Two Step Burnt Ends – Easy Same Day Brisket

Let’s say you want brisket for dinner. With an 8 to 12 hour cook time followed by an hour or two rest period, you’re looking at a total of 9 to 14 hours total. Let’s just average that out and 11 hours. Add an hour prep time and let’s say, brisket takes… 12 hours.

This means if you want a 6 PM dinner, you need to be starting at 6 AM. I’d still say that’s a little risky because things could take longer but for this scenario, let’s say 12 hours/6 AM start.

This is okay, but, depending on if you’re a morning person, getting up at 6 AM on a weekend may not be the on your wish list. Translate that to a week day when you’re not at home and it becomes even more difficult because you can’t tend your pit.

To resolve these issues, I present to you my two step burnt ends technique.

Step 1: Prepare and smoke a brisket. Here’s my complete brisket process. Slice the leaner part of the brisket and… eat it. Cube the thicker, fattier part and save for a later date.

Step 2: Prepare the “burnt” ends and smoke separately at a later time. Since this part of the process is 2 to 3 hours, it can easily be completed day of for a lunch or dinner.

Cubed thicker/fattier portion of the brisket. These were cut after resting in the refrigerator overnight. That makes them very easy to cut and they stay together well.

In a gallon bag frozen for later use. In this case, I knew I’d be back to them in a week to 10 days so I just used a gallon zip loc. For longer periods of time, vacuum sealing would be the way to go.

Fast forward to step 2 cook day. The brisket cubes are thawed and tossed in Tuffy Stone’s Cool Smoke Spicy BBQ sauce

Placed on a quarter sheet pan to be returned to the smoker

On the smoker. I usually do about 225 for 2 to 3 hours based on taste and feel.

Burnt ends!


This gets you freshly smoked brisket in 2 to 3 hours and makes cook times more manageable. It’s also a great way to break up huge briskets into manageable portions. If you have a hard time getting through a brisket, this lets you prepare meal size portions with very manageable cook times.

My Brisket Process – Complete Illustrated Write Up

My process is based on Aaron Franklin Brisket process – Amazon author page – with a few tweaks

  • Trim brisket fat to 1/4″ or less
  • Apply rub – I usually use my rub recipe – this is a deviation from Aaron’s method.
  • Let brisket warm for an hour.
  • Warm smoker to 200 degrees F – this is a deviation from Aaron’s method – I do this to try and maximize smoke ring and smoke flavor
  • Hour 1: 200 degrees F
  • Hours 2 and 3: 250 degrees F
  • Spritz at the end of hour 3 with half apple juice, half water
  • Hours 4, 5 and 6: 260 degrees F
  • Spritz Hourly
  • Hour 7: 280 deg F
  • At the end of Hour 7: Wrap with butcher’s paper
  • Hours 9 through 12: Gradually increase temperature to 275 to 285
  • When the brisket an internal temp of 200 start to taper off the temp, reducing 5 to 10 degrees every hour
  • Pull the brisket when it reaches an internal temp of 205 deg F – this is another deviation, Aaron goes by look at feel.
  • Rest the brisket for at least an hour,

Chart via How to Smoke Brisket With Barbeque Pitmaster Aaron Franklin

If you interested in the specifics here is a write up on the process, including a really helpful chart from MasterClass

Aaron has also has a MasterClass on his method

aaron franklin brisket masterclass

Related: My Rub Recipe

My BBQ Rub Recipe

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