Poor Man’s Burnt Ends: The Best Recipe

Here, we've provided a list of ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, so that you could make the best Poor Man's Burnt Ends ever!
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Last updatedLast updated: October 11, 2021
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Despite the name sounding like a culinary disaster, poor man’s burnt ends are quite the delicacy, especially if slow-cooked BBQs appeal to you. However, given that they’re the budget option of regular burnt ends, they can be difficult to find in the restaurant scene and even if you could find them, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be what you hope them to be: a tasty treat. That said, there is one way to make sure the taste is just what you’ve grown to expect from slow-cooked BBQs, and that is to make the poor man burnt ends yourself. The recipe is seemingly easy to follow if you have a smoker and the right ingredients. Also, since they’re so budget-friendly without sacrificing taste, you could make them a regular offering at your BBQ events.

What are Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

While we did mention that poor man’s burnt ends are basically the budget version of regular burnt ends above, there’s more to it than that. Regular burnt ends are sourced from the point section of a slow-smoked whole packer brisket. If you’re familiar with your beef cuts, you’ll know that a whole packer brisket consists of both a fat and a point layer.

Consequently, if you can smoke the brisket until it’s tender, then cut out the point, you have the starting point for regular burnt ends. Of course, there’s more to the recipe, e.g., basting the ends in BBQ sauce before cooking it some more.

The problem in cost comes in because you’ll have to buy a whole brisket including both the fat layer and point, which typically sets you back $40-$50. Not everyone will have such a budget to work with, and the lower fat layer is basically unnecessary for the recipe.

However, you can get around the cost by using chuck roast beef. According to Greatist Trusted Source What Is Chuck Roast — And How Is It Different From Pot Roast? A chuck roast is any cut of meat that comes from the chuck, or the shoulder part of the steer. A pot roast isn’t a specific cut of meat—it’s just a method of preparing a cut of meat by slowly braising it with liquid (like stock or wine) until it’s juicy and tender. greatist.com , this cut of meat is sourced from the steer’s shoulder. If you do the math, both the brisket and the chuck roast are almost the same price per pound. However, the difference is that you have to buy a 12-16lb piece with whole briskets while you can choose whichever size you want for chuck roast.

Consequently, you can buy the 3lbs chuck roast beef required for this recipe, and this will set you back around $10 hence the name. With regard to pork, there are a few variations of burnt ends, although strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as poor man burnt ends out of pork butt. The appropriate name would be pork butt burnt ends.

Of course, the pork butt burnt ends recipe is different and not at all what we’ll be covering in this write-up. Worth mentioning is that there are a few benefits to using chuck roast over whole brisket in addition to the cost savings.

One is the time. The recommended smoking time for brisket is about 1 hour per pound of beef. Consequently, cooking the brisket may require more than 15 hours. With chuck roast, you can reduce the cooking time to less than 10 hours.
Additionally, since the cut is much smaller, it cooks more evenly, and there are seemingly no negative effects on the beefy flavor.

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends – The Recipe

If youwant to save on both time and cost by making the chuck roast variation of burntends, here’s a simple recipe to follow.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 8 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 6 people
Calories 506 kcal

Equipment

  • Smoker
  • Meat thermometer
  • Butcher paper or foil
  • Bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Foil baking pan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs chuck roast
  • 6 tbsp brown salt
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • Wood pellets for the smoky flavor

