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Burnt ends are shreds, nuggets, strips, and chunks of meat that fall off the barbecued brisket (or pork shoulder) as it is sliced and chopped. Most are outside pieces with at least some crusty-crunchy areas and thick ribbons of melt-in-the-mouth fat. They are to pit-cooked meat what clotted cream is to milk: the distilled essence, insanely intense and profoundly satisfying, virtually aglow with the taste of hickory smoke and heavy with protein satisfaction. Once unique to Kansas City, where they also used to be known as brownies, burnt ends have become so popular that many modern BBQ parlors make them by distressing meat as it cooks in the pit, thus creating mountains of it rather than having to wait until enough scraps are assembled from the cutting board.