If you’re looking to have the delicious smoky taste of burnt ends without having to splurge, then this poor mans burnt ends recipe is perfect for you. This recipe uses a more economical cut of meat and still offers all the same flavors and tenderness as traditional burnt ends. So why wait? Get cooking with this tasty alternative today!


Why are they called poor mans burnt ends?

So what makes these burnt ends “poor mans”? Instead of using pricey beef brisket or pork shoulder, this recipe calls for a chuck roast! Chuck roast is a cheaper cut of beef that has plenty of fat and collagen that helps keep it tender, juicy, and flavorful when cooked low and slow. With some love and patience, the chuck roast will develop that tasty caramelized exterior before becoming perfectly done. So instead of spending more on pricier cuts like brisket or pork shoulder, give this poor mans burnt ends recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed!


Where did this recipe originate?

The phrase “poor mans burnt ends” is not necessarily synonymous with the original dish of burnt ends, which is said to have originated in Kansas City, Missouri, at the restaurant Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue in the 1950s. Poor man’s burnt ends, on the other hand, are believed to be a budget-friendly way to make a dish similar to traditional burnt ends. It is possible that this term was coined by someone looking for an economical alternative to traditional burnt ends. Regardless of its origin, poor man’s burnt ends have become a popular and iconic barbecue dish throughout the region. All that being said, it was likely someone wanting to make burnt ends without spending an arm and a leg on brisket! 


Up Close Burnt EndsPoor mans burnt ends are common for people because of the convenience of the beef that is used to make them. Here, we use the cut of beef known as the Chuck Roast. This is a great cut of beef that is very affordable, and the beef is perfect because the same concept can be used on it with low N slow as the brisket or pork belly (these are your two favorable proteins for this technique). The purpose is to smoke your Chuck Roast at a low temperature until the internal temp reaches a  very high temp. This is important so the tissue can break down and allow the meat to become soft and tender. Let’s get into the full recipe.

Grilled Burnt Ends

Poor Mans Burnt Ends

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Rest Time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 8 lb Chuck Roast Trimmed
  • 2-4 tbsp Mustard This is your binder
  • 1 1/2 cup Your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Raw Honey
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Dry mustard
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Onion powder
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper


Keyword chuck roast, smoked

Prep Directions:

  1. Prep all of your ingredients for your bbq. Combine all seasoning for your bbq dry rub (Brown sugar, turbinado sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt, pepper and cinnamon).
  2. Get your smoker set at 250 and bring it to temp.
  3. If your chuck roast is 3 inches thick, or more, cut it in half. Make sure your beef is chilled for this because it will be easier for you to cut through.
  4. Once you have your chuck roast ready apply 2 tablespoons of mustard for a binder on each side. Now season generously on all sides and let it sit for thirty mins before placing it In your smoker.

Cooking Ingredients:

  1. Now that you are smoking, check your temp because you are wanting an internal temp of 165 before you pull the roast. Once 165 internal temp hit (around 3-4 hours) get yourself aluminium foil and set your roast in the foil (they each need their own foil wrap). Add 2 tablespoons of butter and wrap. Place back into the smoker until the roast reaches an internal temp of 195 and pull them. Let it rest 15-20 mins and then cube up the roast into 1″ cubes. Now set the cubes into an aluminium pan and add 4 tablespoons of butter, 1-1 1/2 cups of bbq sauce, and 3 tablespoons of honey. Now you mix and place back into the smoker for around 1 hour, unwrapped. You want your cubes to be around 203 internal.
  2. Pull the cubes from the pan and mix one more time and then serve.
  3. Enjoy with family and friends.

Give this recipe a try! 

Poor mans burnt ends are a delicious, affordable way to satisfy cravings for traditional burnt ends. Chuck roast and boneless country-style pork ribs provide a more cost-effective alternative to the usual brisket or beef short rib. Preparing these tasty morsels is simple – just marinate, smoke, and caramelize the meat! Poor man’s burnt ends are perfect for your next summer BBQ or as an anytime snack, sure to please kids and adults alike.

So if you want to get the same flavors as traditional burnt ends without breaking the bank, try this poor mans recipe. You won’t be disappointed! And while poor mans burnt ends are a delicious and budget-friendly option, it’s worth noting that traditional burnt ends made with beef brisket or pork shoulder are also worth trying if you have the budget for it. Either way, burnt ends are a delicious and iconic part of barbecue tradition, and they’re sure to be a hit at your next cookout or backyard BBQ.

Items used in This Recipe

Hasty-Bake Grill

Knitted Gloves

Food Processor

Cast Iron Skillet 

Meater +

Charcoal Chimney

Charcoal Starters

Firestarter Guard


Beef Recipes

If the recipe is not showing up, I have attracted a downloadable PDF with the instructions and ingredients below!

Poor Mans Burnt Ends

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