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Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Have you ever heard of Poor Man’s Burnt Ends? If you LOVE the taste of slow-smoked BBQ, then this recipe is the recipe for you! I’m going to share all of my secrets for making a pan of perfect burnt ends, all on your Pellet Grill.

Poor Man’s Beef Burnt Ends

Seasoned perfectly and slowly smoked to achieve a deep mahogany bark on the outside while the inside remains melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Finished with a slathering of barbecue sauce, these tender bites will be the talk of your next gathering. Once you’ve tried these you will definitely want to add them to your summer bbq rotation.

Traditionally, burnt ends are made from the point of a whole packer beef brisket. We are using a good marbled chuck roast for this recipe, which are lovingly referred to as “poor man’s” burnt ends because the roasts that are used are typically less expensive than brisket.

I’m all about saving pennies and providing superior quality on a budget, and beef chuck roast fills the bill here. Depending on where you live, you can sometimes find prices for brisket that are comparable, but do your shopping comparisons and choose accordingly.

Burnt ends are super popular in Kansas City, as one of their most prized delicacies. Burnt ends are one of the most sought after regional dishes there are, and I can’t wait until I have a good excuse to get back there and eat some where they’re from!

Burnt Ends are just like they sound, crispy charred ends of the fattier point of the brisket, cooked for an extensive amount of time until this wonderful “bark” forms on the outside, then cut into chunks or chopped and slathered with BBQ sauce then cooked a little longer until the sauce “sets”.

Served as an open faced and piled high, you may want a fork handy because you’ll definitely want to savor every bite.

Talk about mouth watering? Let’s get to it!

How do I choose and prepare the chuck roast for smoking?

When choosing your beef chuck roast, look for a good cut with a lot of marbling. The fat content is key, lean cuts of meat tend to dry out if cooked for long periods of time, so you will want to use a fattier cut of meat.

The meat will remain tender and juicy during the longer smoking process. Don’t be afraid to ask your butcher, they can be a wonderful source of information and knowledge in helping you choose the right cut of meat.

Preparing your roast is simple. Grab your favorite BBQ rub and slather it on your roast. Don’t be shy. Rub it in. After your roast is done smoking, you will want your favorite BBQ sauce handy to slather on the chunks of beef to finish this dish. Here’s a recipe for my favorite Homemade BBQ sauce that works really well here!

How should I serve this dish?

Traditionally, poor man’s burnt ends are served as an open-faced sandwich or with a slice of bread and some pickles. However, this is so good, you could serve it alone with sides and a lot of napkins.

I have also heard tell that this dish has evolved and has been used in anything from tacos and burgers to hash. 

A good BBQ is delicious in any way shape or form in my opinion. 

What kind of sides should I serve with Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

Many flavors and textures compliment the savory taste of BBQ beef. Anything from a sweet crunchy slaw to a creamy serving of garlic mashed potatoes.

Pellet Grill Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

These Poor Man’s Burnt Ends can be one of your most sought after creations this summer. Easily becoming a tradition for all of your friends and family gatherings. Be sure to print a few recipes to share because you will be asked.

You can make one roast or several because leftovers are going to be wanted!

Pack up a picnic basket or use in your Sunday morning hash served with eggs. Sliders the day after for lunch, or a smoky mouth-watering Saint Louis style taco for dinner.

Serve with a tall frosty mug of something cold to drink and plenty of napkins available as this recipe is finger-licking delicious.

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Featured Reviews from Readers

Corena Underwood‎ says, “First time making Poor Man’s Burnt Ends! So good! I will definitely make these again!”

Poor Man's Burnt Ends

Poor Man's Burnt Ends

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

These tender pieces of chuck roast are slow-cooked on the Traeger Pellet Grill over live fire and then get a barbecue sauce bath to finish them off and leave them fork-tender and full of flavor.


  • 2 pounds chuck roast
  • 1/4 cup Traeger Beef Rub (link below)
  • 1/8 cup Kendrick BBQ Rub (link below)
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce


  1. Cut your chuck roast into 1 1/2” squares, discarding excess fat, and place into a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Pour about two-thirds of your rubs into the bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure all the pieces of pork belly are evenly coated. 
  3. Cover the bowl and place it into your fridge for 1 hour.
  4. Start your grill and pre-heat it to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Place your chuck roast pieces onto the grill with at least 1/2” space between each piece.
  6. Let cook on the grill for approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat should be fork-tender.
  7. Pull your meat from the grill and put it into a disposable foil box or grill safe cooking container. 
  8. Shake the rest of the rub onto the meat and mix it up with a large spoon.
  9. Pour the barbecue sauce on top of the meat and mix it up with your spoon.
  10. Place it back onto the grill for 30 minutes or until it begins to simmer a little bit and the sauce just starts to caramelize.
  11. Pull from the grill and serve.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 310 Total Fat: 17g Saturated Fat: 6g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 10g Cholesterol: 66mg Sodium: 557mg Carbohydrates: 19g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 16g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 18g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!
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Corena Underwood

Monday 13th of January 2020

Wow! Such a great way to use a beef chuck roast! Simple, easy directions to follow and they turned out perfectly! My whole family loved them. I will definitely make these again. Thank you for sharing this recipe. ❤️

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