Delicious and Complementary Side Dishes for Burnt Ends: Creating a Complete Meal

What to Serve with Burnt Ends: Delicious Ideas to Make a Complete Meal

Brisket burnt ends, also known as “burnt ends,” are flavorful pieces of beef brisket that are a favorite among barbecue enthusiasts. While burnt ends are delicious on their own, they can also be paired with various ingredients and dishes to create a complete and satisfying meal. In this article, we will explore some of the best side dishes to serve with burnt ends that complement their smoky and savory flavors.

1. Baked Beans

Pairing burnt ends with baked beans is a classic combination that takes this barbecue staple to a whole new level. The sweetness of the baked beans perfectly complements the smoky flavor of the burnt ends. You can opt for canned beans, but homemade smoked baked beans tossed with barbecue sauce, peppers, and onions will take your meal to the next level.

2. Slaw

Coleslaw is a crowd-pleasing side dish that pairs exceptionally well with burnt ends. The creamy and tangy nature of coleslaw balances the richness and smokiness of burnt ends. Whether you prefer a traditional creamy dressing or a refreshing apple cider vinaigrette, coleslaw adds a delicious crunch and freshness to your meal.

3. Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese is a popular comfort food that complements the sweet, savory and smoky flavors of Burnt Ends. The rich and creamy texture of mac and cheese pairs well with the crispy burnt ends, creating a satisfying and indulgent combination. You can customize your mac and cheese with crispy bacon crumbles or crunchy bread crumbs for added texture.

4. Potato Salad

Potato salad is a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of entrees, including burnt ends. The creamy and flavorful nature of potato salad is a delightful contrast to the smoky flavors of burnt ends. You can roast the potatoes instead of boiling them to enhance their flavor and texture, and top them with fried bacon and fresh herbs for extra flavor and crunch.

5. Grilled Potato Skins

Grilled potato skins are a delicious and convenient option to serve with burnt ends, especially if you have already fired up the grill for the brisket. Simply slice the potatoes in half, scoop out the insides, microwave, spread with butter, and grill until crispy. Top with sour cream and onions and serve with crispy burnt ends for a delicious combination.

6. Mashed Potatoes

Creamy mashed potatoes are a classic side dish that complements the flavors of many meat dishes, including burnt ends. The soft and creamy texture of mashed potatoes contrasts with the crispy burnt ends, adding a comforting element to the meal. Mashed potatoes are a perfect accompaniment to enhance the overall flavor and satisfaction of the dish.

7. Macaroni Salad

Classic macaroni salad is an easy and versatile side dish that pairs well with burnt ends. This dish can be made with hard-boiled eggs, chopped vegetables, mayonnaise, and a little mustard. You can either top the macaroni salad with burnt ends or enjoy them separately. The combination of flavors and textures makes for a satisfying and filling meal.

8. Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is an easy and enjoyable side dish that requires minimal preparation. Whether boiled, grilled or microwaved, corn on the cob adds a sweet and succulent element to the meal. Slathered in butter and topped with crumbled cheese and fresh herbs, corn on the cob complements the smoky flavors of the burnt ends, creating a delicious and satisfying combination.

9. Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts may surprise you as a pairing for burnt ends, but they are a delicious vegetable that complements the flavors of both brisket and burnt ends. The key to cooking Brussels sprouts to perfection is to roast them at the right temperature to avoid overcooking, which can result in an unpleasant taste and odor. Roasted Brussels sprouts seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, adding a flavorful and nutritious component to the meal.

10. Homemade Salad

A homemade salad is a fresh and healthy option to accompany burnt ends. You can get creative with the ingredients by using lettuce leaves, lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, and onions. You can also add beans or chickpeas for extra protein. The light and refreshing flavors of the salad balance the richness and smokiness of the burnt ends, creating a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Bonus: Burnt Ends Sandwich

One of the best ways to enjoy burnt ends is to use them to make a delicious sandwich. Simply place the burnt ends between two slices of bread or rolls and add your favorite toppings. You can use barbecue sauce, pickles, onions, or even coleslaw to enhance the flavor. The combination of the tender and smoky burnt ends with the soft bread and toppings creates a delicious sandwich that is sure to satisfy your cravings.
In conclusion, when it comes to serving burnt ends, there are many delicious ways to create a complete and satisfying meal. Whether you choose classic sides like baked beans, coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese, or more adventurous options like grilled potato skins or roasted Brussels sprouts, the key is to find dishes that complement the smoky and savory flavors of burnt ends. Experiment with different combinations and create your own signature dish that will impress your family and friends at your next cookout. Enjoy the unique and irresistible flavors of burnt ends along with these delicious side dishes for a memorable dining experience.


What are burnt ends?

Burnt ends are flavorful pieces of brisket cut from the edge of a smoked brisket. They have a crispy, smoky exterior and a rich, tender interior.

What do burnt ends taste like?

Burnt ends have a unique flavor profile. They are slightly burnt and crispy on the outside, while the inside is tender and packed with rich flavors. The caramelization and rendering of fat during the smoking process gives them a deep sweetness and intense smoky flavor.

Can I make burnt ends on purpose?

Yes, you can intentionally create burnt ends by taking pieces of a smoked brisket and returning them to the smoker to dry. This process creates the desired texture and flavor of burnt ends.

What are the best sides to serve with burnt ends?

Some of the best side dishes to serve with burnt ends are baked beans, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, grilled potato skins, and corn on the cob. These dishes provide a balance of flavors and textures that complement the smoky and savory flavor of the burnt ends.

Can I use burnt ends to make a sandwich?

Absolutely! Burnt ends can be used to make a delicious sandwich. Simply place the burnt ends between two slices of bread or buns and add your favorite toppings such as barbecue sauce, pickles, onions, or coleslaw for added flavor and texture.

Are there vegetarian options for Burnt Ends?

While burnt ends are traditionally meat-based, you can still create a delicious vegetarian meal by pairing them with meat-free sides such as grilled vegetables, vegetarian baked beans, coleslaw with vegan mayo, macaroni salad with plant-based cheese, or mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes. These options provide a satisfying and flavorful meal for vegetarians and vegans.