Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

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Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are made with just 5 ingredients in your smoker or oven. Serve your chuck roast burnt ends with classic sides like coleslaw or potato salad for a summer BBQ guests will never forget.

Overhead view of poor man's burnt ends with a burger bun

Easy Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Recipe

If you’ve ever thought that burnt ends were too difficult to make, think again. These poor man’s burnt ends are about to become your new favorite BBQ dish. All you need is 5 ingredients and a smoker or oven.

If you have a smoker, use it for that classic smoked burnt ends flavor. But if you don’t? Just use the oven instead. No FOMO here – you can delete that smoker from your Amazon cart now.

Either way, you’ll end up with caramelized, crispy burnt ends. Enjoy on some bread with pickles or serve with your favorite sides, like potato salad or mac and cheese.

Overhead view of poor man's burnt ends in a foil pan

Why You’ll Love These Chuck Roast Burnt Ends

Here are a few reasons you’ll love this easy beef burnt ends recipe.

  • Only 5 ingredients. You’ll need chuck roast, BBQ sauce, and just a few other ingredients. Nothing fancy and all very easy to find!
  • Prepare in the smoker or oven. Traditional burnt ends are prepared in the smoker. However, I know that’s not something everyone has, so I’ve included oven instructions as well.
  • Incredible flavor. Between the marbled chuck roast, BBQ sauce, and glaze, each burnt end is bursting with flavor.
Chuck roast burnt ends on a tray with bread and pickles

What Are Burnt Ends?

Poor man’s burnt ends are burnt ends made out of chuck roast, instead of brisket. Traditional burnt ends are made with a whole brisket which is smoked. The top muscle (aka the marbled, fattier part) is removed while the rest of the brisket is sliced and served. Then the top muscle (also called “the point”) is often cubed, topped with BBQ sauce, and cooked to caramelized perfection.

To make poor man’s burnt ends, you swap the brisket for chuck roast. The price of the two meats is similar, so it’s not necessarily cheaper in that aspect. However, you skip the step of needing an entire brisket just to get burnt ends. When making chuck roast burnt ends, the entire roast is cubed and served.

Overhead view of chuck roast burnt ends ingredients

What You’ll Need

This burnt ends recipe requires just 5 ingredients. See the recipe card below for measurements.

  • Chuck roast – See notes below.
  • Dijon mustard – Adds a bite of a tangy bite to the flavor, while also helping the seasoning adhere to the chuck roast.
  • BBQ seasoning – You can use your favorite store-bought seasoning or use the bbq rub recipe in the notes section to make your own.
  • BBQ sauceHomemade barbecue sauce is perfect for this but your favorite store-bought brand will work too.
  • Brown sugar – Sweetens the sauce.

What Is The Best Meat to Use?

Poor man’s burnt ends are made with chuck roast. The flavor ends up similar to brisket, without the price tag. For this recipe, you’ll want to choose a chuck roast that’s 2.5 to 3 pounds.

How to Make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

This chuck roast burnt ends recipe requires minimal preparation and just a few hours in the smoker. Here’s how to make it:

  • Season the chuck roast. Brush the roast with Dijon mustard then generously sprinkle with the BBQ seasoning.
  • Smoke the meat. Place the chuck roast on the preheated smoker grates. Smoke for 3-4 hours, until the temperature reaches 200F.
  • Rest. Remove the roast from the smoker, wrap in foil, and rest for 20 minutes. Cut into bite-sized cubes.
  • Make the BBQ glaze. Combine the BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Toss the cubed chuck roast in the mixture.
  • Return to the smoker. Return the glaze roast bits to the smoker in a foil aluminum pan. Cook for an hour, until the meat is caramelized with a sticky appearance. Enjoy!

Can I Make Burnt Ends In The Oven?

No smoker? No worries! You can easily make poor man’s burnt ends in the oven! Just follow the directions as above, then bake in the oven at 250F. The cook time remains the same.

