Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hours
Skill Leveleasy

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Looking for a tasty and budget-friendly twist on traditional burnt ends? You’ve come to the right place! In this Poor Man’s Burnt Ends recipe, we’ll show you how to make a delectable version of burnt ends using a wallet-friendly cut of beef and a few simple ingredients. Get ready to savor tender, flavorful bites that won’t break the bank!

What are Poor Man's Burnt Ends?

Poor Man's Burnt Ends are a budget-friendly alternative to the traditional burnt ends dish, typically made from the point of beef brisket. It involves using a different, more affordable cut of meat, such as chuck roast or beef belly, to mimic the flavor and texture of burnt ends.

Are Poor Man's Burnt Ends as good as traditional burnt ends?

While Poor Man's Burnt Ends may not have the exact same texture and flavor as traditional burnt ends made from beef brisket, they can still be incredibly delicious. The use of different cuts of meat creates a unique taste profile that many people enjoy. Majority of my family prefers the taste of chuck roast over brisket when making burnt ends. It's a budget-friendly option that provides a similar experience to traditional burnt ends without breaking the bank.

How do you make Poor Man's Burnt Ends?

To make Poor Man's Burnt Ends, you start by seasoning the chosen meat cut with your preferred rub or spices. Then, you smoke the meat low and slow until it reaches a tender and juicy consistency. Finally, you dice the meat into bite-sized pieces and coat them in a savory BBQ sauce, honey, and more rub before returning them to the smoker for additional caramelization.

What kind of meat can I use for Poor Man's Burnt Ends?

While beef brisket is traditionally used for burnt ends, you can use more economical cuts like chuck roast or beef belly for Poor Man's Burnt Ends. These cuts have a good amount of marbling and connective tissue, which contribute to the tender and flavorful end result.

How long should I smoke Poor Man's Burnt Ends?

The smoking time for Poor Man's Burnt Ends can vary depending on the size and type of meat you're using. Generally, you'll want to smoke the meat at a low temperature (around 225-250°F or 107-121°C) for 6 to 8 hours. The time will be shorter if wrapping in foil or butcher paper once it reaches the stall. It's important to monitor the internal temperature of the meat with a meat thermometer to ensure it reaches the desired doneness.


Poor Man's Burnt Ends

BBQ Tools


  1. Trim and season the chuck roast

    Remove the chuck roast from the fridge 1 hour prior to smoking. Trim away any excess fat or loose pieces of meat. Slather the mustard evenly over the entire surface of the chuck roast. Sprinkle the BBQ run evenly over the entire chuck roast. You'll want a heavy coating of the rub to help build a nice bark on the outside of the smoked chuck roast.

    Trim and season the chuck roast
  2. Heat up the smoker

    Preheat smoker to 225°F. Most pellet grills don’t need it, but you can add a pan of water in the corner of the smoker to keep moisture inside.

  3. Smoke the chuck roast

    Place the chuck roast on the smoker and smoke at 225°F until it hits an internal temperature of around 195°F. I recommend using a good leave-in meat thermometer so you don't have to constantly check on it. You can also wrap the chuck roast at 180°F to help it cook faster and retain a bit more moisture. Follow my Texas Style Smoked Brisket recipe for more information on how to wrap the meat. We're not looking for the chuck roast to be completely cooked and tender. The meat will continue to cook when we slice, season, and smoke the poor man's burnt ends.

    Smoke the chuck roast for poor man's burnt ends
    Wrap the chuck roast to help it cook faster
  4. Cube, season, and sauce the poor man's burnt ends

    Once the smoked chuck roast reaches an internal temperature of 195°F, remove it from the smoker. Slice it into 3/4"-1" cubes and place in the aluminum pan. Coat the burnt ends with the Rump Shaker BBQ Rub (or whatever BBQ rub you're using), BBQ sauce, and honey. Toss well to combine, ensuring they're completely covered. Return the pan to the smoker and cook for one more hour.

    Slice the chuck roast into poor man's burnt ends
    Season the poor man's burnt ends
    Coat the poor man's burnt ends in bbq sauce
    Coat the poor man's burnt ends in honey
    Toss the poor man's burnt ends and coat evenly
    Continue smoking the poor man's burnt ends for 1 hour
  5. Serve the poor man's burnt ends

    Allow the poor man's burnt ends to cool for a few minutes and serve with additional BBQ sauce.


  1. Bruce Gruy
    April 13th, 2024
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    I apologize in advance if this is common knowledge, this'll be my first crack at this. i understand to take meat off smoker at 195º. with the smoker running around 225⁰. then, put meat in foil pan and return to smoker for one hour. I get all that. but what should the final read of the meat be? thanks!
    1. Allan
      April 13th, 2024
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      Hey Bruce, I usually don't check the temp at this point but check more for tenderness. You can use a meat thermometer to check how easily the probe slides into the meat. It should have very little resistance and feel like it's going through softened butter. They should be somewhere between 200-210 degrees Fahrenheit though. I think you'll be fine if you want to just go by the time in the recipe. The burnt ends have a lot of intramuscular fat and can still be amazing at higher temps. Let me know how it goes!
  2. Hal
    June 26th, 2023
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    nothing poor about these - too good
  3. Mark Mueller
    June 23rd, 2023
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    Dang!! If these are as good as you brisket ones its a no brainer!

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