Barbecued Burnt Ends

I have been so sick for the past month that my body would not even tolerate Chicken Soup, nearly an entire month eating nothing but plain vegetables. However, my two sons still have wanted to eat regular food. I made them this Burnt Ends recipe for an episode of Cook’s Country a few weekends ago. While the recipe takes 8 hours, it required very little effort and gave them a few day’s worth of meals. The sauce is light; no molasses or anything special (like root beer or coffee); which allowed the smoked beef flavor to come through. Using boneless beef means the meal is more straight-forward to eat using a knife and fork, but the bone would have added flavor and texture during the slow cooking time. Also the uniform thickness of the brisket was more like eating cubes of beef instead of burnt ends. Both my sons loved the recipe and they gave it 4 stars. I tasted the beef, but my compromised taste buds did not like it at all. Instead I ate boiled potatoes and broccoli for 3 weeks, which made my girlfriend happy because I lost more than 10 pounds.

Not as delicious as ribs

Not as delicious as ribs

  1. Chris Kimball says to for a brisket with a significant fat cap; but supermarkets always package brisket with fat cap down.
  2. If your schedule doesn’t allow for 8 consecutive hours, you can brined the beef ahead-of-time, and refrigerated for up to a day in a Zip-log bag.
  3. If you don’t have 1/2 cup of juices from the rested brisket, you can make up for the deficit using beef broth.
  4. If you are using a gas grill you will need 2 disposable aluminum pans. Also you should add 1/2-cup of ice cubes to 1 wood chip packet. When you prepare your gas grill you should remove the cooking grate and put both wood chip packets directly on primary burner; and both disposable pans each filled with 2 cups water directly on secondary burner. Replace the cooking grate, turn all burners on high, cover, and pre-heat grill until for 15 minutes until hot and wood chips are smoking. Leave the primary burner set to high and turn off other burners. During cooking, adjust the primary burner as necessary to maintain grill temperature between 275 to 300 degrees.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $20.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess? Low/Medium.
Start time 10:00 AM. Ready at 6:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. My descriptions of how I prepared it today are given below:

Brisket Ingredients:
5-to-6 pound beef brisket, untrimmed flat cut
1 cups plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons pepper
4 cups wood chips
13″x 9″ disposable aluminum roasting pan

Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Add 2 quarts of cold water to a large container, stir in 1 cup kosher salt (5 ounces) and 1/4 cup granulated sugar until dissolved.
  2. Slice brisket with the grain into long 1-1/2 inch wide strips. Add to brine, cover the container, and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove from brine and refrigerate for 2 hours, and use paper towels to pat the beef dry.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons pepper and remaining 1 tablespoon kosher salt in a small bowl. Season beef all over with rub.
  4. Just prior to grilling, soak 2 cups of wood chips in tap water for 15 minutes. Drain and divide equally into the center of 2 large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Wrap wood chips up in 2 foil packets. Cut 3 to 4 vent holes in the tops.
  5. Open the bottom vent of your charcoal grill halfway (see comment #4 if using gas grill). Put disposable pan filled with 2 quarts water on 1 side of grill, with the long side of pan facing center of grill. Lay 3 quarts of unlit charcoal briquettes on opposite side of grill and put 1 of the wood packet on top of the until coals. Ignite a large chimney starter filled halfway with 3 quarts of charcoal. After 15 minutes when the top-most coals become partially covered with white ash, evenly pour the lit coals on top of unlit coals. Top with the second wood packet ontop of the lit coals.
  6. Replace the cooking grate, cover, and open the lid vents halfway. Pre-heat grill for 5 minutes until hot and wood chips are smoking, about 5 minutes. Clean and oil cooking grate.
  7. Lay brisket slices on cool-side of grill as far away from the coals as possible. Cover the grill positioning the lid vent directly over brisket to draw the smoke over the meat. Cook without opening for 3 hours.
  8. Set and oven rack to the middle of your oven and pre-heat to 275-degrees.
  9. Remove brisket from grill and set in a rimmed baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil. Tightly cover with more aluminum foil. Roast for about 2 more hours until a fork slips easily in and out of meat. The meat should register about 210 degrees using an instant-read thermometer.
  10. Remove from oven, and allow to stand for 1 hour (while still covered with foil). Remove foil, transfer brisket to carving board, and pour accumulated juices into fat separator.
  11. Prepare the barbecue sauce by combining the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, granulated garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 cup defatted brisket juices into a medium saucepan. Put over a medium burner, bring up to simmer and cook for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
  12. Cut brisket slices crosswise into 1-to-2 inch chunks. Add brisket to barbecue sauce and toss to combine. Serve in a large bowl.
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7 Responses to Barbecued Burnt Ends

  1. ED says:

    Sorry, but your instructions when using a gas grill are not clear.

    Do you soak the wood chips in water before making the packets? Do you still add ice even though you already soaked the wood chips? Why do you say to turn the primary grill to “hi”, but then say to moderate the temperature to maintain 275-300 degrees?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Ed,

      I have not made it on a gas grill, so had to rely on Cook’s Country’s synopsis of adjustments to the charcoal-version of the recipe. Yes, you soak the wood chips just as in the charcoal-version, but add ice cubes to one of the packets to extend the smoking time. Because all gas grills have different potency they gave a further descriptions as the desired outcome.

      Mark

  2. I’m sorry you’ve been so sick.

  3. Katie C. says:

    Hope you feel better soon!

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