Poor Mans Burnt Ends Recipe

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While beef is typically savory, it’s also incredibly delicious when it’s served as a sweet and sticky appetizer. Welcome to Poor Man’s Burnt Ends, a cheaper alternative to brisket burnt ends. If you’ve struggled to come up with an appetizer for your summer cookout, a game day snack, a BBQ side dish, or even the…

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Poor Mans Burnt Ends
Poor Mans Burnt Ends

While beef is typically savory, it’s also incredibly delicious when it’s served as a sweet and sticky appetizer. Welcome to Poor Man’s Burnt Ends, a cheaper alternative to brisket burnt ends. If you’ve struggled to come up with an appetizer for your summer cookout, a game day snack, a BBQ side dish, or even the main dish, this is a crowd-pleaser. The ingredient list is simple and you can stock up on everything you need at your local grocery store.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Chuck Roast
  • 3 TBSP Yellow Mustard
  • 2 TBSP Kansas City-Style Brisket Dry Rub
  • 1 ½ cups Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
  • 3 TBSP Butter
  • Apple Juice

Substitutes

  • Yellow mustard to vegetable oil or mayonnaise as a binder
  • Kansas City-style brisket dry rub to your favorite sweet BBQ dry rub
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce to your favorite sweet and thick tomato-based barbecue sauce
  • Apple juice to equal parts apple cider vinegar and water for spritzing

Equipment

  • Smoker (I used my pellet grill for this)
  • Oak, hickory, apple, or pecan wood for smoking (a blend of a hardwood like oak and a fruitwood like apple)
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • Disposable aluminum roasting pan
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spatula
  • Wire rack depending on your grill grates

How To Make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Instructions

Serving Size: Serves Six, Five Burnt Ends A Piece

Step 1: Preheat And Prep

Fire up your smoker to 250°F and let it come up to temperature. Assemble your equipment and ingredients. 

Step 2: Cube Your Chuck Roast

Slice your chuck roast into roughly one-inch cubes and add them to your mixing bowl. You want your cubes to all be roughly the same size.

Step 3: Toss Cubed Chuck Roast In Binder And Dry Rub

Add your binder on top of the cubed chuck roast and mix it thoroughly to coat every cube. Then toss the coated cubes in your dry rub to evenly coat. Make sure each cube has a good layer of seasoning on all sides. 

Step 4: Smoke Your Burnt Ends

Place the cubes on the smoker and smoke for approximately two hours. After one hour, spritz your cubes and do so again half an hour later. At the two-hour mark, start checking the internal temp of a selection of cubes (generally the ones around the hottest parts of your smoker.) Continue to smoke until the cubes are temping around 165°F.

Step 5: Sauce The Burnt Ends

Once the cubes have reached the temp, remove them from the smoker and put them into the aluminum roasting pan. Pour the barbecue sauce over them and use the spatula to get all the sauce out of your measuring cup before stirring the cubes to coat them thoroughly. Slice three TBSPs of butter into small pats and place over the top of the cubes throughout the pan. Wrap the top of the pan with aluminum foil.

Step 6: Return To Smoker

Place the covered pan back on the smoker for another two hours. After the two-hour mark, remove the pan and carefully open the foil. Check the temps of a selection of cubes with the instant-read thermometer. If the cubes are around 205°F and are squishy, they are done. Otherwise, seal the foil again and return to the pan to the smoker until it reaches the proper temperature and texture.

Step 7: Rest and Enjoy!

Let the burnt ends rest for 10-15 minutes then serve! 

Expert Tips

  • Cut your cubes as uniformly as possible. This will help them cook evenly and be done at the same time. 
  • Be aware of your smoker’s hot spots. You may want to periodically check on your cubes to ensure they’re not burning. You also will want to rotate your pan with the sauced cubes so you don’t burn any of the sauce. 
  • If you like the sauce more caramelized, you can open the foil for the final 30-60 minutes of your smoking session. This will also impart more smoke flavor, but you do need to be careful that you don’t burn the sauce.
  • If your grill grates are wider and the burnt ends could fall through during the first part of the smoking session, get a wire rack and place that over the grill grates. You could even use cooling racks like you’d use for cooling bread or cookies.

What To Serve Poor Man’s Burnt Ends With

These poor man’s burnt ends can serve as an appetizer, side, or even the main dish due to their versatility. Here are my favorite pairings!

