Poor Man’s Burnt Ends (Easy Recipe)

Are you looking for a cheaper way to make burnt ends?

You’re in the right place!

In this TheGrillingDad.com recipe, you’ll learn: 

  • Ingredients you need
  • Poor man’s burnt ends vs. brisket burnt ends
  • Step by step guide to making poor man’s burnt ends
  • And much more!

If you want the classic flavor that you get from burnt ends but don’t want to take the time to smoke a whole brisket, this recipe has you covered.

Using chuck roast in place of brisket not only saves you some money, but also some time spent in the smoker so you can dig into your burnt ends quicker.

What are Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

Burnt ends are made using the fatty marbled point of whole briskets.

They are smoked until they are nice and tender and then basted in a delicious BBQ sauce.

Smoking a whole brisket takes time and not everyone has the desire to do so just to fix burnt ends afterward.

The good news is chuck roast gives a similar flavor while being more budget-friendly than a whole brisket.

This recipe calls for a 3-pound chuck roast in place of a whole brisket.

For classic burnt ends, the brisket is smoked, and the point is removed while leaving the leaner muscle and fat to be cut and served.

The point is a delicious fatty marble that is typically cut into cubes and tossed in a savory BBQ sauce.

Read More >> Texas Style Beef Brisket (Easy Recipe)

Ingredients for Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

  • 3 lb. chuck roast
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

How to Make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends


Hickory or oak pellets pair nicely with a good chuck roast, but you can use whatever wood you prefer.

Preheat your smoker to 275 degrees.


Mix your salt, pepper, and garlic powder together into a bowl and season the chuck roast liberally on all sides.

Smoke It

After you’ve coated your chuck roast and the smoker reaches temperature, it’s time to get it on the smoker.

Smoke it until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. This may take around 5 hours.

Wrap and Smoke Again

After the initial smoking time, remove the roast from your smoker and wrap it in butcher paper or foil.

Place it back on the grill or smoker and let it smoke until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees. This may take around 1 hour.

Rest, Cut, Season Again

Let the roast rest for 15-20 minutes. Cut it into cubes and place into a baking pan.

Sprinkle with ¼ cup brown sugar and drizzle with a good portion of the BBQ sauce, leaving a little bit for the finishing touches.

Toss the cubes to ensure they are all coated.

Place the pan onto the grill and cook for another 1.5-2 hours.

Final Touches and Serve

Sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar and drizzle the leftover BBQ sauce on it.

Place back on the grill for a few minutes to cook the flavors into the roast. Now you’re ready to remove from the grill and serve!

Tips for Cooking Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

  • Focus more on temperature, not time- Since every cut of meat you purchase will cook differently, it is best to focus on the internal temperature of the roast for this recipe rather than the cooking time.
  • Wrap it tightly- This recipe uses butcher paper or foil, but you can even opt for a flavored butcher paper to wrap the roast in. Be sure to seal the wrap tightly!
  • Meat Quality Matters- While traditional burnt ends are made using the fat from a brisket, you don’t want to grab the roast with the most fat on it from the store for poor man’s burnt ends. Instead, look for a roast with small specks of fat within the roast.

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends vs. Brisket Burnt Ends

You can enjoy burnt ends without breaking the bank and taking all day to smoke a brisket.

Poor man’s burnt ends made with chuck roast are a fraction of the cost that you’d buy a brisket for, but you can find many comparable cuts of meat.

Try poor man’s and traditional burnt ends to find your favorite fit!

Read More >>BBQ Brisket Burnt Ends Recipe

If you want to learn more about grilling, check out these other helpful resources!

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Shawn Hill

Hey, I'm Shawn and I run this site. With a wife and 7 kids, I get most of my grilling practice from feeding my own family. I'm here to help you learn more about grilling, smoking, and backyard BBQ! With almost a decade of manning the grill and helping over 25,000 aspiring grill masters, you're in great hands! I've tried just about every type of grill, accessory, and gadget you can imagine. Because of that, I am here to help guide you to the best of the best and help you save time and money by avoiding the junk.

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