Experience all the incredible BBQ flavors of burnt ends without the need for a whole brisket with my recipe for Poor Man’s Burnt Ends. By using a chuck roast instead, you can save both money and time without sacrificing flavor. These chuck roast burnt ends are a wallet-friendly alternative that still delivers on taste!
What Are Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?
Poor man’s burnt ends are a variation of beef burnt ends made using a chuck roast rather than a brisket. Traditional BBQ brisket burnt ends are derived from the fatty-marbled point of a whole packer brisket. Slowly smoked until they become incredibly tender, these burnt ends are then coated in mouthwatering BBQ sauce, resulting in the ultimate BBQ delight. Poor man’s burnt ends share similarities with their brisket counterparts but are more accessible and less intimidating.
Chuck Roast Burnt Ends
Not everyone has the luxury of time to smoke an entire brisket for burnt ends. If you’re craving burnt ends but want an affordable and smaller portion, chuck roast is an excellent choice. Chuck roasts boast a natural beefy flavor reminiscent of brisket, making them perfect for this burnt ends recipe.
In this recipe, I use a 3-pound chuck roast to create a delicious version known as “Poor Man’s Burnt Ends.”
Poor Man’s Burnt Ends vs. Brisket Burnt Ends
Traditional burnt ends are made from a whole brisket, with the point muscle being removed and the leaner flat muscle being sliced and served. The point is rich in marbling, which contributes to its exceptional flavor. It is often cubed, tossed in BBQ sauce, and grilled to achieve the perfect caramelization.
Interestingly, the price difference between brisket and chuck roast in my local grocery store was negligible (around $3/lb), so the term “poor man’s” seems somewhat misleading. However, regardless of the name, I highly recommend making these burnt ends whenever you’re craving them without committing to a whole brisket.
While a whole brisket can cost $40-50, a chuck roast comes in under $10, making it an economical choice for feeding your family. Both types of burnt ends are delicious and offer their unique flavors, so I encourage you to try both and decide which one you prefer.
How to Make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends
The process for making Poor Man’s Burnt Ends closely resembles smoking a whole brisket, but the goal is to transform the entire cut of beef into BBQ burnt ends. This results in a more flavorful bark and even cooking throughout.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating these delectable treats:
Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees F using your preferred wood, such as hickory or oak pellets, to complement the chuck roast’s flavors.
Slather the chuck roast with yellow mustard, then generously season it with beef rub or a combination of coarse salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder.
Smoke That Meat!
Place the seasoned chuck roast on the smoker and smoke it until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The smoking time may vary, but it typically takes around 5 hours.
Wrap the Roast:
Wrap the chuck roast in butcher paper or foil, then continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F. This should take approximately 1 hour.
Rest, Cut, and Season:
Allow the roast to rest for 15-20 minutes, then cut it into small cubes. Season the cubes with brown sugar and your favorite BBQ sauce, reserving some sauce for later. Place the cubes in a foil baking pan.
Return the foil baking pan to the grill grates of the smoker. Cook for an additional 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the sauce is bubbly, and the beef cubes are tender and falling apart.
Add Finishing Touches:
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over the burnt ends and drizzle the remaining BBQ sauce on top. Stir gently to ensure everything is well incorporated. Return the pan to the grill for a few more minutes to heat through.
Once heated, your Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are ready to be savored. Serve them hot as a main course or on white bread or buns with pickles and white onions for a classic BBQ experience.
- 3 pounds chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons Beef Rub (or 1 tablespoon each of coarse salt, ground black pepper, and garlic powder)
- ½ cup BBQ sauce (your favorite ketchup-based BBQ sauce)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat your smoker for indirect grilling at 275 degrees F, using hickory or oak wood for a complementary smoky flavor.
Slather the chuck roast with yellow mustard, then season it liberally on all sides with Beef Rub or the equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder mixture.
Place the seasoned roast on the smoker and close the lid. Smoke it until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, which usually takes around 5 hours.
Remove the roast from the grill and wrap it in butcher paper or foil. Return it to the grill and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees F, which takes about an hour.
Allow the wrapped roast to rest for 15-20 minutes, then cut it into ¾-inch cubes and transfer them to a foil baking pan.
Sprinkle ¼ cup of brown sugar over the cubes and drizzle them with most of the BBQ sauce, reserving a couple of tablespoons for later. Toss gently to coat the cubes with the sauce.
Place the pan back on the grill, close the lid, and cook for an additional 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cubes are tender.
Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and the reserved BBQ sauce over the burnt ends. Stir gently to incorporate everything. Return the pan to the grill for a few more minutes until well mixed and heated through.
Serve the hot Poor Man’s Burnt Ends as a delicious main course or on bread or buns with pickles and white onions for a classic BBQ sandwich.
Now, you can enjoy the delectable flavors of these budget-friendly chuck roast burnt ends without the need for a whole brisket. Embrace the smoky, tender, and saucy goodness that will have your taste buds craving more.