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Tips and Tricks for Burnt Ends?

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  • CowboyScott
    Club Member
    • Jul 2017
    • 166
    • Colorado
      • Lynx 27" NG Grill with Rotisserie (from 1998 and still looking great after new burners, valves, and knobs) and GrillGrates for searing
      • Smokin' Tex 1400 Electric Smoker with Auber Thermostat Control (since June 2017)
      • Rec Tec 680 (since August 2017)
      • Thermoworks Smoke and iGrill Thermometers
      • Thermapen (wife's- she lets me use it)

    Tips and Tricks for Burnt Ends?

    I bought a full prime packer from Costco and plan to make pastrami out of the flat and burnt ends out of point.

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    I have made burnt ends once and wasn't satisfied with the seasoning flavor and I had also dried out the cubes a bit too much.

    I'm looking to improve this time and wanted some feedback from The Pit. I'll be smoking the point on my Rec Tec, but am curious on...
    - What meat temp do you pull the point off to cube?
    - What do you coat the meat with?
    - I have read a lot of different thoughts on this- from straight BBQ sauce; a concoction of cola, soy, seasoning...; butter, brown sugar...; etc.
    - Do you cover or not cover the aluminum pan the cubes are in- little of both?
    - When do you know they're done?
    - Do you finish them off after the grill in a skillet or something else?

    Looking forward to your feedback.

  • JGo37
    Club Member
    • Apr 2018
    • 1576
    • the LOU
    • Cookers:

      22" Blackstone Griddle, with stand & hood
      CharGriller Portable Firebox - so modified you'll BLOL
      Kitchenaid #810 Charcoal Grill - highly modified
      Weber BI-code Black Performer w/Igniter
      Weber DE-code Red Limited - 'Lucille'


      Ancient heavy CI Propane Turkey Fryer, for lighting chimneys
      BBQ Dragon kettle shelves - 2
      Fyre Dragon Kettle Drippin' Ring, Burnin' Cone & Drippin' Pan - 2 sets
      Fyre Dragon Kettle Ribbin' Ring
      Fyre Dragon Kettle 2-Zone Smokin' Sheet
      OneGrill Rotisserie for the Kitchenaid
      Smoking Tubes: 2x12" & 1x6"
      Weber Gourmet Grill w/Griddle, Pizza Stone & Wok

      My Helpers:

      Anova 900W Sous Vide Cooker w/Radios
      Instant Pot 6Q Duo
      Nesco Tabletop Roaster
      & the PIT!

    First of all your plan is flawless. Let's see if I have any comments on execution:

    It isn't temp but tenderness that tells you when to pull the point to cube it - ~ 190F - 205F. I use a probe without a temperature gauge to remind me what I'm looking for, and when it slides in with little resistance, you're home. The point cooks faster than the flat, and may be tender at the lower end temps.

    Coating the meat for the final cook is a personal thing that will get you lots of answers.

    I'll give you the Missoura answer - CUZ THAT'S WHERE THIS ALL STARTED, RIGHT?

    I put Maulls' Original BBQ Sauce on to simmer when I'm about to pull the point and cut it up. For me, I plop the point pieces straight into the simmering sauce, stir, remove and drain through a strainer preserving the sauce. I return the meat to smoke for about an hour in an uncovered pan, and pull when the sauce has reduced to a smokey glaze. I may move things around once, and let it stay another hour. That's it. I serve with the preserved sauce on the side.

    I'm curious about this 'when are the burnt' ends done' question and what the PIT will say. I've never considered a point to need more than taken off, cut into bite sizes of your choice, dunked in simmering sauce, and served - because I like it sweet candy style. I do the second smoke for presentation and final flavor purposes if I'm not going to eat it all myself, and to give folks the choice to sauce it up or not. ;o)


    • Frozen Smoke
      Club Member
      • Nov 2017
      • 1528
      • Northern Mn

      I'm not much help because I don't make burnt ends very often at all as I like brisket sliced, chopped or pulled as there is much more you can do with the leftovers. But I'm sure others will be chiming in soon.


      • jfmorris
        Club Member
        • Nov 2017
        • 3513
        • Huntsville, Alabama
        • Jim Morris

          • Slow 'N Sear Deluxe Kamado (2021)
          • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
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          • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

        The point is my favorite part of the full packer, and I slice the entire brisket. Not sure I would want to give that up to do some little cubes, haha. I am sure I would like burnt ends, but I like my point sliced up and on my plate.


