These delicious BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends are the perfect combination of smoky, salty, and sweet in a juicy bite of of succulent meat! Slow smoked and then braised in a tangy Kansas City-style BBQ sauce, they work great as an appetizer for a dinner party with the sliced flat of the brisket as the main course, or as part of your BBQ table spread.

Serve these amazing burnt ends with my Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers, these Classic Garlic Knots, and my Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Smokies for a full BBQ appetizer spread!

A bowl full of brisket burnt ends with a plate of more burnt ends behind it.
Table of Contents
  1. Which part of the brisket do you use for burnt ends?
  2. How to separate the point from the flat on a whole packer brisket
  3. Why We Love This Recipe
  4. What You'll Need
  5. Equipment You'll Need
  6. How to Make Brisket Burnt Ends
  7. Recipe FAQ's
  8. Tips for Success
  9. What to Serve With Brisket Burnt Ends
  10. More Smoker Recipes
  11. Smoked Brisket Burnt Ends Recipe

These sticky bites of yummy meat candy have a rich flavor from the first bite! They're always a hit at BBQs and are perfect for a Super Bowl party or other gathering of friends. We try to have them pretty much whenever we make smoked brisket!

BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends were invented in Kansas City at Arthur Bryant's, where they were handed out to waiting customers to snack on. You can still get them at some of the most famous Kansas City BBQ joints, like Jack Stacks and Joe's Kansas City (formerly Oklahoma Joe's), but for those of us who don't leave nearby, you can make them at home yourself with this recipe!

You can make brisket burnt ends in a couple different ways. You can either cook the brisket whole and carve the point cut off to make burnt ends towards the end or butcher the brisket from the outset and smoke the two pieces of brisket meat - the point and the flat - separately. Either way works!

Which part of the brisket do you use for burnt ends?

If you cook the whole brisket, the flat slices are great for sandwiches, and the point is the bit you want for brisket burnt ends.

Technically, you could make burnt ends with the entire brisket (the point and the flat), but the flat tends to dry out much more easily than the well-marbled point end of the brisket and it doesn't make for the juicy, succulent bites of meat that burnt ends are known for.

How to separate the point from the flat on a whole packer brisket

There are detailed step-by-step instructions below, but this is the basic process: There is a layer of fat between the point and the flat of a full packer brisket. Follow that fat line with a sharp carving knife to separate the two muscles. This can be done either before or after smoking! If smoking a whole-packer brisket, separate the two parts when the brisket reaches 165 degrees F, which is when you would normally wrap the brisket anyway.

Then cube it and add it to a foil pan to finish. The flat gets wrapped and finished, and the point gets cubed, sauced, and finished by cooking for another 2 hours in the uncovered pan. The fat needs to render, and the sauce needs to caramelize and reduce a bit to create these sticky sweet bites.

Cover the pan with foil and cook for another 1-2 hours until the burnt ends reach 200 degrees F when tested with a digital meat thermometer (affiliate link). The burnt ends should be so tender they're almost falling apart, and the thermometer should slide in and out like it's going through a stick of softened butter. Focus more on temperature than time.

To make a complete meal, you can finish the flat by smoking it (wrapped) to 190 degrees F, then remove it and place it in a cooler for 1 hour before slicing.

If you love these Brisket Burnt Ends, you'll also love my Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends, my Carolina-Style Smoked Pulled Pork, and these Brown Sugar & Honey Smoked Baby Back Ribs.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • Change up the flavors by adding different seasonings or spices to suit your preference.
  • Made with ingredients you can easily find at your local grocery store.
  • While it takes a bit of time, this recipe is easy to make but the results are always incredible!

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Brisket - You'll need 6-8 pounds of brisket point (also called the deckle) from an approximately 12-14 pound whole packer brisket. I usually get ours from Costco and sometimes they will be closer to 20 pounds, which still works with this recipe.
  • Seasoning - Use a simple dry rub seasoning mix of kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Stock - Use beef stock for this recipe to flavor and moisten the meat throughout the process. You can use apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup water if you prefer.
  • Sweetener - Dark brown sugar and honey make these burnt ends irresistibly sweet! You can use molasses in place of sugar if you prefer, but the flavor gets a bit strong for our tastes.
BBQ sauce, honey, and brown sugar in separate bowls.

