Burnt ends are traditionally the little crispy bits that come off the point when cooking a whole brisket low and slow. Unfortunately, you only get a few of these little pieces.
My family loves them. So, when I found a way to make poor man’s burnt ends they could not wait. Chuck roast was the cut of meat we used for this recipe. It will give you plenty to enjoy, and even have some left for lunch the next day.
Poor Man’s Burnt Ends
This recipe is all about flavor. Tender and juicy, it will make you the talk of your next gathering. Best of all it uses only a few ingredients. Trust me, these little BBQ delicacies will leave your family and friends asking for more.
Why we made chuck roast Burnt Ends?
The chuck roast gives you 3 options:
- It picks up flavor very well
- Chuck is usually easier and less expensive to find than other larger cuts of meat
- A three lbs. chuck or more gives you enough for a big appetizer or a main course
Poor man’s burnt ends are easy to make on the barbecue. The simple ingredients of our rub and the combination of the cooking method brings up the flavor in every bite.
What are Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?
The poor man’s version uses a chuck roast instead of a whole brisket. I love cooking both. The nice thing about the poor man’s burnt ends is you can serve them wet or dry. Wet gives you the chance to add your favorite BBQ sauce, like this one. The sauce will infuse the ends with even more flavor. Dry, on the other hand, lets you leave the cubed chuck roast as is and enjoy the natural BBQ flavor. Either way, you will have the perfect appetizer for your grilling season or a sensational slider main course.
Why we love this recipe
- Simple: It uses only a few ingredients and can be easily adapted to fit your family’s favorite flavors
- Perfect for grilling season; they can be served as an appetizer or a main dish
- Tasty: Burnt ends do not taste burned, on the contrary, they are the perfect barbecue dish. You get to make them using your favorite rub and BBQ sauce.
- When shopping for a chuck roast, look for one with good marbling, this will help keep the roast moist and tender. I always look for a thicker cut (3 inches+), so I can cube the slices easier.
- Adding mustard, before sprinkling the rub, helps to tenderize and doesn’t impact the flavor. It also helps the dry rub to stick better to the meat for the overnight stay in the fridge.
- On the BBQ: I put a pan under the grill with water. It keeps the drippings from catching on the convEGGtor.
- Wrapping in aluminum foil will give you a more moist and tender roast. Adding the BBQ sauce and butter is an extra step that we like to use to infuse even more flavor.
- Cubing: Cut against the grain about ¾ inch thick. I then cut the slice thru the middle lengthwise and cube.
Ingredients to make the Poor Man’s Burnt Ends
- Chuck roast
- Yellow mustard
- Dry Rub: salt; ground pepper; garlic powder; onion powder; celery seeds; paprika
- BBQ sauce (your favorite)
- Brown sugar
- Salted butter
For a full list of ingredients with their measurements, check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post
Equipment used for this recipe
- Baking pan
- Catch pan to put under the grill
- Big Green Egg (BGE), Large
- BBQ Tools, check out my favorites
- Meat Thermometer, I prefer the wireless one
- Aluminum Foil or Butcher Paper
- Basting brush
How to make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends step by step
Here is a step-by-step on how to make this recipe. You can find a printable version of the directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
Prepare the chuck roast
- Place the chuck on a food prep surface, like a plate, tray, or even a cutting board.
- Coat the chuck with a thin layer of yellow mustard (French’s works perfectly). Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the dry rub spices; salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, celery seeds, and paprika.
4. Evenly sprinkle the dry rub on the roast, coating all sides.
5. Once the chuck is all seasoned, put it in the fridge overnight in a sealed container. If you don’t have a container big enough, you can use a 9 by 13 baking dish and cover it with plastic wrap. We left our chuck for 12 hours in the fridge.
Time to prepare the BBQ
1. Prepare your BBQ for indirect cooking. Load your BBQ with charcoal for an 8+ hour cook at 250 degrees F. If you are using a Big Green Egg and that type of charcoal, step 2 and 3 are helpful for you.
2. Because I like to start the cook early, I prepare my Big Green Egg (BGE) the night before. So the day of the cook I only have to light it up. One thing I have learned for my long cooks is to sort out all the big pieces (about fist-sized or bigger) from the new bag of BGE charcoal. I place 3 to 4 of these big chunks around the firebox with the rest of the charcoal covering them. Light your charcoal, once it is going well, 10-15 minutes put the convEGGtor for indirect cooking in the BGE.
3. With the convEGGtor in place, I place the catch pan with water on it before placing the grill grate. Now I need to bring the BGE to 250 degrees F temperature. With my Big Green Egg, I have noticed that once my thermometer indicates 250 degrees F, I wait an additional 30 minutes. This allows the whole dome of the BBQ to get hot, which leads to a more stable cook, especially on low and slow cook.
4. Time to get the chuck out of the fridge and on the grill. I take the meat straight out of the fridge directly to the barbecue. I find that this works well for my low and slow cooks. The meat picks up the aromatics of the charcoal and any others you add.
1. Insert your meat thermometer into the chuck roast.
2. Cook, cover closed until you reach an internal temperature of 150-160 degrees F. If you don’t have an in-BBQ thermometer don’t worry. A good estimation is an hour plus per pound to get to an internal meat temperature of 150 -160 degrees F at 250 degrees F. This cook took me 4 hours for 3 lbs. So, check at 3 hours if you don’t have the in-BBQ thermometer.
