Often called Poor Man’s Burnt Ends, these Chuck Roast Burnt Ends are actually my favourite way to make burnt ends. There’s nothing poor about them to be honest. Is there any beef that’s poor man’s any more? Chuck is very similarly priced to brisket. But as you can get chuck portions quite small (around 0.5 kg/1 lb through to chuck roast 2.5kg/5 lb sizes), they don’t take anywhere near as long as a full brisket to smoke. Maybe they should be called Time Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

Burnt Ends originated in Kansas City BBQ as a freely given away treat while guests waited for their “real” brisket. Made traditionally from the point muscle of a full brisket, the point is separated from the flat and cubed and cooked once again with BBQ sauce until gelatinous and squishy.

Honestly, I’ve had competition quality brisket burnt ends and this Chuck Roast Burnt Ends version stands up really well. With a couple of tricks up your sleeve, your family or guests could mistake your dining table for a Kansas City BBQ joint.


affordable and available


Just like my first post (pork chops) chuck “steaks” or chuck roasts are super affordable and readily available at your local grocery store or supermarket as well as any good butcher. You might need to give your butcher a heads up though as they might have all their chuck earmarked for the grinder!

The chuck area of a cow is the shoulder and neck region, above the brisket. There’s lots of “hidden gem steaks” in the chuck if butchered right. Flat iron, Denver, Teres Major are just some. Any version of Chuck steak or chuck roast is just chuck. I mainly use smaller chuck steaks for my burnt ends. They cook quicker and I have no problems keeping them moist and tender with this method.





  1. The first step is to prep your chuck. Take any really big chunks of fat out and set these aside to grind for burgers. I season with 3 part ground pepper/2 part kosha or any rock salt/1 part garlic powder and onion powder, and I do it later the night before a morning cook starting at around 8am. I call this my SPOG powder!! I don’t believe in binders unless absolutely necessary, so I don’t use any here. Just sprinkle and pat.
  2. When the seasoning has had some time to sit and do a bit of dry brining (at least 4 hours or preferably overnight), you’re ready to fire up your smoker. I like to aim to run these at around 200f (93c) for the beginning to get lots of smoke flavour in there. For flavour wood I love Hickory or Mesquite for these.
  3. While waiting for the smoker, place two/three tablespoons of beef tallow in the vessel you’ll later use in the final stage of smoking.
  4. Once your smoker is up to temp and constant, throw your chuck and beef tallow on to smoke. If you use wireless meat probes to monitor temperature, now’s the time to stick one/them in.
  5. Get that smoke rolling! Other than opening up from the first hour/hour and a half for every 45 mins to spritz the chuck (50/50 apple cider vinegar/water) try to keep the lid down as much as possible until they’re hitting around 150f (80c).
  6. Once the beef is at 150f (80c) up the temp on the smoker to 250f (120c).  It’s from about now where you’ll hit a stall.  Keep pushing through that stall until it hits around 170f (77c).
  7. Now’s the time to wrap this baby!  Cut a length of butcher’s paper that’s going to be able to wrap the meat twice over, to completely encase it.  Grab that beautifully smoked tallow and drizzle some where you’ll put the meat.  Place the meat on the butcher’s paper and then drizzle the rest over the top of the meat.  Wrap tightly and put it back in the smoker, along with the empty tallow tray that you’ll use again for the burnt ends.  Stick your probe in there to monitor the temp.
  8. Once it hits 195f (90c) take it off the smoker and rest on the bench for 15 minutes.
  9. Cube the meat into around 1.5 inch cubes.  Place these in a mixing bowl with two tablespoons of brown sugar and around four tablespoons of your favourite BBQ sauce and mix well. Get your tallow tray out of the smoker and place the cubed and sauced meat into the tallow tray.  Cover with two layers of foil (wrap tightly) and return to the smoker.
  10. After around an hour, check your cubed chuck.  You want a very squishy and “probe tender” texture.  If there’s still a way to go, pop it back in and check every 30 minutes until you get it.
  11. Give it at least 20 minutes to rest before digging in.  If you’ve prepared them early, hold the temp in a cooler wrapped in towels.  You can do this for several hours.  Just don’t let your food get to the temperature danger zone (40f-140f or 5c-60c) and stay there for long.



I love to serve these Chuck Roast Burnt Ends on the top of thick fresh white bread.  The bread in this photo was baked in my bread maker that day.  Serve with salads to counter balance the pure gluttony.

Keep any leftovers wrapped with foil in the tray with the sauce.  To enjoy the next day, reheat in a hot oven (or air fryer) still wrapped in the foil served in a soft roll with pickles and cheese.


Ingredients I used

(Serves 2-3 people.  Double the quantities for double the people, triple for triple etc)

  • 1.4lb (650g) of supermarket/grocery store issue Chuck Roast or Chuck Steak.  Try and pick Chuck that has flecks of fat through the meat, and avoid any with excessive chunks of fat.
  • 3 Teaspoons of ground pepper/2 teaspoons of ground Himalayan Pink Salt/1 teaspoon garlic powder/1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Beef Tallow
  • 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of Sweet Baby Rays Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce (any favourite BBQ Sauce will do)
  • Spray bottle with 50/50 Apple Cider Vinegar/Water as necessary



  • Pit Boss Navigator 850 Pellet Smoker
  • Lumberjack Mesquite Blend Pellets
  • Inkbird ibbq-4t WiFi probe and ambient temperature monitor
  • Inkbird 1HT-1 instant read thermometer
  • Oklahoma Joe Peach Butcher’s Paper
  • Sharp knives
  • Good quality tongs
  • Heat resistant gloves
  • Small square ceramic dish (suggest using a large foil tray for larger quantities)




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