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Poor Man's Burnt Ends Recipe in Five Simple Steps

Since school is starting back, money is tricky, and you're probably short on time, I want to share one of my favorite, family-friendly, affordable, delicious and time saving recipes.

Poor Man's Burnt Ends by CatHeadsBBQ:

If you’re not sure what burnt ends are...

They’re those deliciously crispy ends trimmed off smoked brisket before its served.  Brisket cuts tend to be very large, which means hours upon hours of smoking the beef.  Which is FINE if you have the time, but our “poor man’s” burnt ends are made with a much smaller, and cheaper chuck roast, which saves you time and money without sacrificing on flavor.

Why choose Poor Man’s Burnt Ends over Brisket Burnt Ends?

Poor Man's Burnt Ends are made with the chuck, which contains a rich beefy flavor and high marbling, similar to brisket.  Our American Wagyu beef comes naturally well-marbled, so any cut of our roasts will work well in this recipe.  Yes, I absolutely LOVE the flavor of a good smoked brisket, but the smaller, family-friendly sized roast comes in a VERY close second, due to its similar fat and flavor profile.


What you’ll need for this recipe:

  • 3lbs NRPB Roast
  • 1/2 cup of whiskey barbecue sauce (below) or your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar

Whiskey BBQ Sauce:

  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup and 2 tsp. of bourbon whiskey
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of black pepper
  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tbs. of tomato paste
  • 2 tbs. and 2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs. of liquid smoke
  • 2 tbs. of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar

Dry Rub:

  • 1 tbs. of kosher salt
  • 1 tbs. of black pepper
  • 1 tbs. of garlic powder

To make the BBQ Sauce:

Feel free to substitute with your own BBQ sauce or a similar store bought version.

Step 1

In a large skillet, add the onions, garlic, and the whiskey, and simmer until the onion is translucent.

Step 2

Add in the rest of the ingredients, mix, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, then take the sauce off the heat.

Optional: Strain sauce with a strainer for a smoother, less “chunky” sauce.

To make the Burnt Ends:

Step 1

Preheat the smoker to 275°F.

Step 2

Combine the ingredients of the rub and season the roast liberally with the BBQ rub. Press into the meat and place it in the smoker.

Step 3

Smoke the meat until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. This may take up to 5 hours.

Remove the roast from the smoker and wrap in aluminum foil or butcher paper. Place the wrapped roast back in the smoker until the temperature reads 195°F.

Take out of the smoker and let rest for up to 20 minutes.

Step 4

Preheat your grill. Cube the roast and place in a foil pan, then sprinkle the brown sugar and the BBQ sauce over the meat.

Step 5

Grill for two hours, take off of the heat, and serve while it’s still hot!

A few things to note about this recipe:

  • Fat content is key when choosing your roast.  Go for well-marbled pieces of meat, as opposed to big chunks of fat.  The small, veiny fat will keep it tender and infuse it with delicious flavor.
  • This recipe keeps the rub simple to let the flavor of the BBQ sauce and the texture of the burnt ends stand out.
  • When smoking the meat, we recommend oak pellets.  They keep a nice, neutral flavor, but still carry a rich smoke flavor that infuses into the meat.
  • To take the smoky flavor up a notch, add some hickory wood chips.  The strong flavor of the roast holds up well against the stronger notes of hickory.  But be careful and use just a small handful of the wood chips to keep your beef from becoming too bitter.
  • The great thing about Null Ridge Premium Roast is that it holds its own in higher temps.  Yes, you can go “low and slow,” but when you raise the temp, you'll smoke it faster without running the risk of the meat drying out.  Always use a meat thermometer to track your temperature.
  • Lastly, when deciding between temperature and time, always go with meat temp!  Not every cut of beef cooks the same. Plus, Dry-Aged Beef will cook quicker than grocery store beef! 

Ready to try this recipe on your family?

Null Ridge Premium Beef is now offering Buy One Get One 20% off on our Dry-Aged American Wagyu Roast to get you stocked up for the season!

And you can get more recipes like this one, special deals, and industry info when you join the Beef Fam.

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