        • JGo37
          JGo37 commented
          Editing a comment
          You gotta try it once = MELT IN YOUR MOUTH!

        • jfmorris
          jfmorris commented
          Editing a comment
          Oh yeah JGo37 I will definitely be trying it. Been a few months since I've picked up a brisket. Need to head back to Costco at some point.
      • FishTalesNC
        Club Member
        • Dec 2017
        • 1252
        • Durham, NC

        • Cookers
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          • Thermapen mk4

          • Oklahoma Joe’s Triple Grate
          • Oklahoma Joe’s Super Skewers
          • ​​​​​​​Weber Gourmet BBQ System Pizza Stone
          • Weber Gourmet BBQ System Wok
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          • PBC Basket Hanger

        I'm also interested in this, as I am planning to do the same thing around New Year's. I found this video a little while back and was basically going to follow it, but am curious if AR-folk would make improvements:



        • JGo37
          JGo37 commented
          Editing a comment
          I watched it. Nope - no changes. That's it. That may be a bit sweeter than using a counter sauce = depends on your sweet tooth. I like 'meat candy', but do want that beef taste to still be in there.

        • FishTalesNC
          FishTalesNC commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah JGo37 I was wondering about the extra brown sugar she uses. My kiddo will like it better, wife may not tho. Might have to sneak in a little heat in the rub to help offset some of the sweetness.
      • texastweeter
        Club Member
        • Jul 2017
        • 2932
        • Republic of Texas

        I pull it a little early, while it is still a bit tight. Cube it, add a touch of brown sugar, a lille more rub,and a bit of butter. Return to smoker covered for about an hour. Then remove the foil until the drippings have thickened into a sauce. Roll around in the sauce the the cubes are covered and put right on the grate. Smoke at a higher temp until glazed and sauce is tackey.


        • Paladin1954
          Former Member
          • Nov 2018
          • 14

          I second Hey Grill Hey! Made the KC Sweet sauce (recipe here, somewhere) and followed her directions. Heavenly. Could not have been improved. A+ -- https://heygrillhey.com/bbq-brisket-burnt-ends/


          • ddmcwhirter
            Charter Member
            • Nov 2014
            • 139
            • Leon Springs northwest of San Antonio, Texas

            You can make burnt ends off your flat...I make a heavy sugar sauce, with seasonings, then larger than bite size cuts, let em languish in a heavy syrup. Finish in the oven...about 200...they'll turn black.


            • CowboyScott
              Club Member
              • Jul 2017
              • 166
              • Colorado
                • Lynx 27" NG Grill with Rotisserie (from 1998 and still looking great after new burners, valves, and knobs) and GrillGrates for searing
                • Smokin' Tex 1400 Electric Smoker with Auber Thermostat Control (since June 2017)
                • Rec Tec 680 (since August 2017)
                • Thermoworks Smoke and iGrill Thermometers
                • Thermapen (wife's- she lets me use it)

              Thanks everyone for the tips. Very helpful.

              I read the Hey Grill recipe and think it may be too sweet for my liking so will probably wing it a bit with my rub (Peppered Cow), some butter, and whatever else sounds good at that moment.

              Will post back how it goes.


              • Dr ROK
                Charter Member
                • Dec 2014
                • 1351
                • Morrill, Nebraska
                • Retired high school teacher and principal
                  Dr ROK - Rider of Kawasaki &/or rock and roll fan
                  Yoder 640 on Husker themed comp cart
                  Cookshack Smokette smoker
                  Antique refrigerator smoker
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                  Plenty of GrillGrates
                  Uuni wood pellet oven, first generation
                  Roccbox Pizza Oven
                  Meater Block
                  "Go Big Red" Thermopen instant read thermometer
                  Ultrafast instant read thermometer
                  CDN quick read thermometer
                  Maverick ET-732 thermometer
                  Maverick ET-735 thermometer
                  Tru-Temp wireless thermometer
                  Infrared thermometer (Mainly use for pizza on the Uuni and Roccbox)

                  Beverages - Is there really anything other than Guinness? Oh yeah, I forgot about tequila!