  1. Mac And Cheese

Whether you like mac and cheese as your main dish or a side, it pairs incredibly well with the sweet and smoky burnt ends. Check out our smoked mac and cheese that you can even cook on the smoker while you finish your burnt ends!

Smoked Mac And Cheese
This isn't a "lite" recipe, but it's by far the best smoked mac and cheese recipe around.. Combining 4 different cheeses; this recipe is full of flavor. A perfect side to smoked ribs, pulled pork, or brisket.
Check out this recipe
Smoked Mac and Cheese Recipe
  1. BBQ Cheesy Smashed Potatoes

Meat and potatoes is an iconic pairing. Add smoke to both of them, and you’ve made it even more amazing. Check out our grilled version of smashed potatoes that gets topped with shredded cheese!

Cheesy Smashed Potatoes
Cheesy, crispy potatoes with a nice fluffy inside. Made from Yukon Gold Potatoes, this recipe is a nice switch from the classic baked potato. A fun and easy dish to make that is also approved by the kids!
Check out this recipe
Cheesy Smashed Potato

FAQs:

Question: Can You Make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends In The Oven?

Answer: You absolutely can. It won’t have the same flavor as if you did on the smoker, but you can follow the instructions the same otherwise. It’s still a great dish even if you don’t have access to a smoker or grill.

Question: What Wood Should I Use For Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

Answer: Oak is my favorite wood for smoking beef. I would also recommend a sweet fruitwood like apple or maple to play up the sweetness of the rub and sauce. 

Storing and Reheating

Store any leftover poor man’s burnt ends in an airtight container in the fridge if you’re planning on eating them within three to five days. Otherwise, bag them up in a freezer bag and store them in your freezer indefinitely. 

As for reheating your burnt ends, the best way is back on the smoker at 250°F with some extra sauce to keep them moist. You can do this in the oven, too.

Poor Mans Burnt Ends
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Poor Mans Burnt Ends

Get your smoker out and make these economical version of burnt ends. They are simple and take less time than regular burnt ends.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Resting Time15 minutes
Total Time4 hours 30 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Keyword: burnt ends alternative, poor mans burnt ends, smoked burnt ends
Servings: 6
Calories: 599kcal
Author: Jeremy Pike

Equipment

  • Smoker (I used my pellet grill for this)
  • Oak, hickory, apple, or pecan wood for smoking (a blend of a hardwood like oak and a fruitwood like apple)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Disposable aluminum roasting pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Spatula
  • Wire rack depending on your grill grates

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs chuck roast
  • 3 TBSP yellow mustard
  • 2 TBSP Kansas City-style brisket dry rub
  • 1 ½ cups Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • Apple juice

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker to 250°F.
  • Cube the chuck roast into one-inch cubes.
  • Place cubes in bowl and add binder, then toss until evenly coated. This will help the dry rub stick to the burnt ends.
  • Coat the prepared cubes with the dry rub.
  • Once the smoker is preheated, place the cubes on the smoker. If your cooking grates are too far apart, place the cubes on a wire rack before putting them into the smoker.
  • After roughly an hour, spritz the cubes. Repeat every half an hour or so. Rotate the burnt ends to ensure even cooking if necessary due to hot spots.
  • After two total hours on the smoker, check the internal temperature of the burnt ends. If they read between 165°-175°F, remove from the smoker. Otherwise, continue to smoke and spritz until that internal temperature is hit.
  • Place burnt ends in disposable aluminum tray. Pour 1 ½ cups of barbecue sauce over them and stir with a spatula to ensure even coating. Top with 3 tbsp of butter. Enclose the pan tightly with aluminum foil and return it to the smoker for two to three hours.
  • After two hours, remove the pan from the smoker and check the internal temperature. If it has reached 205°F and the burnt ends are squishy, they are done. Otherwise, return the pan to the smoker until the meat reaches the correct temperature and texture.
  • Once the burnt ends are done, remove the pan from the smoker and let rest for 10-15 minutes, then serve!

Notes

Substitutes:
Yellow mustard to vegetable oil or mayonnaise as a binder
Kansas City-style brisket dry rub to your favorite sweet BBQ dry rub
Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce to your favorite sweet and thick tomato-based barbecue sauce
Apple juice to equal parts apple cider vinegar and water for spritzing

Nutrition

Calories: 599kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 1049mg | Potassium: 994mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 454IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 7mg

Jeremy Pike

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