I hope you all can agree with me here for a moment and say that when it comes to BBQ there is nothing better than Burnt Ends. If you're a pro around the BBQ circuit you've probably had this more times than you'd care to admit, and if you've never been blessed enough to try these burnt ends then quite frankly, you haven't lived. This is the ultimate flavor. It has the beautiful smoke, the tender beef, the crispy exterior and the flavorful juices. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about this dish all over again. Now, it is hard to find just a "point" of a brisket. If you're not familiar with the portions of the brisket, its all one big cut of meat but essentially there are two parts, or muscles. One is the flat, the other is the point. Just as you'd assume the flat is the long, more narrow portion of the meat and the point is the "hill" of the brisket. If you can't tell that much of a difference there's a good chance you've bought a pre-trimmed brisket and they've removed a good portion of the point. It happens. Aim for "packer" briskets, you'll have to cut off excess fat, but it's totally worth having the cut of meat you want. If you can't find one, no big deal. We'll work with what we have!
King of BBQ: Burnt Ends
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 9 and 1/2 hours (it's worth it...)
Serves: An Army
Recommended Pellets: Hickory, Apple, Cherry
8 lb brisket trimmed
8 beef bouillon cubes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle Traeger Rub
1/2 c of your favorite Traeger sauce
Ok, here's the start of this epic journey. I've done brisket two ways, one by mixing beef brother with worcestershire and injecting the meat, the other was crushing beef bouillon cubes and mixing it with worcestershire sauce. Both work great, for this preparation I chose to go with the later. Start by getting your brisket set out and in a vessel that will make this as mess free as possible.
Ok, now we can go ahead and make the wet portion of our rub. Start crushing up 8 beef bouillon cubes in whatever you'd like, then add your tablespoon of worcestershire sauce and mix it well. Once you have it all incorporated start rubbing all of that goodness all over your brisket.
After your wet rub is set go ahead and throw your favorite Traeger rub all over your brisket. Make sure you're pretty liberal with the seasoning. You're not going to over season this thing, actually the rub is going to give you a nice "bark", don't you dare call it burned. There's a difference. So, this next part is totally up to you. You can go ahead and take your brisket to the Traeger, or you can do like I did and let it sit over night in the fridge. I felt it would help the flavors marry and the salt would break down into the meat a little bit. Anyways, to the next step!
When you're ready to cook, go ahead and start your Traeger by turning it on and setting your thermostat to "Smoke" with the grill door open. Once you've given it around 5 minutes set your heat to 250 degrees and shut the door. Once your temperature is ready to go you can go ahead and get your brisket on the grill.
Here's the best part about owning a Traeger, once your meat is set in and the lid is shut, we're going to cook it for 4 hours. No tedious stocking of wood. No manning a fire. No guess work at all. Set your lawn chair out, pour yourself a nice lemonade (thats as hard of a drink I'll take), and watch the grass grow while letting these wonderful aromas carry you away. If you haven't recently added pellets you might have to check it after a little while but if you're all topped off and ready to go you're ready to relax. Once 4 hours is up we're faced with another situation. It seems at this point in time a lot of briskets kind of hit a stall point. People feel that it takes a while to reach the perfect internal temperature and if you just let the meat sit and finish cooking it will dry out, on the other hand, some people say its best to wrap your brisket in foil (known as the Texas Crutch) and let the meat steam and come to heat. This ensures a nice, moist brisket, but could kill your bark. What a dilemma. I opted for the texas crutch, and odds are I always will. Here's why. When you're making burnt ends, you're going to take the point muscle off of the brisket anyway, re-season, then place back on the smoker. If you've already got your moisture down, another coat of seasoning will just add to your bark and create even more texture. So for me, it's always going to be wrapped in foil. So next step, wrap in foil, on the grill at 250 for another 4 hours. Once your 4 hours is up make sure you're gentle with your package. It has all kinds of delicious juices in there so feel free to open over a bowl to savor all that flavor.
Now if you look at the above picture it's more clear where your point is apart from your flat. You can almost see a dividing line to guide you on your way. Next step, remove the point from the flat and get ready for phase two.
Take your cooked point and cover it all over again in your favorite Traeger rub then set it BACK on the grill at 250 for another 1 and 1/2 hours. With this time feel free to take the 1/2 c of your favorite Traeger sauce and 1/4 c of your saved brisket juices and combine the two. Talk about some amazing flavor. Now you're set to go ahead and slice your flat against the grain so you have a nice, tender texture. Once you have it all sliced go ahead and slather some of your BBQ sauce mixture on it. This will help you make it through until those burnt ends are ready!
Now after patiently waiting for an hour and a half, this is going to be one glorious site. This point has picked up even more smoke and caramelization making this the perfect burnt end.
If you're not familiar with this style of BBQ you're going to say, "Oh no its burned". No. No it's not. We don't do that here at Traeger. Once you taste this delicious bit of perfection, you will quickly realize there is no burned taste to it. Sure its "burnt" but that's just the look, not the flavor. I like to cube this stuff up and pour the sauce over the top. I had the priviedge of serving this to an amazing crew of physical therapists that I have been working with to recover from a small series of surgeries that I've accumulated as a soldier. They've put in so many hours trying to make me better, this was just a small way to show my appreciation. Plus it's fun to give the Captain BBQ tips, he's a member of the Traeger family too! Hope you all enjoy this king of bbq, the burnt end! I know we all did.