                This talks about doing a full packer, but also overs burnt ends: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8yf...em-uploademail

                I like to bring 1/2 cup spicy bbq sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 1 TBS MHMD to a boil and pour over meat in pan. Put back in smoker and cook additional hour or two.


                • CowboyScott
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2017
                  • 166
                  • Colorado
                    • Lynx 27" NG Grill with Rotisserie (from 1998 and still looking great after new burners, valves, and knobs) and GrillGrates for searing
                    • Smokin' Tex 1400 Electric Smoker with Auber Thermostat Control (since June 2017)
                    • Rec Tec 680 (since August 2017)
                    • Thermoworks Smoke and iGrill Thermometers
                    • Thermapen (wife's- she lets me use it)

                  Thanks again for all the tips. Here what I did and how it turned out...

                  - I smoked the point until ~190° (a little longer than I was planning, but my lunch meeting went ~1 hour longer than I thought). Point was only ~3 lbs after trimming so it cooked quickly. Here it is right before cubing...

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                  - Cubed it into ~1" into disposable aluminum pan; sprinkled with more Simply Marvelous Peppered Cow rub (which is what I used as the rub to begin with). As the description says, it "is strong in flavor, we recommend it be used sparingly"; added in ~1 stick of cut up butter and sprinkled ~1.5 tablespoons of dark brown sugar on top. Covered with aluminum foil and put back on smoker at ~225°...
                  - I wanted more savory and juicy than sweet and sticky so I went light on the sugars and sauces.

                  Here it is shortly after I put back on grill (peaking a bit under the cover)...

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                  - Pulled off after ~1 hour and held in my electric smoker at ~160° until serving, which was ~2 hours later.

                  They were a huge hit with friends and family; very flavorful and juicy with just the right amount of sweet vs savory. I also did pulled pork and pastrami at the same time for our Christmas social last night and the burnt ends were the biggest hit of the 3, even though I thought my pulled pork was the best I had ever done.

                  Only change I would make next time is... make more.


                  • Andjer33
                    Club Member
                    • Nov 2017
                    • 13
                    • Willow Street, Pa (Lancaster County)

                    I cook the whole packer together. However, I think it will work the same for just the point. After it hits the stall, at around 150, I wrap it in foil (the crutch) and take it up to 203 degrees. I don't wrap it immediately after it hits 150, though. I just let it sit in the smoker for an hour or so, during the stall, to help develop bark and then wrap it to get it through the stall. Anyway, after it hits 203, I take it out of the foil and put it back on the smoker (or even in the oven) for an hour. If I was doing a whole packer, at this point, I would rewrap the flat and let it rest while I did the burnt ends. I want the smoker up to 300 if I use the smoker. Then I pull it off, cut it into cubes and finish it with bbq sauce in a foil pan. The extra time on the smoker at a higher temp ensures the crispy outside that you are looking for in burnt ends. And the point is so fatty that I've never had the inside dry out even with the extra time cooking. A guy who owns a local bbq store and wins competitions consistently taught me that method. Of course, he doesn't use the oven for competitions but he said at home, either works fine. I was skeptical at first but it improved my burnt ends dramatically. I could never get it crispy enough when I cubed it right out of the foil and put it right in bbq sauce.


                    • xaugievike
                      Club Member
                      • Jan 2017
                      • 729
                      • Chicagoland
                      • Weber Genesis 300 series
                        Weber Summit Charcoal With custom grill center
                        Primo XL 400
                        Blackstone 22" TableTop Griddle
                        Ooni Pro Pizza oven

                      I dont see any real bad advice here. I usually yank mine between 180 and 190 so it slices easily and doesnt crumble. into a foil pan with a little butter and some bbq sauce plus a little more rub. I do not cover the pan. usually after another hour or two I decide if they're done based on um....um.....eating one. or 6.

                      or 10


                      • jerrybell
                        Charter Member
                        • Aug 2014
                        • 387

                        I've always cooked the whole packer. I much prefer the flat for slices. While the taste of the point seems fine, the texture is off-putting. That has been making me want to try burnt ends. I've bookmarked the Hey-Grill-Hey video and I really enjoy just about any Malcom Reed video. I have tried and enjoyed several of his recipes. Check out his burnt ends recipe here.




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