Brisket Burnt Ends (How to Make on Pellet Smoker)

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Brisket Burnt Ends are a smokehouse delicacy! Hunks of brisket seasoned with a homemade blend of spices and drenched in tangy BBQ sauce… {{swoon}}The smell is so incredible, you’ll be tempted to sneak bites before the meat is even done!

titled: Brisket Burnt Ends Recipe


You’ll hear people say that there are a lot of different ways that you can make seasoned brisket.

That might be true, but for the best bite, you’re going to want to make these amazing burnt ends.

Luckily the whole process is super simple, and you’ll have tender crispy ends that literally melt in your mouth. 

This great recipe just so happens to be my favorite way to make meat candy – as I like to call it.

When you add your favorite BBQ sauce to get those sweet and sticky BBQ brisket burnt ends, you’ll know exactly what I mean! 

If this is your first time making smoked brisket cubes, you’re in luck. You’ll get great results and the best brisket ever – I promise! 

smoked brisket point with bbq sauce, spices, and brown sugar

Smoked Burnt Ends

Chad and I are absolutely hooked on smoked brisket, but I tell you — there is nothing quite like smoked burnt ends. 

There are so many ways to enjoy ’em, but my favorite is burnt end nachos.

Smoked brisket point is removed from the flat and chopped into bite-sized pieces, then it goes back in the smoker for another round. 

The extra fat melts right in for incredibly juicy beef with a delectable crust

Smokers and combination grills are taking neighborhood backyards by storm! 

But while everyone else is smoking the usual ribs and wings, you can truly impress your guests with this brisket burnt ends recipe!

Sure, you may have to get started bright and early — you’ve got to smoke the whole brisket first, after all. 

But when you take your first bite, you’ll know every hour spent was worth it!

chopped brisket pieces in aluminum pan

What are brisket burnt ends?

If you’re wondering what part of the brisket is burnt ends, wonder no more!

Made from the point cut (or deckle) of the brisket, the scrumptious bites of smoked beef became popular in Kansas City in the 1970s.

After slicing the flat cut for sandwiches, the heavily smoked end pieces were chopped up and passed out as appetizers to waiting customers.

Very quickly, they discovered that brisket burnt ends is the best part! Smoking makes everything taste better, from meats and seafood to veggies and baked beans.

Don’t let this backyard appliance intimidate you — once you get the hang of it, you’ll want to try out all kinds of recipes!

seasoned pieces of brisket point in aluminum foil pan

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Brisket Point – You will need to use the removed point cut from already smoked beef brisket. 

    This cut can be hard to find by itself and is typically sold attached to the flat cut. So, it’s typically a better deal to buy the whole brisket.

    If you don’t feel like smoking a whole brisket, I’ve also got a Poor Man’s Burnt
    Ends recipe made with chuck roast that you can cook in an oven or on a smoker.
  • Brown Sugar – This adds sweetness to balance the spice.

    It also caramelizes in the smoker, helping to create a mouthwatering crust on the surface of the smoked burnt ends.
  • Spices – Garlic powder and onion powder create a savory base for this brisket point recipe. 

    Chili powder, paprika, cumin, and cayenne add plenty of heat and a little extra kick. If you prefer your meat to be less spicy, simply omit the cayenne.

You can also use dark brown sugar, kosher salt, or your favorite rub during the cooking process.

As long as you cover the cut of meat in the best way for your tastebuds, you’ll be good. 

  • BBQ Sauce – Use a bottle of your favorite brand, or whip up my signature recipe! You’ll need up to a half cup of sauce for coating the beef, plus more for dipping.
pouring barbecue sauce over seasoned burnt ends in foil pan

Guide to Smoking Burnt Ends

First, you’ll need to spend most of the day smoking a whole brisket

After the meat rests and you have removed the brisket point, continue with this brisket burnt ends recipe.

  1. Cube the meat. Slice into 1-inch pieces and place in an aluminum pan.
  2. Toss with spices. Mix together the brown sugar and seasonings, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the meat. Toss until well combined.
  3. Coat in BBQ sauce. Pour some of the sauce over the beef and toss to coat. Add more if needed, just until every piece is covered.
  4. Smoke. Place the pan inside the smoker, uncovered, at 225°F. 

