That thought pops into ALL our tiny brains, and yes, you can do them. They are called Faux Burnt Ends and though not quite the burnt end candy of a brisket, they're pretty dang good! I've only done them a couple times and don't know if there is a better way but here is what I did.
Faux Burnt Ends
On the Smoking Meat Forum website one of the posters used sirloin cut into cubes to make faux burnt ends. I thought a chuck roast would work just as well. That's how this recipe came into existence.
Lesson learned from first attempt: go lightly on the rub. Uncovered they take a lot longer to get ready than crutched. Great texture and taste.
3.5 lbs chuck roast
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce or any sauce of choice.
olive oil spray
1. Fire up the smoker with hickory or any wood of choice. Prep for an initial low chamber heat, 225°F to 235°F.
2. While the smoker is pre-heating and burning off the white-grey smoke, prep the meat.
3. Cut the chuck roast into 3/4" to 1" cubes and place in a bowl. Discard any large pieces of fat.
4. Add enough EVOO so when stirring the meat it becomes completely coated.
5. Add your rub lightly and stir to coat the meat. Add additional rub as necessary but not a lot.
6. Put an 8x10 cooling rack in a 9x13 roasting pan. Coat the pan and rack with olive oil spray.
7. Dump the meat cubes in the roasting pan and spread out to maximize exposure to the smoke. Don't worry if they are packed tightly, they shrink.
8. Load the smoker when the hints of blue smoke appear.
9. Let the meat smoke for at least 3.5 hours.
10. Take the meat off the smoker, plate the meat, dump out the drippings and scrap the roaster. Put the meat back in the roaster without the cooling rack and liberally coat with BBQ sauce. Stir to coat well.
11. Load back on the smoker and let the chamber temperature climb to 275°F. Finish with a three hour smoke at the higher temp.
12. Remove and serve.