How To Make Poor Man's Burnt Ends for an Easy, Smoky Meal

The first time I saw burnt ends on a menu, I scoffed. Why would anyone just want the burnt ends of the meat? My entire opinion on burnt ends changed the minute I popped a bite into my mouth. Smoky, and an integral part of Kansas City BBQ, burnt ends are traditionally prepared using a brisket that has been smoked for numerous hours. Most people don't have that type of time, nor do we have families large enough to feed an entire brisket to. Thankfully, someone invented poor man's burnt ends, which only take a few hours to smoke, and on top of that, it is a pretty cheap meal to make. A win-win in my book!

What Are Poor Man's Burnt Ends?

Red Meat Lover recently shared the best way to make poor man's burnt ends using smoked chuck roast, which is then cubed and grilled in an aluminum foil pan until the desired internal temperature is reached. As he explains, chuck roast is often thought of as "momma's stew meat" or "poor man's meat," but it can be used to make delicious burnt ends if you know how to do it. When cooked low and slow, this tough cut of meat can have a perfectly tender texture.

Unlike brisket burnt ends, these chuck roast burnt ends are accessible at the store, coming in three-pound cuts. If you've ever seen the price of whole packer brisket compared to beef chuck roast, you'll see why these are called poor man's burnt ends.

How To Season This Burnt Ends Recipe

burnt ends
Flickr: stu_spivack

Before you fire up the grill we've got to season the chuck roast. Joey from Red Meat Lover likes to spread yellow mustard on this chuck roast before seasoning. As he explains, mustard helps the seasonings to stick but doesn't change the flavor in the end; by the time the burnt ends are cooked, no mustard flavor will remain. After spreading mustard on, he seasons with a combination of kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground sage, paprika, and ground beef broth bouillon. This combo will promote flavor and help the burnt ends to form their crispy bark that's so distinctive of this BBQ dish.

Preheat your smoker, pellet grill, or charcoal grill fitted with wood chips for smoking to 225 degrees F. Add the chuck roast on indirect heat and smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. This usually takes an hour per pound of meat, so the cooking time for a three-pound roast is about three hours.

Once the meat reaches its internal temp, remove it from the grill.

How to Make Dry Burnt Ends

There are two types of burnt ends- dry and wet. Dry burnt ends are super crispy, and as their name suggests, they're dry, with no BBQ sauce added. To cook them, you'll wrap the roast in foil to let the temperature escalate quickly, and leave the roast un-cut. Then, place on the grill until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 205 degrees F, with a cook time of about another hour. This can also be achieved in the oven as shown in the video. Once done, cut into cubes and serve as appetizers or as a main dish.

How to Make Wet Burnt Ends

Brisket Burnt Ends
Getty Images/C3PICS

Wet burnt ends are slathered in BBQ sauce, making them a juicier version than their dry counterpart. To make wet ends, you'll cut them into cubes, across the grain for the ultimate tenderness. Then, toss the pieces in a mixture of BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and steak rub. Cover with aluminum foil and bake or grill until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 205 degrees F. Once finished, serve the marbled meat candy!

This post was originally published on December 17, 2020.

READ MORE: How Long to Smoke Different Meat According to BBQ Experts

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