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Are Burnt Ends Easier Than Traditional Brisket?

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    Are Burnt Ends Easier Than Traditional Brisket?

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm having my annual Christmas in July family get together this weekend, and I'm eager to try my first brisket. I've tried a couple Katz Pastramis, but never a regular brisket. Am I nuts for trying to serve my first ever attempt to loved ones? lol. Usually I can't justify the cost or quantity for just the wife and I. So I have an opportunity to try it here, just wondering if I should? Also, didn't know if I should try doing a flat and burnt ends, or if one is easier than the other?

    Also, open to other Christmas suggestions. I was thinking about doing the Malcolm Reed Honey Baked Ham, as the family usually buys the real thing in December, and I've had great success using his recipe. Thought if I went ham, it be too redundant to do pulled pork.

    Anyway, appreciate your feedback, and Merry Christmas!

    #2
    Since you smoke your brisket (usually the point for burnt ends) just as you would a "traditional brisket" and then do the work to create the burnt ends, I'd say no, burnt ends are not easier than a "traditional brisket". They are, in fact, more work. Having said that, given that the fat content in a point is usually higher than in the flat, it tends to be more forgiving during the "traditional" smoking phase. If you're really concerned and still want to serve burnt ends, try it with a pork belly instead. Pig candy!

    Comment


    • Jfrosty27
      Jfrosty27 commented
      Editing a comment
      I second the pork belly BE’s. Great for a gathering. A real crowd pleaser.

    • Ground Chuck
      Ground Chuck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, Gents! I will look into some pork belly!

    #3
    I wouldn't be afraid to serve a first brisket for family. Just start extra early, and allow plenty of time to hold in the cambro.

    If you're going to do burnt ends anyway, I might smoke the flat and point separately, and wrap the flat earlier to help keep it moist.

    Just my 2¢, but there are a lot of folks here that have forgotten more about brisket than I know.
    ​​​​​​

    Comment


    • Ground Chuck
      Ground Chuck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, brother!

    #4
    I've made burnt ends with leftover point, but prefer to do the whole packer (flat+point) when's smoking a brisket. It's very forgiving. If you've smoked a boston butt, you can smoke a brisket. Not much different, just takes a little longer, as most briskets I've done are in the 16 to 18 pound range, versus 8 to 10 pounds for the butts.

    I have been smoking butts and ribs for 30 years, yet stressed over doing a brisket, and finally did one a couple of years ago, following the Texas brisket recipe on the free side to the letter. After the first one was a great success for a New Year's Day meal, I knew it was nothing to stress over.

    Personally, I like the point just to eat (not as burnt ends necessarily) - you just need to change cutting directions after you get to it, when carving the brisket. If we have leftover brisket (if its a big family get-together we don't have much left), the next day I cube up the point, and cook in a pan to make burnt ends. I do more pork belly burnt ends than brisket burnt ends though, if doing them from scratch (i.e. raw meat to burnt ends), as they are much faster to do.

    Jim
    Last edited by jfmorris; July 22, 2020, 02:33 PM.

    Comment


    • Ground Chuck
      Ground Chuck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, Jim!! Always give me great advice!

    #5
    If I'm doing burnt ends or even chopped brisket and I got the room, I will separate the flat from the point just to get more bark on more surfaces.

    Brisket is the easiest inconsistent meat there is.

    Comment


    • Ground Chuck
      Ground Chuck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, brother! The inconsistency is what has scared me to this point.

    #6
    If you want variety, by all means, do both. But as was said above, you're doing most of the traditional work before you get to the burnt ends part, so they are more work. Not necessarily harder, just more work.

    I think you may find that you are your own worst critic. When I do brisket I often find some little thing wrong that I want to tweak 'next time'. Truth is that perfection is hard to achieve, and your family will probably love it.

    I'm a big ham fan too. That's going to take far less time than a brisket, if that matters.

    Comment


    • Ground Chuck
      Ground Chuck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, brother! It definitely would mean more sleep for me, lol!

