
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Preparation
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Steps
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Step 1 Of 10
1. Inject the brisket point. Use a meat syringe to inject the brisket injection mix in the point in a 1-inch grid pattern. Injection approximately 5ml in each site. Because the point has a lot of loose fiber, you will have some of the mix come back out.
Hot TipWhen trimming the exterior fat off of the point, hold the point so it is curved and slice with the grain. Only get the surface fat, don't worry about the fat veins between the muscle fibers.
2. Season the brisket point. Mix the dry rub ingredients and reserve one tablespoon of this mix for seasoning at the end. Apply a light coat of oil and season the brisket point on all sides. Wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in a gallon zip top bag and place it in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours.
3. Preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s Smoker® to 275-300°F. Place a water pan in your Oklahoma Joe’s® Smoker filled three-fourths full with water or other desired liquid. Stack 6 small wood splits in the fire box. Pour a chimney starter full of lit charcoal on top of and around the wood. Preheat to 275-300°F at the level of the cooking grate. Add 2-3 wood splits every 30 minutes or as needed to maintain the cooking temperature.
4. Smoke the brisket point. Place the brisket point in the smoker, on or above a drip pan. Put apple juice in the spray bottle and spritz the brisket point once an hour. Allow the point to smoke until it is almost black and hits an internal temperature of 170°F or higher.
5. Foil the brisket point. Place the brisket point in the center of the sheet of foil. Pour about a half cup of the stock around the brisket point. Fold up the edges of the foil to create an envelope around the point and place it back on the smoker.
6. Remove the point when it reaches an internal temperature above 200°F and it is tender “like butter” when you stick a temperature probe or skewer into it.
7. Slice the point into 1” thick slices. Turn those 90° and slice in 1” slices again, creating 1” cubes. Place the cubes in a half-sized steam pan. Add the stock from the foil and more stock to fill the pan up to about 2/3rds the height of the burnt end cubes. Cover the pan tightly with a lid or foil.
8. Braise the burnt ends. Place the burnt ends back in the smoker for 75-90 minutes.
9. Sauce the burnt ends. Remove the pan and strain off the stock and beef jus into a fat separator. Thin the half cup of BBQ sauce with up to a half cup of the stock/beef jus. Drizzle that over the burnt ends.
10. Finish the burnt ends. Place the burnt ends back into the smoker for 15 minutes to cook the sauce onto them. Taste one for seasoning. If needed, finely grind the reserved tablespoon of dry seasoning and sprinkle it on the burnt ends.
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