Equipment You'll Need

  • A Smoker - A pellet smoker, big green egg, electric smoker, gas smoker, charcoal smoker - any smoker!
  • Digital Meat Thermometer - This is our favorite digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) but we do have other ones we like as well.
  • Spray Bottle - To easily keep the meat moist with beef stock.
  • Peach Butcher Paper or Aluminum Foil - For covering the meat in various steps.
  • Aluminum Foil Disposable Pan - This handy pan will be the keeper of all those delicious sauces and juices to make your burnt ends delicious!

How to Make Brisket Burnt Ends

Separate the point from the flat. Place a large brisket on a cutting board, fat cap side down. Use a sharp knife to first trim away the excess fat from the sides of the brisket. Then, cut through the fat across the brisket in a sort of sloping horizontal direction following the fat line to separate the "flat" of the brisket from the "point".

You should be able to cut through fat the whole way across the brisket. You can use the flat of the brisket to make my Oven-Roasted BBQ Beef Brisket or my Texas Smoked Brisket.

Trim fat. Trim the fat from both sides of the point cut of the brisket leaving only about ¼-inch of the fat cap. Preheat smoker to 225°F to 250°F with hickory or oak wood chips or whatever is your favorite wood for smoking brisket.

Make rub. Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Season the brisket all over with the beef rub. This can be done the night before and you can wrap the brisket in foil and refrigerate it overnight to let the meat season, but that step is optional. Pour the beef stock into a clean spray bottle and set aside.

Smoke. Place the seasoned meat on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 6-8 hours until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 165 degrees F when tested with a digital meat thermometer (affiliate link). Check the brisket once every hour to spritz it with the beef stock.

Wrap and smoke. Wrap the brisket in peach butcher paper or aluminum foil and place it back in the smoker for another 2-3 hours until it reaches 195 degrees F.

Remove juices and slice. Remove the brisket from the smoker and unwrap it on a large cutting board. Transfer any juices from the peach paper to a large aluminum pan. Slice the brisket into evenly sized cubes, about 1½-inches each. Add them to the foil pan with any reserved juices.

Add sauce and flavorings. Then, add the Kansas City BBQ Sauce, brown sugar, honey, and reserved rub to the pan and toss the meat to evenly coat the pieces.

Smoke. Return to the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for another 1-2 hours until the sauce has caramelized and the meat is practically falling apart. The temperature should be between 190 and 205 degrees F.

Serve. Serve with extra BBQ sauce and sliced white bread.

A close image of sticky BBQ brisket burnt ends in an aluminum pan.

Recipe FAQ's

Can this be made in the oven?

Yes! Brisket burnt ends can be made in the oven, but they won't have the same smoky flavor as when they're smoked. You can add some liquid smoke or use a smokey BBQ sauce to help simulate the smoky flavor.

What's the difference between wrapping brisket in peach butcher paper vs foil?

While both methods of wrapping will work, the porous butcher paper allows smoke to penetrate through it and continue to flavor the meat. It is also supposed to help develop a darker bark.

Can you make burnt ends without sauce?

You don't have to use BBQ sauce if you really don't want to, but traditional burnt ends are usually made with it. Try different types of BBQ sauce or just a dry rub for an alternative flavor.

What are poor man's burnt ends?

These are burnt ends that are made with a chuck roast instead of the point of the brisket. You could also make Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends for a quicker, albeit slightly different, variation of these sweet meat bites!

What kind of wood is best with brisket?

Our favorite woods to smoke with are oak, hickory, and pecan. However, mesquite, cherry, or apple wood will also work well. The type you chose may depend on the seasonings you use and the flavors you want to be detected from the meat.

How do I store Brisket Burnt Ends?

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat until piping hot in the microwave or at 325 degrees F in your oven for 15 minutes.

