How To Make Poor Man's Burnt Ends with Chuck Roast

The first time I saw burnt ends on a menu, I scoffed. Why would anyone just want the burnt ends of the meat? My entire opinion on burnt ends changed the minute I popped a bite into my mouth. Smoky, and an integral part of Kansas City BBQ, burnt ends are traditionally prepared using a brisket that has been smoked for numerous hours. Most people don't have that type of time, nor do we have families large enough to feed an entire brisket to. Thankfully, someone invented poor man's burnt ends, which only take a few hours to smoke, and on top of that, it is a pretty cheap meal to make. A win-win in my book!

What Are Poor Man's Burnt Ends?

Red Meat Lover recently shared the best way to make poor man's burnt ends using smoked chuck roast, which is then cubed and grilled in an aluminum foil pan until the desired internal temperature is reached. Unlike brisket burnt ends, these chuck roast burnt ends are accessible at the store, coming in three-pound cuts. If you've ever seen the price of whole packer brisket compared to beef chuck roast, you'll see why these are called poor man's burnt ends.

How To Season This Burnt Ends Recipe

Before you fire up the grill we've got to season the chuck roast. Joey from Red Meat Lover likes to spread yellow mustard on this chuck roast and season with a combination of kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ground sage, paprika, and ground beef broth bouillon.

Preheat your smoker, pellet grill, or charcoal grill fitted with wood chips for smoking to 225 degrees F. Add the chuck roast on indirect heat and smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. This usually takes an hour per pound of meat, so the cooking time for a three-pound roast is about three hours.


Once the meat reaches its internal temp, remove it from the grill.

The Difference Between Dry Burnt Ends and Wet Burnt Ends

Do you like your burnt ends wet or dry? Dry burnt ends are super crispy, while wet burnt ends are slathered in sauce.

For Dry Burnt Ends

Wrap the roast in foil and place on the grill until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 205 degrees F, with a cook time of about another hour. This can also be achieved in the oven as shown in the video. Once done, cut into cubes and serve as appetizers or as a main dish.

For Wet Burnt Ends

Cut the roast into cubes, then toss in a mixture of BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and steak rub. Cover with aluminum foil and bake or grill until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 205 degrees F. Once finished, serve the marbled meat candy!