You ask the burning question, What are burnt ends? The answer isn't as cut and dried as you might think. It's possible that it's cut and smoked...
Originally, burnt ends were the trimmings from smoked briskets.
As cooked briskets were removed from the smokehouse cookers, they were
trimmed up before they could be sliced. The well done bark on the edges
along with any other loose bits and pieces were removed, cut into bite
size pieces and sauced up to be served as super smoky appetizers.
But as those little snacks gained popularity, there just weren't enough "ends" to fill the demand. That called for some creative thinking.
Many smokehouses began to remove the fatty points from the smoked briskets to make "burnt ends" out of 'em. The points would be chopped and place in a pan, which was put back into the smoker.
Then, with a little added sauce and a bit more smoke, burnt ends were created where there were none before. If the demand is great enough, some of the flats are also transformed into burnt ends.
This is really an easy recipe that comes in handy if you like to eat
these as appetizers, or better yet toss handfuls of them into your baked
beans. Now that's good eating!
Cut the smoked brisket into cubes. Place on a cooking sheet, bark side down, and place the sheet in your smoker. Keep the smoker temperature close to 225 degrees.
Smoke for two hours, then baste with bbq sauce. Smoke for another 30 minutes and they're ready to go. Homemade burnt ends!