Tips for Success

  • Use a digital meat thermometer (affiliate link) to make sure your meat is cooked to the right doneness.
  • Make sure to check the meat every hour and spray it with the stock to keep it moist.
  • This recipe is for smoking brisket to the point of having burnt ends. You can cook both parts separately, or you could take the approach of smoking the entire brisket (point and flat), then separating the point from the flat and making the brisket's burnt ends at that point by cubing, saucing, and finishing on the smoker.

Which BBQ Sauce?

I love using my Kansas City BBQ Sauce on these burnt ends to give them a classic flavor, but you can use your favorite BBQ sauce. Try my Alabama White BBQ Sauce, this classic South Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, or this Rhubarb BBQ Sauce for something a bit different!

What to Serve With Brisket Burnt Ends

Whenever I make this burnt ends recipe, I serve it with classic BBQ sides like BBQ Baked Beans, Jack Stack cheesy corn, Homemade Coleslaw, my amazing Mac & Cheese, or Classic Macaroni Salad.

Alternatively, you can serve them on soft Hawaiian rolls or Brioche Buns with pickled onions for brisket sandwiches!

More Smoker Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Smoked Brisket Burnt Ends

5 from 1 vote
Amy Nash
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Southern
Servings 8 servings
These delicious BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends are little flavor bombs with the perfect combination of smoky, salty, and sweet! Slowly smoked and braised in a tangy BBQ sauce, they work great as an appetizer for a dinner party with the sliced flat of the brisket as the main course, or as part of your BBQ table spread.

Equipment

  • Smoker
  • Digital meat thermometer
  • Spray bottle
  • Peach butcher paper or aluminum foil
  • Aluminum foil disposable pan

Ingredients
  

  • 6-8 pounds brisket point also called the deckle from a 12-14 pound whole packer brisket
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup beef stock OR ½ cup apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 cup water
  • 1 cup Kansas City BBQ Sauce
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey

Instructions
 

  • Separate the point from the flat. Place a large brisket on a cutting board, fat cap side down. Use a sharp knife to first trim away the excess fat from the sides of the brisket. Then, cut through the fat across the brisket in a sort of sloping horizontal direction following the fat line to separate the "flat" of the brisket from the "point". You should be able to cut through fat the whole way across the brisket. You can use the flat of the brisket to make my oven-roasted BBQ beef brisket or smoke it. Trim the fat from both sides of the point cut of the brisket leaving only about ¼-inch of the fat cap.
  • Preheat smoker to 225°F to 250°F with hickory or oak wood chips or whatever is your favorite wood for smoking brisket.
  • Combine salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Season the brisket all over with the beef rub. Pour the beef stock or apple cider vinegar mixture into a clean spray bottle and set aside.
  • Rub the brisket all over with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture. See notes for adjustments needed if you are smoking both the point and the flat.
  • Place the seasoned meat on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 6-8 hours until the internal temperature of the brisket reaches 165 degrees F when tested with a digital meat thermometer. Check the brisket once every hour to spritz it with the beef stock.
  • Wrap the brisket in peach butcher paper or aluminum foil and place it back in the smoker for another 2-3 hours until it reaches 195 degrees F.
  • Remove the brisket from the smoker and unwrap it on a large cutting board. Transfer any juices from the peach paper to a large aluminum pan. Slice the brisket into evenly sized cubes, about 1½-inches each. Add them to the foil pan with any reserved juices.
  • Add BBQ sauce, brown sugar, honey, and reserved rub to the pan and toss the meat to evenly coat the pieces. Return to the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for another 1-2 hours until the sauce has caramelized and the meat is practically falling apart. The temperature should be between 190 and 205 degrees F.
  • Serve with extra BBQ sauce and sliced white bread.

Notes

  • Storage: Store leftovers in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat: Reheat until piping hot in the microwave or at 325 degrees F in your oven for 15 minutes.
  • Cooking the whole brisket: If you are cooking both the flat and the point, you will need ⅓ cup each of kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder for the rub instead of the amounts listed above.
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 683kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 211mg | Sodium: 1574mg | Potassium: 1308mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 84IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 7mg
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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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