Instructions
 

  • There’s no need to cut the meat before it’s done cooking, so you first have to preheat your smoker with your pellets of choice. Hickory or oak wood have always been good choices where beef is concerned. Reviewers insist the PEL319 Traeger Grills Hickory is one of the best for smoking chicken, pork, and veggies in addition to beef and should do well for this recipe and even a few others.
    Also, according to Britannica, the hickory plant is widespread in North America, with about 15 species available. It should thus be easy to source even for other recipes.
  • While it preheats, you’ll be mixing your seasoning in a bowl, including the salt, pepper, and garlic powder to make BBQ rub. Leave the other ingredients for later. Place your meat on either a cutting board or a large bowl and proceed to season it.
  • Ensure the seasoning is well distributed on the entire surface of the meat and rub it in while waiting for the smoker to reach the desired internal temperature. You can then place the cut of beef on the smoker's grill and close the door.
  • You want the meat to reach a 165° F internal temperature, and you’ll have to check on it periodically with a meat thermometer, so it doesn’t go past this limit. Users seem to think the ThermoPro TP03H is one of the most reliable and accurate meat thermometers available. Given the lock function, you won’t even have to leave the thermometer and your hand inside the smoker for longer than necessary.
  • If it’s a 3 lbs chuck roast, it will typically take around 5 hours to reach the 165° F internal temperature, but you’ll need to confirm that before taking further action. The exterior will also be pretty dark at this point. Take the meat out, wrap it in the butcher paper and put it back into the smoker.
  • Let it cook to a 195° F internal temperature. This part of the process will likely take an hour. Again, it’s essential to check the internal temperature rather than taking the meat out because the cooking time has elapsed. After removing the chuck roast, let it rest for 15-20 minutes before unwrapping it and cubing it into ¾” bits.
  • This is where the brown sugar and BBQ sauce comes in. Mix the meat and these two ingredients in a foil baking pan. Leave 2 tablespoons of the sugar and a similar size of BBQ sauce for later while the rest goes into the pan. You also need to toss it so that each cube of meat is well-coated.
  • The meat then goes right back into the smoker and cooks for an additional 1½-2 hours. You’ll know the meal is ready because the meat will be tender and the sauce will be bubbly. Remember, you still have some ingredients left.
  • Take out the pan, mix them in with the meat, and return the chuck roast to the grill one last time. After a few minutes, take it out and serve.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 506kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 44gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 156mgSugar: 21g

FAQ

How to serve poor man’s burnt ends?

Like many other cuts of meat, ½ lb is the recommended serve size, so you should divide it into 6 equal portions if you’re going to serve it as is. However, it also works on an open-face sandwich where you place it on white bread. Some pickles and onions may also add some extra flavor.

How do I choose the chuck roast for smoking?

The goal is to choose a cut that’s as close to brisket as possible and intramuscular fat is a huge part of that. As such, if there are streaks of white muscle fat in your chuck roast, it should work well for the recipe.

Why did my poor man’s burnt ends turn out tough?

With any cut of beef, the only reason it will turn out tough is because you cooked it too fast, which forces the collagen to contract. This then pushes moisture out of the meat. Conversely, the moisture is maintained with slow cooking and can dissolve the collagen until it melts in the mouth. According to Sciencing Trusted Source Where Does Collagen Come From? | Sciencing Collagen is a naturally-produced protein and the main component of cartilage. It is collected from dead animals and is used in gelatin form as food or in medical or cosmetic procedures. sciencing.com , collagen is a naturally present protein in the bodies of animals and is a major component of connective tissue and, therefore, should be present in your chuck roast.

Final thoughts

With regard to the cost to weight ratio, there’s seemingly no difference between brisket and chuck roast. However, there should be some savings with regards to time and the purchase cost of the meat. Consequently, the poor man burnt ends recipe is worth learning. As for whether the flavor is superior to regular burnt ends, you’ll have to find that out on your own. Try out both meals and stick with the one you like the most.

References

1.
What Is Chuck Roast — And How Is It Different From Pot Roast?
A chuck roast is any cut of meat that comes from the chuck, or the shoulder part of the steer. A pot roast isn’t a specific cut of meat—it’s just a method of preparing a cut of meat by slowly braising it with liquid (like stock or wine) until it’s juicy and tender.
2.
Where Does Collagen Come From? | Sciencing
Collagen is a naturally-produced protein and the main component of cartilage. It is collected from dead animals and is used in gelatin form as food or in medical or cosmetic procedures.
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