What is a burnt end?Have you ever heard of burnt ends? Well, we hadn't either, but as soon as we arrived in Kansas City, Missouri it was all anyone would talk about! After speaking with a few locals about Kansas City's best barbecue joints, we were directed to Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue where head chef Nick Beffer brought us back into the kitchen to reveal how they make these "golden nuggets" of Kansas City barbecue.
What is a burnt end?
A burnt end is a double seared and smoked point of a brisket that is trimmed off and smoked even further until a nice crisp "bark" forms on the exterior. It is then chopped into cubes and served alone as a platter, or chopped up into a sandwich. Because the point of the brisket is awkwardly shaped and fatty which makes it hard to thinly slice for the brisket platters, it used to be discarded by restaurants. Little did they know they were tossing out a part of the brisket that had the potential to be the best barbecue meat on the planet. It is crunchy and smoky on the outside, and tender and fatty on the inside. Just throw a little barbecue sauce on top and dig in! It basically melts in your mouth.
How are they made?
Jack Stack makes their burnt ends through a 14-hour process that starts with smoking a raw brisket in a hickory wood fire brick oven until it has a nice sear on it. Then the entire brisket goes into a rotisserie style smoker (The Southern Pride) for another 6-8 hours until it is done cooking. At that point the brisket is fully cooked, but not the burnt ends. The point of the brisket is then trimmed off and put back in the smoker for an additional two hours. Now the burnt ends are ready to be chopped into bite-sized cubes for a burnt end platter, or chopped up even smaller for one of their famous barbecue burnt end sandwiches.