Brisket burnt ends, also known only as “burnt ends”, are delicious pieces of tough beef brisket that taste amazing on their own drenched in barbeque sauce and can also be paired with other ingredients and dishes to make a complete meal.
So, what to serve with burnt ends? There are several great options to serve with burnt ends such as baked beans, coleslaw, mac and cheese, potato salad, grilled potato skins, macaroni salad, corn on the cob, and much more.
Read on to find out more about burnt ends and some of the best side dishes to serve with them:
What Are Burnt Ends?
Burnt ends are the trimmings from smoked brisket and are also called “bark”.
They are trimmed off the edges of a smoked beef brisket since they tend to dry out and take on a very smoky flavor. They are generally taken off to allow the rest of the brisket to be sliced easily for serving.
Instead of discarding these burnt ends, they can be enjoyed with some barbeque sauce or paired with delicious sides to create a proper meal.
They are generally tough and chewy but are very popular in the barbeque crowd.
You can get burnt ends either as a by-product by trimming the edges of a smoked brisket or make them intentionally by taking parts of a smoked brisket and returning them to the smoker to dry them out.
What Do Burnt Ends Taste Like?
Burnt ends taste like, well, burnt ends. The meat is somewhat burnt and crispy and has a deep sweetness and rich flavor as a result of the caramelization process and rendering of the fat.
The extended time in the smoker gives them an intense smoky flavor which, for some, is an acquired taste.
If you are a fan of the sweet smoky combination, you will enjoy eating burnt ends. You can also pair them up with delicious sides to make a complete meal and dial down on the smokiness.
What To Serve With Burnt Ends
Initially considered scrap and served either as appetizers or thrown into stews, it didn’t take long enough for people to realize that burnt ends are actually barbeque gold.
Extremely delicious and satisfying, these crispy, smoky parts of a brisket are full of flavor and can be served with a number of sides to make a complete meal.
However, when looking for the most suitable accompaniment to serve with burnt ends, you must keep a few things in mind.
These include pairing them up with a meat-free dish and something with a mild, sweet flavor to balance out the smoky and savory flavor of the burnt ends.
Here are some of the best options to serve with burnt ends to make a complete meal for you to enjoy!
1. Baked Beans
One of the best dishes to serve with burnt ends, pairing them with baked beans can turn a snack into a proper meal.
Baked beans have a sweet flavor and, similar to brisket, take on smoke really well. While you can serve up canned beans, some nice homemade smoked baked beans will take your meal to the next level.
You can flavor the beans with barbeque sauce and infuse them with peppers and onions for a savory feast that will truly leave you asking for more.
Surely a crowd-pleaser, coleslaw is a perfect side to serve with burnt ends and requires just a handful of ingredients to make.
Creamy, tangy, and just the right amount of sweet, the crunchiness from the cabbage and carrots strikes the perfect balance with the richness and smokiness of the burnt ends, making them one of the best pairings.
Whether you use a traditional creamy dressing or a refreshing apple cider vinaigrette, a colorful coleslaw will always be a favorite side dish.
3. Mac And Cheese
What can be better than sweet, savory, and smoky burnt ends served with some rich and creamy mac and cheese? Americans love mac and cheese and certainly won’t leave any opportunity to enjoy this favorite comfort food.
A great option if you are looking to prepare a fuller meal, mac and cheese can be prepared in several ways and can be customized according to your taste and preference.
You may top it with some crispy bacon crumbs and give it a little smoke or layer it with some crunchy breadcrumbs for added texture.
4. Potato Salad
Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables loved by almost everyone! Even the pickiest of eaters will happily eat potatoes in any form or shape.
Potato salads are rich and creamy and go well with a variety of dishes. From a classic mayo-based potato salad to one made with Creole mustard or bacon, there are several ways to prepare this delicious side dish.
You may roast the potatoes instead of simply boiling them to give them a different taste and texture and can top them with some fried bacon for extra crispiness and fresh herbs to make them light and fragrant.
5. Grilled Potato Skins
Apart from a potato salad, grilled potato skins are another great option to serve with your burnt ends.
They are super delicious and convenient to make, especially since you most probably already have the grill fired up for the brisket you made.
All you have to do is slice the potatoes in half, hollow them out with a spoon, microwave them for about 6-7 minutes, slather them with butter, and grill them for 5 minutes with the skin side up.
Flip the other side, cook for an additional 3 minutes, top them up with sour cream and onions, and serve with crispy burnt ends.
6. Mashed Potatoes
We simply can’t get enough of potatoes! It’s not our fault potatoes are so incredibly delicious and work with all kinds of meat dishes!
Creamy mashed potatoes are a popular side dish served with many foods, and it’s no surprise that they taste great with crispy burnt ends as well.
They add a hearty aroma and provide a contrasting super soft and creamy texture to the crunchy burnt ends.
7. Macaroni Salad
Classic macaroni salad is another easy go-to side dish to serve with a variety of food items including burnt ends.
If you want to prepare a proper meal that will keep you filled up for a while, then macaroni salad is a great option to go with.
Made with hard-boiled eggs, chopped vegetables, mayonnaise, a bit of mustard, and of course, macaroni, you may either top it with your burnt ends or enjoy them separately as well.
8. Corn On The Cob
Sweet, juicy, and so much fun to eat, corn on the cob is a crowd favorite that requires barely any effort to prepare.
Whether you boil it, grill it, or microwave it, corn on the cob is always a great side dish to go with so many dishes. You just can’t go wrong with it.
Simply slather it in some butter and, to make it more interesting, you may top it up with some crumbled cheese and fresh herbs.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you may slather it with some mayonnaise and top it with cilantro, chili powder, and cheese, and drizzle it with some freshly squeezed lime juice. Yum!
9. Brussels Sprouts
Before you skip this one, just hear us out! Brussels sprouts are a delicious vegetable that pairs wonderfully with brisket as well as burnt ends.
The key to cooking them to perfection lies in timing since overcooking them is what makes them taste and smell awful.
The best way to make brussels sprouts is to roast them at 400°F for 20-30 minutes to get rid of their natural bitterness.
All you need is some olive oil, kosher salt, and some ground pepper to make crispy, caramelized little bites that are crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.
10. Homemade Salad
Light, refreshing, and full of nutrition; a homemade salad is the perfect side dish if you are looking for a healthy option to go with your burnt ends.
When it comes to salads, you can be as creative as you like and add whatever you want. Look into your refrigerator and chop up all the vegetables you like.
Some common salad ingredients include salad leaves, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and onions. You may even top them up with beans or chickpeas and serve them with a nice dressing.
A nice salad perfectly complements burnt ends and balances out the richness and smokiness with its light flavor and refreshing aroma.
Bonus: Use The Burnt Ends In A Sandwich!
A burnt ends sandwich is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to use burnt ends and turn them into a proper meal.
All you need are three basic ingredients: burnt ends, pickled red onions, and some nice and soft buns. For added flavor and texture, you may use honey BBQ sauce and Monterey jack cheese to up your sandwich game.
If you’re looking for a great
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