    Cook for about an hour, tossing the meat halfway through, until crispy on the outside and extra tender on the inside.

Brisket Burnt Ends Recipe FAQ

Can you make burnt ends on a grill? 

You sure can! Just set your grill to indirect cooking, then follow the brisket point recipe as directed, below.

Instead of using pellets like you would for smoking burnt ends on a Traeger, you will need to soak wood chips in water for about 30 minutes. Drain the water off and add the wood chips to a smoker box. 

Alternatively, wrap the brisket pieces in foil and poke a few holes all over, so the steam can escape.

What temperature do you cook burnt ends? 

For the best results, all cuts of beef should be smoked low and slow at 225°F. 

Especially for this brisket point recipe — the pieces need to cook at a lower heat so they come out both tender and crispy.

Do you cover brisket burnt ends in foil? 

You’ll regret it if you do! Leave the meat uncovered when smoking burnt ends to get that signature crispy coating all over. 

The meat is already cooked through from the first round of smoking — the extra time is really to get it more tender and delicious.

brisket burnt ends tossed with seasoning and bbq sauce

Serving Suggestions

Burnt ends make for the best nachos!!! I serve them on a bed of tortilla chips with a layer of queso (or beer cheese queso!), a scoop of apple baked beans, pickled jalapenos, and a drizzle of barbecue sauce.

You can’t go wrong with those!

You can also serve them with toothpicks for a savory appetizer, or load them onto rolls for a tasty sandwich.

Smoked burnt ends are also great as a main course along with all of your barbecue favorites. 

Toss some corn on the cob or a few potatoes in the smoker with the meat for a simple meal, made in one shot!

chunks of beef in smoker, covered in barbecue sauce


  • Smoker – Wood pellet varieties allow extra flavor to be infused into whatever you’re smoking.
  • Wood chips or Pellets – I love this blend of black oak, hickory, elm, and mesquite and use it for just about everything.
  • Quality knives and a big solid cutting board make prepping a breeze and are well worth the investment.
  • Disposable aluminum pan – Easy to transfer from smoker to table without losing any of that delicious sauce!
  • Long tongs make it easier to flip the brisket burnt ends without reaching all the way into the smoker.

Storing and Reheating Leftover Burnt Ends

Any leftover brisket burnt ends should be refrigerated in an airtight container. Enjoy within 3 to 4 days, either cold from the fridge or warmed back up.

Reheat the meat in the oven (no hotter than 325°F), switching to the broiler at the end if you want crispy bits again. 

Even an air fryer would be a great option for warming the meat back up!

crispy pieces of smoked beef in basket on serving tray

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crispy chunks of brisket point smothered in bbq sauce

Other Fabulous Smoker Recipes

brisket burnt ends, close up

Brisket Burnt Ends (How to Make on Pellet Smoker)

Donna Elick
Brisket Burnt Ends are brisket point pieces, smoked and slathered in BBQ sauce. Make this burnt ends recipe while the smoker’s still hot!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Smoker
Servings 6


  • 3 pounds smoked brisket point
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ cup TSRI’s signature bbq sauce, plus more for dipping


  • After the point has been smoked and removed from the brisket, cut into 1-inch cubes and arrange in a single layer in an aluminum foil pan.
  • Mix the dry spices together and sprinkle over the meat. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Pour the BBQ sauce over the burnt ends and toss again. Use just enough BBQ sauce to coat the meat.
  • Return to the smoker, uncovered, at 225F for about 1 hour, stirring halfway through the smoking time.
  • Remove from the smoker and serve with additional BBQ sauce.

Donna’s Notes

  • Feel free to use BBQ sauce of choice
  • To prepare burnt ends on a grill rather than a smoker, please see instructions in the post.


Serving: 0.5 pound | Calories: 449cal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 47g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 141mg | Sodium: 330mg | Sugar: 22g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 5mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): brisket burnt ends recipe

Originally published May 2022, updated and republished June 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious and so easy to follow! Another great one from The Slow Roasted Italian.

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