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Burnt Ends

Burnt ends refer to ends of meat from smoked brisket. These cuts of meat from the point end of brisket are cooked further to make them crisper and have a more burnt look and flavor. Though the high fat and collagen content in the meat results in longer cooking time, the end result is worth the wait. These ends are considered a barbecued delicacy, especially popular in the Kansas City Barbecue. The ends are eaten as they are or served with a sauce on the side or on top of the burnt pieces. The pieces are also used in sandwiches or along with gumbo and baked beans.


After the renaissance movement brought about in the American barbecue, more number of people had taken an interest in the barbecuing methods followed by the Southern America main barbecue regions – Texax, Memphis, Caroline and Kansas City.

The four main regions include Texas, which is popular for the Mexican-style barbacoa and famous for smoked brisket and sausages; the barbecue method of Memphis results in the best pork shoulder that is dry-rub marianted. Pork ribs of this region are also popular. The other two regions known for barbecue are Kansas City and Caroline. Burnt ends gained popularity thereafter, as a way of using up the tough, odd shaped dry and pieces of brisket used for barbecuing.

Method of Preparation

The main feature of burnt ends is that they should be charred and crispy. The fatty portions of the brisket are considered ideal for getting some crunchy meat ends. The excess fat of the meat melts down and gets smoky when barbecued, giving the meat its characteristic smoky flavor and charred look.

Popular Accompaniments

Burnt ends are usually served along with the equally popular baked beans and barbecue sauce preferably any other sauce of choice.


Calvin Trillin, the renowned American author from Kansas City, greatly praised this delicious local dish and made it known to the world around the 1970s.