Poor Man’s Burnt Ends (Smoked Beef Chuck Roast)

Written by Mike Futia | Updated October 26, 2023

These poor man's burnt ends are a great way to enjoy the flavors of traditional burnt ends without breaking the bank.

Made from chuck roast instead of brisket, these bites are tender and smoky, with a beautiful caramelized crust. 

The best part is—this recipe is straightforward and requires just a few simple ingredients.

poor man burnt ends

Helpful Recipe Information

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Smoking time: 7 hours
  • Internal temperature: 195F

How To Make Poor Man's Burnt Ends

poor man burnt ends in foil

For this recipe, I took a standard-sized chuck roast and applied Worcestershire sauce as a binder, followed by a generous layer of BBQ rub. After letting it sit for 30 minutes to absorb the seasonings, it was time for the smoker.

I preheated my Traeger to 225F and smoked the chuck roast until it reached an internal temperature of 160F, which took around 4 hours. Then, I wrapped the roast in foil and put it back on the smoker until it hit 195F internally.

After reaching the desired temperature, I cut the smoked chuck roast into 1” cubes and placed them in an aluminum sheet tray. I added butter and honey to the cubes before returning them to the smoker for 2 more hours. This step gave the burnt ends their characteristic tenderness and caramelization.

poor man burnt ends close up

The Ingredients 

  • Chuck roast (2.5-3 pounds). I picked up a Blank Angus Beef chuck roast from my local grocery store for $8.99/pound.
  • Worcestershire sauce. (1 tbsp). To act as a binder for our rub.
  • BBQ rub (1 tbsp). Use your favorite seasoning here rub. For these poor man's burnt ends, I used my homemade beef rub.
  • BBQ sauce (1/2 cup). We're going to sauce the burnt ends after we cube them. Use your favorite BBQ sauce here.
  • Butter (2 tbsp). To add to the meat once we wrap it.
  • Honey (2 tbsp). For a hint of sweet flavor when we wrap.

The Directions

chuck roast raw

1. Apply Worcestershire sauce to the chuck roast as a binder, then generously add the BBQ rub. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your smoker to 225F.

poor man burnt ends on traeger

2. Smoke the chuck roast until it hits an internal temperature of 160F. This should take about 4 hours.

chuck roast in foil

3. Wrap the roast in foil and return to the smoker. Continue to smoke until it hits 195F internal, which should take about an additional hour.

poor man burnt ends cubed

4. Remove the meat from the smoker and cut the chuck roast into 1" cubes, and place them in an aluminum sheet tray.

5. Add the BBQ sauce, honey, and butter to the sheet tray, and stir gently until well-combined. 

poor man burnt ends sauced on smoker

6. Return the tray to the smoker and continue to cook for about two more hours, or until the cubes are nicely caramelized and tender.

poor man burnt ends done

7. Remove the poor man's burnt ends from the smoker, serve, and ENJOY!

What Are Poor Man's Burnt Ends?

burnt ends w butter

Poor man's burnt ends take inspiration from the traditional barbecue staple—brisket burnt ends—but substitute the expensive cut of brisket for a more economical choice, the chuck roast.

Despite the cheaper cut, this recipe does not skimp on flavor or tenderness.

After smoking, wrapping, cubing, and a final touch of honey and butter, these delicious morsels will melt in your mouth.

Poor Man's Burnt Ends vs. Brisket Burnt Ends

chuck roast on traeger

While traditional burnt ends use the point cut of a brisket, which is richly marbled and full of flavor, poor man's burnt ends use a chuck roast.

The chuck roast is less expensive but still provides a rich beefy flavor, especially when prepared with care.

With a longer smoking process and added honey and butter for the final touch, the poor man's version can hold its own against its brisket counterpart in terms of flavor and texture.

What Is Chuck Roast?

raw chuck roast

Chuck roast is a cut of beef that comes from the shoulder area of the cow, which works hard, resulting in a well-developed muscle with rich, beefy flavors.

The roast is laced with connective tissues and marbling, which when cooked slowly, break down and render into the meat, making it tender and delicious.

The chuck roast is an excellent choice for smoking and slow cooking, and it shines in recipes like these poor man's burnt ends.

Why This Recipe Works

burnt ends in sauce

Here's why you're going to love this poor man's burnt ends recipe:

Budget-friendly: Chuck roast is a more affordable alternative to brisket but still delivers a rich, beefy flavor.

Unbeatable flavor: The combination of Worcestershire sauce, BBQ rub, butter, and honey creates a savory, sweet, and slightly tangy taste that's damn tasty.

Simple preparation: Despite its great taste, this smoker recipe is easy to make—even for beginners.

Poor Man's Burnt Ends Tips For Success

Smoking the perfect poor man's burnt ends is easy if you follow these tips.

  • Choose a quality chuck roast. Look for a roast with good marbling as this will render down during the smoking process and provide more flavor.
  • Let the roast sit after applying the rub. This will allow the meat to absorb the seasonings and result in a deeper flavor.
  • Monitor the internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the roast reaches the correct internal temperatures during each stage of the cooking process.
  • Let the burnt ends rest. After removing the burnt ends from the smoker, allow them to rest for a few minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute, making the meat even more tender and flavorful.
poor man burnt ends

Best Poor Man's Burnt Ends

These poor man's burnt ends are smoky, delicious, and easy on the wallet. Follow our simple poor man's burnt ends recipe for your next backyard gathering!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Course Main Course
Calories 2207 kcal

Ingredients
  

For The Steak

  • 1 chuck roast 2.5-3 pounds
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp BBQ rub
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp honey

Instructions
 

  • Apply Worcestershire sauce to the chuck roast as a binder, then generously add the BBQ rub. Let it sit for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your smoker to 225F.
  • Smoke the chuck roast until it hits an internal temperature of 160F. This should take about 4 hours.
  • Wrap the roast in foil and return to the smoker. Continue to smoke until it hits 195F internal, which should take about an additional hour.
  • Remove the meat from the smoker and cut the chuck roast into 1" cubes, and place them in an aluminum sheet tray.
  • Add the BBQ sauce, honey, and butter to the sheet tray, and stir gently until well-combined.
  • Return the tray to the smoker and continue to cook for about two more hours, or until the cubes are nicely caramelized and tender.
  • Remove the poor man's burnt ends from the smoker, serve, and ENJOY!

Nutrition

Calories: 2207kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 174gFat: 127gSaturated Fat: 60gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 59gTrans Fat: 7gCholesterol: 681mgSodium: 2605mgPotassium: 3484mgFiber: 1gSugar: 84gVitamin A: 1150IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 228mgIron: 21mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Mike Futia

Hello, I'm Mike Futia, a passionate griller and BBQ enthusiast. I'm the creator of Grill Frenzy, and I'm committed to sharing my knowledge of grilling and smoking with you. I believe that BBQ and grilling should be accessible to everyone. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, I'm here to guide you on your grilling journey. Welcome!


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