Poor man burnt ends

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Recipe | Delicious BBQ Meat

If you’re a BBQ lover on a budget, you might think that burnt ends are out of your reach. After all, this popular BBQ dish is usually made with high-end cuts of meat, like brisket point, which can be expensive.

But don’t worry, there’s a way to enjoy burnt ends without breaking the bank. With this poor man’s burnt ends recipe, you can make a delicious and affordable version of this classic BBQ dish right at home.

What Are Burnt Ends?

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s talk a bit about what burnt ends are?. Burnt ends are a BBQ dish that originated in Kansas City, Missouri, and they’re made from the point end of a beef brisket. The point end is fattier and more marbled than the flat end, which makes it perfect for slow-cooking.

To make burnt ends, the point end of the brisket is smoked low and slow until it’s tender and delicious. Then, the cooked meat is cubed, sauced, and smoked again until the edges are crispy and caramelized. The result is a savory, smoky, and slightly sweet BBQ treat that’s a favorite among BBQ enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, brisket point can be expensive, and not everyone has access to it. That’s where this poor man’s burnt ends recipe comes in. Instead of using brisket point, we’ll be using a more affordable cut of meat: chuck roast.


For the Meat:

Poor Man's Burnt Ends
  • 1 chuck roast (about 3-4 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper

For the Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Step 1: Preheat the Smoker

Preheat your smoker to 225°F. If you don’t have a smoker, you can use an oven or grill with a smoker box.

Step 2: Season the Meat

Season the chuck roast generously with salt and pepper. Make sure to get all sides of the meat.

Step 3: Make the Rub

In a small bowl, mix together all the rub ingredients until well combined.

Step 4: Apply the Rub

Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chuck roast, making sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies. Let the meat to marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the seasoning to soak in.

Step 5: Smoke the Meat

Place the seasoned chuck roast in the smoker and smoke for about 4-5 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. You can use any type of wood chips you like, but hickory or mesquite work well for this recipe.

Step 6: Make the Sauce

While the meat is smoking, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly.

Step 7: Cube the Meat

Once the chuck roast reaches 160°F, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the meat into bite-sized cubes.

Step 8: Sauce the Meat

In a large bowl, toss the cubed meat with about half of the sauce until well coated. Reserve the remaining sauce for serving.

Step 9: Smoke the Cubes

Return the sauced meat cubes to the smoker and smoke for an additional 1-2 hours, or until the edges are crispy and caramelized.

Step 10: Serve and Enjoy!

Remove the burnt ends from the smoker and transfer them to a serving dish. Drizzle with the remaining sauce and serve immediately.

You can enjoy your poor man’s burnt ends as a standalone dish, or serve them as a topping for baked potatoes or nachos. They’re also great as a sandwich filling, or as a side dish for your favorite BBQ meats.

Tips for Making the Best Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Here are a few tips to help you make the best poor man’s burnt ends possible:

  • Choose a good quality chuck roast: Even though chuck roast is a more affordable cut of meat, it’s still important to choose a good quality piece. Look for one that’s well-marbled and has a good amount of fat.
  • Let the meat rest before cubing: Once the chuck roast is cooked, it’s important to let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cubing it. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures that the meat stays moist.
  • Use wood chips for extra flavor: If you’re using a smoker, consider using wood chips for an extra smoky flavor. Hickory, mesquite, or cherry wood are all great options.
  • Don’t skimp on the sauce: The sauce is what really makes the burnt ends shine, so don’t be afraid to use a generous amount. Toss the cubed meat in the sauce until it’s well-coated, and reserve some extra sauce for serving.
  • Smoke the cubes until they’re caramelized: The second round of smoking is what gives the burnt ends their crispy, caramelized edges. Make sure to smoke the cubes until they’re well-browned and slightly charred.


In conclusion, burnt ends are a delicious BBQ dish that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of budget. With this poor man’s burnt ends recipe, you can make a flavorful and affordable version of this classic dish right at home. By following the aforementioned tips and using high-quality ingredients, you can create a BBQ master-piece that will impress your friends and family. So fire up the smoker, grab your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy some mouth-watering burnt ends!

Rita Williams

Rita Williams

Hey, it’s me Rita! My love for BBQ began at an early age, learning the art of smoking meats from my dad in their small town in Texas. Weekends were filled with smoky aroma of brisket or ribs as family and friends gathered for backyard cookouts.

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