Poor Man's Burnt Ends - Ultimate Guide!

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends – Ultimate Guide!

Thanks for joining us for another ultimate guide. In this guide we are going to be creating some poor man’s burnt ends. These are basically chuck roast that is cubed. They are tender and always a huge hit. Let us start with the basics.

They are called poor man’s burnt ends because they are a much cheaper option that cooking a full brisket. You are not buying an entire brisket you are just buying the chuck roast and this means you get to create those little cubes of melt in your mouth goodness at a fraction of the cost.

Let’s Get Started.

You are going to want to start with a chuck roast that is about three pounds in weight. When you are at the butchers or the store you want to look for one that has a lot of marbling. The more intramuscular fat the better. This is really going to make sure that your end product comes out incredibly juicy.

Take you meat out of the fridge and allow it some time to come up to room temperature. When this is done you are going to want to season your meat with your favorite beef seasoning. If you don’t have a go to beef seasoning there is no need to worry. You can just make your own. The old faithful SPG mix will never let you down. Just mix up equal parts of salt, black pepper and garlic powder. Make you you get the seasoning all over the meat covering every possible side.

With this done it is time to head out to the smoker. You want your smoker to be pumping out heat at about 275 degrees for this cut. When it comes to the type of wood to use I like to use oak. Using oak will ensure that your meat is full of that traditional Texan BBQ flavor. You don’t have to use oak. If you prefer hickory then go with that instead. With the smoker up to temperature it is time to get the meat on.

You want this meat in the smoker until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. It is important that you are using a decent temperature probe to get an accurate reading on this. When the meat is up to this temperature you will notice that there have been some significant changes to the meat. The color on the outside of the meat would have started to take on a dark red color. You will also notice that the bark has really started to form on the outside of the meat.

Burnt Ends in an Aluminum Tray
Burnt Ends in an Aluminum Tray

Get the Meat Off the Smoker!

At this point get the meat off the smoker and wrap it in butchers paper. If this is not something you have at home then you can also wrap it in foil. Make sure that the wrap is tight. I personally prefer using butchers paper as I feel that it helps the meat to retain its moisture better. There is another huge benefit of butchers paper that i love. It allows the bark to stay a bit crispy where as the bark will often go soft if you are using foil. However, its definitely not something that we all have at home.

With the chuck roast wrapped you need to get it back on the smoker. Make sure the smoke is still rolling at 275 degrees and leave the meat in there until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 195 degrees. It is at this temperature that all of those tough pieces of fat really start to break down and become tender and juicy. If you don’t let the meat get up to this temperature then you are not going to have the juicy end result we all want.

Let it Rest

With the internal temperature reached it is time to take it off the smoker. Let me meat rest for a while before you do anything. This is really important! You want all of that juiciness to stay in the meat. If you start cutting right away it is all going to leak all over the chopping board.  With the meat rested you need to start cutting it into one inch cubes. One of the fantastic things about chuck roast is that because of its size you are going to get bark on every single piece.

With the meat cubed you want to put the cubes into an aluminum foil tray. With this done add about a quarter of a cup of brown sugar and half a cup of barbecue sauce. We all have different favorites so use the one that your family loves the most. Give the tray a shake and jiggle everything around. This will make sure that all of the cubes end up with an even coating of the sauce and sugar.

With this done, head back outside to the smoker. Put the tray in the smoker and carry on smoking for up to 45 minutes. You want the brown sugar and the sauce to tighten on the outside and also the cubes to carry on cooking a bit. You don’t need any temperature probes but keep an eye on them until they are just about ready to fall apart. At this point they are done!

Poor Mans Burnt Ends are to Die For!
Poor Mans Burnt Ends are to Die For!


That is it. They really are that simple. But, oh so delicious. If you want these to be saucier you can add some more sauce at this point and just heat it through or you can serve them exactly as they are.

Once you have tasted how amazing these are you are gong to want to step up to a full brisket next time. Check out our detailed brisket guide to make sure you are off to the best start.

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