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Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Have you ever heard of Poor Man’s Burnt Ends? If you LOVE the taste of slow-smoked BBQ, then this recipe is the recipe for you! I’m going to share all of my secrets for making a pan of perfect burnt ends, all on your Pellet Grill.

Poor Man's Burnt Ends

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Seasoned perfectly and slowly smoked to achieve a deep mahogany bark on the outside while the inside remains melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Finished with a slathering of barbecue sauce, these tender bites will be the talk of your next gathering. Once you’ve tried these you will definitely want to add them to your summer bbq rotation.

Traditionally, burnt ends are made from the point of a whole packer beef brisket. We are using a good marbled chuck roast for this recipe, which are lovingly referred to as “poor man’s” burnt ends because the roasts that are used are typically less expensive than brisket.

I’m all about saving pennies and providing superior quality on a budget, and beef chuck roast fills the bill here. Depending on where you live, you can sometimes find prices for brisket that are comparable, but do your shopping comparisons and choose accordingly.

Burnt ends are super popular in Kansas City, as one of their most prized delicacies. Burnt ends are one of the most sought after regional dishes there are, and I can’t wait until I have a good excuse to get back there and eat some where they’re from!

Check out all of my Traeger Recipes!

What is a burnt end?

Burnt Ends are just like they sound, crispy charred ends of the fattier point of the brisket, cooked for an extensive amount of time until this wonderful “bark” forms on the outside, then cut into chunks or chopped and slathered with BBQ sauce then cooked a little longer until the sauce “sets”.

Served as an open faced and piled high, you may want a fork handy because you’ll definitely want to savor every bite.

How do I choose and prepare the chuck roast for smoking?

When choosing your beef chuck roast, look for a good cut with a lot of marbling. The fat content is key, lean cuts of meat tend to dry out if cooked for long periods of time, so you will want to use a fattier cut of meat.

The meat will remain tender and juicy during the longer smoking process. Don’t be afraid to ask your butcher, they can be a wonderful source of information and knowledge in helping you choose the right cut of meat.

Preparing your roast is simple. Grab your favorite BBQ rub and slather it on your roast. Don’t be shy. Rub it in. After your roast is done smoking, you will want your favorite BBQ sauce handy to slather on the chunks of beef to finish this dish. Here’s a recipe for my favorite Homemade BBQ sauce that works really well here!

How should I serve this dish?

Traditionally, poor man’s burnt ends are served as an open-faced sandwich or with a slice of bread and some pickles. However, this is so good, you could serve it alone with sides and a lot of napkins.

I have also heard tell that this dish has evolved and has been used in anything from tacos and burgers to hash. 

A good BBQ is delicious in any way shape or form in my opinion. 

What kind of sides should I serve with Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

Many flavors and textures compliment the savory taste of BBQ beef. Anything from a sweet crunchy slaw to a creamy serving of garlic mashed potatoes.

Pellet Grill Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

These Poor Man’s Burnt Ends can be one of your most sought after creations this summer. Easily becoming a tradition for all of your friends and family gatherings. Be sure to print a few recipes to share because you will be asked.

You can make one roast or several because leftovers are going to be wanted!

Pack up a picnic basket or use in your Sunday morning hash served with eggs. Sliders the day after for lunch, or a smoky mouth-watering Saint Louis style taco for dinner.

Serve with a tall frosty mug of something cold to drink and plenty of napkins available as this recipe is finger-licking delicious.

Poor Man's Burnt Ends

Featured Reviews from Readers

“First time making Poor Man’s Burnt Ends! So good! I will definitely make these again!”

Corena Underwood
Photo by Corena Underwood and used with permission
Yield: 8 servings

Poor Man's Burnt Ends

Poor Man's Burnt Ends

These tender pieces of chuck roast are slow-cooked on the Traeger Pellet Grill over live fire and then get a barbecue sauce bath to finish them off and leave them fork-tender and full of flavor.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chuck roast
  • 1/4 cup Traeger Beef Rub (link below)
  • 1/8 cup Kendrick BBQ Rub (link below)
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Cut your chuck roast into 1 1/2” squares, discarding excess fat, and place into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Pour about two-thirds of your rubs into the bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure all the pieces of the chuck roast are evenly coated.
  3. Cover the bowl and place it into your fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Start your grill and pre-heat it to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Place your chuck roast pieces onto the grill with at least 1/2” space between each piece.
  6. Let cook on the grill for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat should be fork-tender.
  7. Pull your meat from the grill and put it into a disposable foil box or grill safe cooking container. 
  8. Shake the rest of the rub onto the meat and mix it up with a large spoon.
  9. Pour the barbecue sauce on top of the meat and mix it up with your spoon.
  10. Place it back onto the grill for 30 minutes or until it begins to simmer a little bit and the sauce just starts to caramelize.
  11. Pull from the grill and serve.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 557mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 18g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Kristin Wyatt

Sunday 14th of November 2021

Mine were turned into briquettes after 1 and 45 min. What happened?

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 14th of November 2021

Yikes! I'm not sure. It sounds like your temperatures might be off on the grill? At 275, that shouldn't happen to chuck roast. Did you check them periodically during the cook to see how they were doing? When you are talking BBQ, times are always approximate. I give them sometimes as a guide, but always always trust the meat. It is much more important to cook to temp and touch and how the meat is actually reacting to the cooking environment than the clock. I'm sorry this one didn't work out in your favor! I'd check your grill temp to see if things might be off there and maybe you were cooking hotter than the temp said, as the first order of business though!

Shirley

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

Mine turned out tough. Did I cook them too long? What happened?

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 23rd of August 2020

Were they dried out? If they are undercooked, they can be tough because they didn't reach that magic 204-205° where the "fork tender" roast comes from. If they reached that temp and then got cooked for longer (usually a LOT longer and without enough liquid) they can dry out a get a bit tough. It is hard to say without more information which might have happened here. I've also occasionally gotten a low-quality chuck roast that just didn't shred the way it should've because of all of the gristle and a lack of marbling. Sorry that they didn't work out!

Troy

Friday 7th of August 2020

The ingredients says chuck roast but when you read the instructions it says pork belly. Does this recipe work? Thanks!

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 9th of August 2020

It sure does! Good catch! Sometimes, when the cooking methods are nearly identical between two recipes, I'll clone the recipe and change the relevant parts to fit the new version. In this case, Pork Belly Burnt Ends to Poor Man's Burnt Ends. Looks like I just missed one spot. The dangers of being your own editor, I guess. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. It is fixed!

Jaime

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

I messed up and looked at a different recipe. My roast is on the grill, but it’s not cut up. I’m hoping I can adapt the recipe/time and salvage the meal!

Corena Underwood

Monday 13th of January 2020

Wow! Such a great way to use a beef chuck roast! Simple, easy directions to follow and they turned out perfectly! My whole family loved them. I will definitely make these again. Thank you for sharing this recipe. ❤️

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