A few questions on burnt ends

Discussion in 'Beef' started by kcpigman84, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Hi all,

    I've got a 13 lb whole packer rubbed up in the fridge right now.  I'll be smoking Thursday night into Friday, eating around 5 pm Friday evening.  I've done several whole packers, but never tried authentic burnt ends before.  Since I'm off work for the summer, I thought I'd give it a shot.  Here's how I typically handle a brisket:

    Olive oil, then rub, then back in the fridge overnight.

    Smoke on a combination of Kingsford charcoal and hickory wood chunks.  I usually try to keep the temperature ~240 or so.

    I don't inject, don't mop, don't use a water pan.  The rig I have retains moisture really well, and if I introduce any into cooks, I've found the meat ends up spongy.  I also don't crutch.  Basically I throw it on, let it cook for ~6-7 hours, then probe it, and leave it alone until it's done.

    Cook to an IT of ~190-195, then pull and foil.  I rest it in a cooler for an hour at least, longer if it gets done early.

    I separate the flat from the point and slice it.

    Then I either cube or chop the point for faux burnt ends.

    I get lots of compliments, and there are rarely any leftovers.

    I'm planning to pull the next one a bit earlier, separate the flat from the point, foil it, and rest it in a cooler.  Then I'm going to cube the point, re-season it, drop it in a pan and put it back on the smoke for another 2-3 hours.  I'll pull the cubed point, cover it with foil, and rest it while I slice the flat, then serve both together.

    Am I on the right track?

    Also, a few questions:

    1)  What temperature would you recommend pulling the packer to separate the flat from the point?  I've seen anywhere from 165-180.  I'm leaning more towards the 180, but I'm willing to be convinced I should pull it earlier.

    2)  I've also seen that some folks, rather than cubing the point, just re-season it and drop it back in the smoke whole for another 2-3 hours, then cube it after the fact.  Better to cube it before or after the 2nd smoke?

    3)  I've also read that some folks separate the two pieces pre-cook.  Any reason not to do it that way?

    4)  Finally, I'm not a big sauce guy.  I think that if I do it right, you shouldn't need  sauce.  But lots of people like it.  Would you recommend saucing the cubed point prior to dropping it back in the smoke, or am I okay to go without it?

    I appreciate any tips.  I'll try to get some pics of it and let you know how it turns out.
  2. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    KCPM84, I can't help you with the burnt ends but wanted to congratulate you on your juicy looking brisket !
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Traditionally, burnt ends were just that...The trimmed ends were saved from the days brisket sales until a bunch was accumulated. Next day, season, reheat in the smoker a couple hours and sell as a special. This traditional method is still done in operations that sell a lot of " Fatty " Brisket sliced as well as the lean flat. In some areas popularity of burnt ends grew and the Pitmaster smoked the packers, set aside the leaner flats to rest and the points were seasoned and went back for some more cooking and additional bark. It is easier for a commercial operation to smoke 50 Briskets whole and separate when cooked, it is a fast assembly line thing. But if you PLAN on burnt ends, there is no reason not to separate the point and flat, ahead. Both will cook faster. Beyond that, you can cube the point and serve, cube, season and return for some additional bark. Or the quick method of cubing, saucing and burning the sauce on with higher heat. I only smoke Points so some of the thinner burnt edges get cut in chunks and the rest gets sliced. Everybody takes some of each...JJ
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
  4. CrazyMoon--Thanks, buddy.  I appreciate it.

    Chef Jimmy--It sounds like you're saying I can't really go wrong.  Can you recommend a temp to pull the flat?
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Start probing at 190. If/when the therm probe slides in with no resistance, you are good to go. Rest 15-20 minutes on the counter and slice...JJ

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