burnt ends sandwich with pickled red onions
Print Recipe

Burnt Ends Sandwich with Pickled Red Onions

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time12 hrs
Total Time12 hrs 25 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Barbecue
Servings: 8 people


  • 1 12-14 lb whole brisket point and flat included
  • 3 Tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons coarse Kosher salt
  • 3 Tablespoons garlic powder

For the Burnt Ends:

  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons honey

For the Pickled Red Onions

  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt


  • Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F.
  • Trim your brisket so that only ¼ inch of fat remains across the fat cap on top. Flip the brisket over and trim off any excess fat or stringy connective tissue on the bottom. Trim a little off of each side of the brisket to create a nice rectangular and uniform brisket.
  • In a bowl, combine the pepper, salt and garlic. Mix well and season all sides of the brisket. You don’t want the rub caked on, but you want to evenly cover all the surfaces of the brisket.
  • Place your seasoned brisket on your smoker and smoke for about 10-12 hours (yes seriously it takes that long, this is BBQ!). You will want to use an internal thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the meat to watch your temperature. The meat will slowly rise in temperature until about 145 degrees F, and then it will slow way down. This is called “the stall” and is totally normal. Let your brisket continue to smoke until it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.
  • Lay out a large sheet of pink butcher paper or un-waxed parchment paper (you can use foil also). Transfer the brisket to the butcher paper and wrap tightly so no moisture will escape. Return to the smoker and continue cooking at 250 degrees until the internal temperature of the brisket reads 202 degrees F with a meat thermometer (about 3 more hours).
  • About 15-20 minutes before your brisket reaches the correct temperature, prepare your pickled red onions. In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine and fully incorporate the salt. Add in the red onions and press to make sure they are fully covered by the liquid. Refrigerate for an hour.
  • Remove the brisket from the smoker and let rest for several minutes. Increase the temperature to 300 degrees on your smoker and let it preheat while you prepare the burnt ends. Open the butcher paper and remove the brisket to a large cutting board. Use a pair of tongs to lift the point end of the brisket (it will be the large, bulging section). You should be able to easily separate the point from the flat by running a knife along underneath the point through the vein of fat that separates the two muscles.
  • Set the flat back in the butcher paper and wrap again to hold until serving time. Use a sharp knife to cut the point muscle into 1 inch cubes. Transfer the cubes to a disposable cooking pan or cast iron skillet. Drizzle the cubes with the BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and honey. Toss gently to combine. Return the burnt ends to the smoker, uncovered, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30-45 minutes or until the sauce has been mostly absorbed by the burnt ends.
  • Pull your burnt ends off the smoker, it is time to serve!! Stack your Martin’s Sandwich Potato Rolls high with the burnt ends and top with a couple of the pickled red onions and additional BBQ sauce, if desired. You can also slice the brisket flat against the grain and serve on the buns too for brisket sandwiches!