A minor Phillip's (and other Q) question "Burnt Ends" [moved from L.A. board]
Was standing in line at the Crenshaw Phillip's, trying to decide what Q to take home. (Both Phillip's are take-out only, BTW). Was the only white guy in the room, always a good sign at the ethnic restaurants I haunt. Was perusing the menu board for what to get. My choices are clear when it comes to BBQ: It's ribs -, and little else. Suit y'self, but no brisket, pulled pork or such for me. So I decide to get a slab each of beef and pork ribs. But I also see something else on the menu: "Burnt Ends". It's a featured item, like it's the favorite of a lot of customers. What the hey, I figger, as long as I'm there. So I get to the head of the line, and order the beef and pork ribs, and of course a couple orders of their great banana pudding. "And an order of burnt ends, please". "Oh, no, those come with the ribs, suh". He explained what they wer, but I couldn't quite catch what he was saying. So what are these "burnt ends", and why are they so good?
Some places call them rib tips. Very top part of the ribs. When you order ribs at Phillips you get the whole rib.
St. Louis style ribs- that top part is trimmed off and places serve it as rib tips. Or what usually happens is because there's so much fat in them when they'e BBQ'd they get burnt first (burnt ends).
Pork spare ribs are taken from the chest side of the animal, so a piece of the sternum is attached to each rack of ribs. This hard bone runs perpendicular to the ribs themselves, and gets in the way of slicing the rack into individual pieces.
So some BBQ cooks will trim the sternum (aka chine bone) prior to cooking. Some don't (trimming takes alot of time if you're operating a busy restaurant). When the chine bone and the flap meat are trimmed prior to cooking, it's called a St. Louis cut. The cooked chine bone is what's called the rib tips, or burnt ends if they're cooked that far. They're good because there's lots of meat & fat on them for lots of flavor.
My competition teammate, The BBQ Junkie, has some detailed photos on how to trim your racks St. Louis style: http://www.bbqjunkie.com/archives/200...
There was a time those morsels were called "Brownies" here in Kansas City. They were give-aways. Nobody would pay good money for them -- or so the 'que joint owners thought. But they were certainly in demand. Many people would take all the freebie brownies they could get.
Finally the joint owners caught on, changed the name to "burnt ends," put 'em on the menu and got big bucks for 'em.