What are BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends? Origins, Recipes, and FAQs
What Are BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends?
Brisket Burnt Ends, or simply ‘Burnt Ends,’ are well-done pieces of meat made from the ‘point’ end of beef brisket. Burnt ends have a rich, smoky crust and are typically cut into small cubes around 1-2″ thick.
Point meat tends to be tougher, but when cooked right, burnt ends can become soft and tender because of the melting of intramuscular fat.
What Do Burnt Ends Taste Like?
Burnt Ends are rich, smokey flavored cubes of meat that are tenderized in a smoker. It has a crunchy exterior that is achieved by extended periods of smoking the meat.
This exterior crust is called Bark, and its dark smokey color is why this tasty food gets the name ‘Burnt’ Ends.
What is BBQ Bark?
The BBQ bark is a dark, flavorful crust that forms on the exterior of slowly grilled meat. BBQ Bark is a mixture of BBQ rub, smoke particles, and caramelized natural sugars. A well-made burnt end should feature a good amount of ‘bark’ or char on at least one side.
To understand and appreciate burnt ends a little better, let’s learn a little bit about BBQ Brisket.
What is a BBQ Brisket?
Brisket is a popular meat cut in American BBQ that comes from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal. The most popular way to cook brisket is by smoking it for a long duration.
It’s a tough cut of meat comprising the superficial and pectorals muscles, which makes it a perfect cut for slow cooking.
A brisket weighs around 8-20 pounds (3-9 kgs) and is made of two muscle groups separated by fat. These muscles are the two different cuts themselves, namely the Flat cut and Point Cut.
The Flat Cut is a larger and leaner cut of meat with a thick layer of fat on the outside. The Flat cut makes up most of the brisket and has a rectangle or square-like shape. It’s best enjoyed sliced.
The Point Cut, also known as the Deckle, is the smaller and thicker cut of the brisket that packs more flavor because of the excellent marbling (intramuscular fat). The Point Cut has a triangle-like shape and is excellent for shredding and grinding, but it’s most famous as the cut used for burnt ends.
Avoid using the flat end of a BBQ Brisket for burnt ends. They end up dry because of the leanness of the cut, and if you try to make up for the dryness by adding sauce, it will overpower the other flavors.
A popular variation of Beef Burnt Ends is Pork Burnt Ends. Cuts like pork belly or pork butt are used to make this recipe.