3. At the three-hour point of the cook, my internal temperature was 144 degrees F. The chuck had a great bark with a reddish milk-chocolate look. There was quite a bit of pooling on top, it’s ok, it will reabsorb. This is a great sign that you are getting close. One hour later (4 hours in now) the moisture was about 75% gone and a beautiful bark was formed. The internal temperature now indicates 150 degrees F and I was pleased with the bark. You have some leeway here if you want to go to 160 degrees F and go for a darker bark.
Time to wrap
1. For me, at 150 degrees F, it was time to wrap, I used two layers of aluminum foil. We brushed the chuck with BBQ sauce and added butter cubed on top. This step is completely optional, but in my opinion, it infused the chuck with even more of my favorite BBQ flavor, and the extra moisture led to amazingly tender and moist chuck rust. Alternatively, you can use butcher paper for this step as well. Put the chuck back in the BGE and wait until it reaches an internal temperature of 190-205 degrees F. If you have a thermometer with a probe, be mindful of how you wrap the chuck so it doesn’t come out.
Congratulations! You are halfway through the cook! It took the Big Green Egg another four hours to get to 205 degrees F. I was monitoring the cook with a remote thermometer and in the last hour, the chuck’s internal temperature increased by 10 plus degrees.
Rest, for 30 or more minutes
1. At the eight-hour mark, the chuck’s internal temperature will be around 190-205 degrees F. Pull it and have it rest. I think this gives the chuck that extra bit more tenderness.
2. I could feel how the chuck roast was so tender and juicy after I removed it from the BGE. So, I increased the BGE to 350 degrees F to facilitate the caramelization and setting of the sauce.
3. After the rest, fold back the foil and remove the chuck to a cutting board (careful here it is incredibly tender). I find using a big BBQ spatula is perfect to do the transfer.
4. Cubing the chuck roast. I cut it about ¾ inch thick against the grain. Next, cut the slice thru the middle lengthwise and cube. Don’t forget to get a taste, for quality control.
5. Transfer all the cubed meat into an aluminum, disposable baking pan. We used a 9” by 13”. For the wet burnt ends, you are going to add your favorite BBQ sauce. I used a basting brush to cover the cubed chuck with the sauce because it was so tender. We also sprinkled a 1/4 cup of brown sugar for the caramelization factor. It gives a sweeter BBQ taste.
6. Once your BBQ has reached 350 degrees F place the aluminum pan back on the grill.
7. Cook on the grill for an additional 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and caramelized.
8. Serve and Enjoy!
The chuck roast is such great meat for picking up flavors, so pick a rub you prefer and BBQ sauce.
The time in the fridge aids in imparting the flavors of the rub, so I recommend at least 12 hours or more.
An in-BBQ thermometer (mine is remote) is incredibly helpful for this cook. It gives a continuous temperature reading and that takes the stress off you wondering how the cook is going.
The 30-minute rest at the end allows for the meat to relax and reabsorb all the juices.
The burnt ends can be enjoyed wet or dry. If you choose wet add your preferred sauce. We did BBQ sauce and brown sugar to get the “ends” to caramelize a bit.
Increasing the BGE temperature to 350 degrees F was because the ends were so moist. The key is to get the sauce set up on the wet burnt ends.
They were fun to enjoy as an appetizer, with some veggies, as a side dish to your BBQ meal, or as sensational sliders for your next party.
I’m not sure you will have any left, but if you do they fridge up great. I put ours in an airtight container. The next day, I made a slider with a few pieces on a bun and toasted it up in the Cosori for lunch. I even grabbed a few cold, a perfect little snack.
Yes, you can. However, you may run the risk of drying out the meat. I have found that with a chuck roast only being a few pounds the lower temperature of 250 degrees F vs 275 degrees F makes for a more tender result.
Yes & No. This recipe was done on a BGE and that is what I use mostly. If you don’t have a BGE and are using another type of kamado-style BBQ, you will be close. The key is watching the temperature, bark formation, and your time.
Honestly, I have not done a long cook like this on a Webber. I have done many amazing roasts. I’m confident this recipe will get you in the ballpark. The key will be setting the Webber/Webber-style BBQ up for indirect cooking and reloading the charcoal thru the cook.
Looking for more BBQ appetizer recipes idea?
Poor Man’s Wet Burnt Ends
- 3 pound chuck roast
- 3 tablespoons mustard
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup BBQ sauce, divided
- 4 tablespoons salted butter (half a stick)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
Prepare the Chuck Roast
- Place the chuck on a prep surface and cover with mustard
- Evenly sprinkle the dry rub on the roast
- Place chuck roast in a sealed container and put it in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
- Prepare Big Green Egg for indirect cooking for 8+ hours and bring up to 250 degrees F.
- Add catch pan under the grill grate.
- Insert in-BBQ thermometer into chuck roast, place in Big Green Egg (BGE)
- Close BGE lid and cook until internal temperature reaches 150-160 degrees F. At that time there should be a nice chocolate-colored bark
- Once it has reached 150-160 degrees F, pull the chuck roast and wrap tightly in the (2) aluminum foil pieces.
- Pull the chuck roast once it reaches 195-205 degrees F and place it on the counter.
- Rest the wrapped chuck roast for 30 minutes
- Bring BGE up to 350 degrees F
- Cube the chuck roast into bite-sized pieces. Place in an aluminum pan, add BBQ sauce and brown sugar
- Place your Poor Man's Wet Burnt Ends back on the BGE with the lid closed. Wait 30-35 minutes to allow the caramelization of the sugar and setting of the sauce.
- Serve and enjoy!