Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Recipe

Poor Man's Burnt Ends Recipe

When you go a really good BBQ place, you should definitely try the burnt ends. They are usually made when smoking a brisket. You cut off the fatty end and cut it into cubes and then smoke it some more. That works great if you’re a big BBQ joint and you’re smoking like 20 briskets. You’ll have plenty of burnt ends for your customers. But what about home smokers like me who just want to cook for the family? Well I found this poor man’s burnt ends recipe and I think it’s a great way to enjoy burnt ends at home.

What cut of meat

chuck roast

The difference with this poor man’s burnt ends recipe is that you use an entire chuck roast instead of just a small part of the brisket. This way my whole family can enjoy some burnt ends instead of just getting a taste.

The Dry Rub

First thing I did was put a dry rub on the roast. In a pinch, I’ll use the Paul Prudhomme Meat Magic that you can get in almost any supermarket’s spice section. But if I have time, I like to make my own rubs. Here’s my dry rub recipe that I use for brisket and ribs too. Worked great for these burnt ends.

burnt ends dry rub

Next up, I put the chuck roast in the Char Broil Big Easy Smoker. I loaded the smoker box up up with some hickory wood and set the Big Easy to it’s lowest temperature. Smoke the roast until it reaches an internal temperature of about 160 degrees. Then remove it from the smoker and wrap it up with aluminum foil or butchers paper. Put it back in the smoker and you’re going to want to leave it in there until you get to about 198 degrees. That’s when all the connective tissues and other gross stuff in meat turns soft. That when you get that perfect chew.

burnt ends smoker cage
burnt ends meat thermometer
Ready to be wrapped at about 160 degrees

At about 198 degrees, I removed it from the smoker and let it rest for a while before cutting it up into cubes. Make sure you let it rest for a while or else all the juices will run all over your cutting board instead of staying in the meat.

The cubes should be about 1/2” to 3/4” depending on how big a mouthful you want.

burnt ends cubed

The Last Step

Then I put the cubes into a foil pan. A pie pan up to 13” will fit in the Char Broil Smoker. Add a little more rub and some BBQ Sauce and cook them for another half hour to a full hour. Not too much BBQ Sauce or else it’ll be more like a stew. Just enough to lightly coat the pieces.

burnt ends bbq sauce
Add your favorite BBQ Sauce to the meat cubes and put them back on the grill/smoker

When finished the cubes should be really tender and also have some char marks on them. Too many char marks and the burnt ends will too tough to chew. You really should watch them carefully during this last step.

So with this poor man’s burnt ends recipe, you can make this any time you want and without any brisket.

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Recipe

Poor Man's Burnt Ends Recipe

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Recipe

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are made with a Chuck Roast instead of a the fatty part of a Brisket.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine BBQ Smoker


  • 3 pounds Chuck Roast
  • 3 tablespoons Dry Rub
  • 3 tablespoons BBQ Sauce


  • Rub Chuck Roast with dry rub
  • Cook in smoker until internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Wrap with aluminum foil or butchers paper and place back in smoker. Cook until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 198 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Remove from smoker and let rest about 10 minutes
  • Cut into bite sized cubes
  • Add cubed meat to a foil pan, add a sprinkle of dry rub and all of the BBQ Sauce
  • Return to smoker and cook for another 1/2 hour to hour. Pieces will be tender and have char marks on them when done. Do not overcook.