A fork diving into poor man's burnt ends

Recipe Tips & Variations

Here are a few tips for making the best smoked chuck roast burnt ends.

  • Adjust the BBQ seasoning and BBQ sauce amounts to your preference. Feel free to add more or less according to your taste.
  • What wood chips should I use? Applewood or hickey are the best wood chips/pellets to use for this chuck roast burnt ends recipe. They’ll provide the best flavor.
  • How do I know when poor man’s burnt ends are done? The first time you remove the chuck roast from the smoker, it should have an internal temperature of 100F. The second time, the each piece should be fully caramelized.
Overhead view of poor man's burnt ends with a burger bun

What To Serve With Chuck Roast Burnt Ends

Serve your poor man’s burnt ends with any classic BBQ sides. A few of my favorites include coleslaw, mac & cheese, baked beans, cornbread, and potato salad. You can also serve them on white bread or rolls with pickles and onions as an entrée themselves.

Chuck roast burnt ends next to banana peppers

How to Store and Reheat Extras

  • Fridge. Store leftover chuck roast burnt ends in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freezer. You can also freeze leftover burnt ends in a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
  • Reheating. Reheat individual servings in the microwave. The oven is great for larger servings as well.

More Easy Beef Recipes

Poor Man's Burnt Ends feature
5 from 6 votes

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Poor Man's Burnt Ends are made with just 5 ingredients in your smoker or oven. Serve your chuck roast burnt ends with classic sides like coleslaw or potato salad for a summer BBQ guests will never forget.
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 hours
Total: 5 hours 15 minutes


  • 2.5-3 Pound Chuck Roast
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 Cup BBQ Seasoning see recipe in notes, or use your favorite store bought
  • 1/2 Cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar


  • Preheat your smoker to 250°F (120°C) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Brush the chuck roast with the dijon mustard all over.
  • Generously sprinkle the BBQ seasoning over the entire surface of the chuck roast, pressing it into the meat to adhere.
  • Place the seasoned chuck roast onto the smoker grates and close the lid. Let it smoke for 3-4 hours or until the temperature reaches 200°F (93°C) and the meat is tender.
  • Carefully remove the roast from the smoker and wrap with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Unwrap the roast from the foil and cut the roast into bite-sized cubes, approximately 1 inch in size.
  • In a foil pan, combine the BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Toss the cubed chuck roast into BBQ mixture until well coated.
  • Return the coasted cubed roast to the smoker in the foil pan and cook for an hour, or until the meat is caramelized and has a sticky, rich appearance.
  • Serve the Poor Man’s Burnt Ends as a tasty appetizer or as a main dish alongside your favorite sides or toppings. Enjoy!

Last Step:

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BBQ Seasoning Recipe:
  • 2 Tablespoons Sweet Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Dark Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional)
  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl until well combined.
  2. Store the BBQ seasoning in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 365mg | Potassium: 580mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 257IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 6mg


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11 comments on “Poor Man’s Burnt Ends”

  1. 5 stars
    I made this on my traeger this evening. It was very good! It took closer to 5 hours to get to a 200 temperature at 250 degrees.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this last night in the oven. I am not a meat eater so I did not try it. My husband (and a family friend) LOVED it, very tender with lots of flavors. My husband said it is better than Buz and Ned’s. It took me 5 minutes to do my part of the recipe and the oven did the rest. 3.5 hrs. in oven, 20 minutes to rest and then another 1 hr. in the oven. Next time I will put foil in the bottom of the baking dish and will only have a few utensils to wash. Thank you Jill!

  3. 5 stars
    Would love to make this! I don’t have a smoker. Can this be done in the oven? If so what temperature and would the last part be done with the broiler? Thank you!

    1. Hi Julia. I would try at 275 for about 3 hours and may add the broiler at the end. You could also try some liquid smoke for flavor.

    1. Hi Peggy. There really isn’t a good way to create that smokey flavor in the oven unless you use liquid smoke which really doesn’t have the same effect in my opinion but you could try it.