    #7
    Ah....I think burnt ends (brisket point) are much easier (and forgiving-it won’t dry out as fast) than the brisket flat. Separate the point from the flat and proceed to smoke it. When you get to your desired doneness, cube the point, baste with sauce and continue to smoke (render) the fat until you get what you want.

    Comment


    • Ground Chuck
      Ground Chuck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, Brother! So the point will go all the way to 190-200 before cubing and saucing?

    • TripleB
      TripleB commented
      Editing a comment
      All the way till it's done. 190-200 d is a guide. It can go up to 206 or higher. You want that point jiggling, like jello.

    #8
    A fresh, cured ham off the smoker is hard to beat. That is different than smoking an already cooked ham. Curing the ham is not hard and safe when done right, Meathead has a good article about it.

    As far as burnt ends go, I think a point is always easier to cook well than the flat. the flat is phenomenal when done right, but I think for most of us the point is much better and easier to do.

    Comment


    • Ground Chuck
      Ground Chuck commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, sir!!

    #9
    Well I bought a brisket yesterday, and just have to say, meat prices alone are worth a Costco membership! All the choice briskets I've seen in the groceries near me are at least $85-$100. Found about an 18 lb prime for $50! I prefer Sam's typically because it is about seven minutes closer to my house, but they had only a choice flat, and it cost more than the packer from Costco.

    My question is, how early do I need to toss this on tomorrow to be eating around 6:30? I saw Meathead ballparked 16 hours?! I will probably be at least 250-275 so should be slightly quicker than his recommendation. I'm thinking I need it to come off the pit by about 4 or so, to allow a nice resting period. Any insight would be great, but at this moment I'm thinking start the pit around 3 AM, and try to get it on by 4.


    Thank you all for the wonderful responses already!

    Comment


    • TripleB
      TripleB commented
      Editing a comment
      18 lb. untrimmed I assume. Weigh it again after you trim it and 16 hours is a good ballpark estimate, but nothing is set in stone. Make sure you post pics.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      If you are smoking at 225, 16 hours is a good ballpark. You also need to hold for 1-2 hours in cambro for max juiciness.

      I would follow your schedule, but push the temp to 275, to get it done in closer to 12 hours, and then into cambro a few hours before eating. If it’s 3pm and it’s not done yet, crank it to 300.

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Brisket, pork belly and propane are the only reason I maintain my Costco membership. Sam’s is much more convenient and I go there for everything else.

    #10
    Well boys and gals, I need some advice! I got the separated flat and point on at 4:15 this morning. I was shooting for 275, and I know a couple times it jumped up over 300. But the point is showing 185-190 in 5 hours. Is this possible? They both look fantastic, the problem is dinner isn't for nine more hours smh.

    I wrapped the flat in butcher paper around 170 and have it back on the pit. I figure when it is done, I will say a few prayers and shoot for a lengthy hold. What do I do with the point. Originally when it got to about 180 to 190 I was planning on cubing it, saucing it, and putting it back out for a couple hours. However, I'm still a long way from dinner time!

    Right now I have it in a pan, covered in foil, sitting in my oven at 170, and haven't cubed it yet. Anyone have any thoughts? Do I proceed with the burnt ends and then try holding them for 8 hours? Do I try to keep the point in the oven for another 6 hours? I'm really in no man's land!

    Other than that, it is looking great. Appreciate any insight to help Santa save Christmas!

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      You are overthinking it. Get the point back on the smoker. You did speed the cook up by separating them, and by running up to 300, but it will be ok, and I have held in cambro for 5 hours before, without issues. Meat was still 160 after that long (full packer).

    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      Put the point back on, unwrapped, let it hit 205, then take it off. You can let it cool enough to cube, put it in the pan and hold for a while in the warm oven, then take back to the smoker for a couple of hours before dinner.

    • smarks112
      smarks112 commented
      Editing a comment
      Agree with others... I’m starting a brisket tonight for dinner tomorrow and I’ll probably let it rest 6-8 hours. Long rests make things tastier , not an issue at all. Just keep it wrapped in towels in a cooler.

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