If you’re taking the time to cook a whole or half beef brisket, remember, don’t throw out those leftover burnt ends or pieces!

Wondering what burnt ends are? They are the throwaway, fattiest pieces from a beef (or chuck) brisket, that are now a popular item because they become tender and delicious when cooked low and slow. So don’t throw away those end pieces, just stir in some bbq sauce and pop them back in the smoker. Cook them until they are crunchy on the outside and bursting with juicy, smoky flavor with this sweet, sticky and savory Burnt Ends Recipe!

close up of cooked Burnt Ends with sauce

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What are Burnt Ends?

  • Unbelievably flavorful, burnt ends AKA ‘poor man burnt ends’ used to be considered throwaway pieces from a beef (or chuck) brisket where the muscles are separated in the ‘first cut.’
  • These second cuts reveal fattier ‘points’ that when roasted in a smoker with bbq sauce, become tender, juicy, and have a smoky, almost charred flavor with a bark-like crust on the outside.
  • Serve these savory end pieces as an appetizer, or cut them into smaller pieces and pile on top of mashed potatoes. Also delish in a hearty hoagie sub sandwich with some creamy coleslaw.

cut steak to make Burnt Ends

How to Make Burnt Ends

Start with this foolproof beef brisket recipe! Pork belly is another fatty cut of meat that becomes deliciously transformed using this cooking method as well.

  1. Preheat smoker.
  2. Cut ends into pieces and place in an aluminum tray. Cover with bbq sauce, and brown sugar, if using.
  3. Cook, uncovered until they reach 220°F on a meat thermometer.
  4. Allow to rest and stir before serving.

PRO TIP: Be sure the cutting board is secured to a table or countertop and that a very sharp knife is used. This makes cutting easier and will prevent accidents since large cuts of brisket are often unwieldy to handle. 

adding sauce to steak bites to make Burnt Ends

How to Use Burnt Ends

Serve these tasty morsels with toothpicks and a dipping sauce like a creamy dill dressing, a cheesy homemade queso dip, or a favorite honey mustard dressing. Delish as a side with an upscaled mac and cheese and some oven roasted asparagus, a crispy fennel salad, and some muffins to soak up all that sweet and savory sauce! Or let the smoky flavor infuse into a pot of baked beans, or into a hearty stew, or some seasoned rice.

burnt ends with sauce over them, and burnt ends after being slow cooked.

Tips for Burnt Ends

The fattier point end of the brisket makes these ends so tasty. But the leaner ‘flat’ can also be used, just be sure to keep it moist during the cooking process by stirring frequently.

The trick to perfect burnt ends is cooking them low and slow in the smoker. Be sure the ends are covered in the sauce so it caramelizes over the cubes, to achieve that deliciously thick crust!

Keep leftovers (if there are any!) in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven or in a tray on the grill with extra bbq sauce.

piece of Burnt Ends on a fork

Smoker Recipes To Try!

close up of cooked Burnt Ends with sauce
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Burnt Ends Recipe

What are burnt ends and what to do with them? They are the end pieces from a beef brisket (or chuck). Cook them with BBQ sauce low and slow in a smoker, oven or grill to tender perfection!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Rest 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Candace



  • Cook brisket using our best beef brisket recipe.
  • Preheat smoker to 225˚F if not already heated.
  • Separate the thinner flat from the brisket, removing the fat layer, so that you are left with the thicker point.
  • Slice and cut into ¾-1 inch cubes, removing any excess fat from the pieces.
  • Place beef in aluminum tray, cover with the barbecue sauce and add brown sugar, if using. Toss to coat.
  • Add the tray with beef into the smoker, uncovered. Toss beef in the sauce occasionally. Cook for 1-2 hours, until the barbecue sauce has reduced and caramelized. The beef should be about 205˚F, and tender.
  • Rest burnt ends for about 15 minutes and toss to coat in the sauce. Serve warm with rice or on a bun with coleslaw.


  • The leaner ‘flat’ part of the brisket can be used, but must be keep moist during the cooking process.
  • Always cook burnt ends low and slow, and make sure they are covered in the sauce so it caramelizes.
  • Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the oven or in a tray on the grill with extra bbq sauce.
5 from 1 vote↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 398 | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 642mg | Potassium: 742mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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