Poor man’s burnt ends (smoked chuck roast burnt ends)

This poor man’s burnt ends recipe features smoked chuck roast that are cubed up and tossed in a delicious bbq, butter, brown sugar and hot honey glaze.

You only need an inexpensive chuck roast and a few other ingredients to make dinner happen. This is a budget friendly recipe and these little beef nuggets are sure to have your taste buds fired up! 

Poor man's burnt ends
Photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

Why do they call them poor man’s burnt ends? 

Chuck roast used to be cheaper per pound than a whole brisket. However, since the popularity of chuck roast, the prices have gone way up.

The money savings comes in the fact that a chuck roast is only 3-4 pounds whereas an entire brisket is usually 12-15 lbs or more. So even though chuck roast might be more expensive, they come in a much smaller sizes. 

Poor mans burnt ends

Chuck roast burnt ends vs brisket burnt ends. 

Both cuts of meat can be tough when not given enough time to properly cook them. However, smoking them low and slow, and finishing with a nice bbq glaze can produce amazing results. Both are like literal meat candy. 

Brisket burnt ends come from the brisket point and can be very time consuming to make and expensive, but they do taste better in my opinion, due to the high fat content.

Still, chuck roast burnt ends are a great way to get a similar flavor and a bang for your buck. Plus you don’t have to buy a huge brisket and spend all day on it. 

Another inexpensive option is Pork butt burnt ends. These are probably the cheapest way to make burnt ends and in my opinion even better than pulled pork! 

How do I get my chuck roast tender? 

Find a chuck roast that has good intramuscular fat running through it. This will help the beef chuck roast to be tender and flavorful. The biggest factor is in the final temperature you finish the chuck roast at.

For the best results I like to cook my chuck roast cubes until an internal temperature of 210°F. This may sound high to some but in order to really get the beef fall apart tender, this is very important. 

Chuck roast burnt ends

How to make poor man’s burnt ends. 

I start with a 3-4 pound chuck roast for this recipe. I like to add a little olive oil to the meat to help the dry rub stick. A lot of people like to use yellow mustard for a binder, which is fine too.  

Chuck roast

Then I season the meat with a bbq rub. You can use your favorite bbq rub or try my homemade bbq seasoning. Its a good one! 

Set your smoker to 250°F and place the whole chuck roast directly onto the grill grates. Smoking at that low temperature allows the beef to properly breakdown while retaining moisture. I’m using my Pitboss Pellet Smoker but any will do!

Once you have a nice bark and your meat thermometer reads between 165-175°F, it’s time for the next step. 

Smoked chuck roast

Remove the chuck roast from the smoker and place it onto your cutting board. Carefully cut the chuck roast into 1 inch cubes and place them into a foil pan.

Next add pats of butter, a drizzle of hot honey, a drizzle of your favorite bbq sauce, and brown sugar. 

All of these ingredients will work together to form a nice sweet and spicy glaze that will turn the chuck roast cubes into bbq meat candy. Toss everything together to combine all of the ingredients.

Then cover the foil pan with aluminum foil and place them back into your smoker until they reach 210°F. The meat should be probe tender, meaning you can stick a meat thermometer through them with little resistance. 

Resting .

Once you remove the foil pan off the smoker, open up one corner of the foil and allow the meat to slowly cool down. In about 30-40 minutes you are ready to eat some succulent pieces of beef! 

These may not be classic burnt ends but this cut of meat sure makes for a delicious meal. They are some of my favorite things to make for friends and family.  

Chuck roast burnt ends

Sometimes I’ll lay out a sheet of butcher paper and spread these burnt ends out and let people snack on them as an appetizer while the rest of the food is coming off the smoker. 

It’s one of those recipes I don’t have to prep a lot for or think about. But don’t be fooled, it always packs a lot of flavor.

How to store and reheat. 

Store any leftover chuck roast in an airtight container and keep refrigerated. It will be good for 4-5 days.

To warm up, you can place them in your microwave or on a sheet pan and in an oven at 350°F until they are warmed throughout. Add additional bbq sauce if needed. 

Sides to serve with poor man’s burnt ends. 

Loaded baked beans 

Homemade pasta salad 

Quick pickled onions 

Easy jalapeño cheddar corn pudding

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Poor man’s burnt ends (smoked chuck roast burnt ends)

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  • 34 pound chuck roast 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose bbq rub 
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce 
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar 
  • 5 tablespoons butter 
  • 3 tablespoons hot honey 


  1. Coat your chuck roast with olive oil to act as a binder and then season with an all purpose bbq rub. 
  2. Smoke the chuck roast at 250°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 175°F and has developed a nice bark. 
  3. Remove chuck roast from the smoker and a cut into 1 inch cubes. Transfer cubes into a foil pan and add pats of butter, hot honey, bbq sauce and brown sugar. Carefully mix together to combine. 
  4. Cover foil pan and place them back into your smoker until they reach an internal of 210°F. 
  5. Remove foil pan from smoker and open one corner of foil and allow the meat to cool off for 30-40 minutes before serving. 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger

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  1. What would be a rough estimate for time to get the roast to 175F on the first cook. Just trying to judge a start time to have it ready for guests

    1. Hey Shane, on a 3-4 pound chuck roast smoking at 250, I would say maybe 3 hours. If its not getting there fast enough, going to 275 is ok. Once you wrap in foil it will finish much faster.

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