Poor Man’s Burnt Ends: A Step-by-Step Guide for 2023

Looking for the perfect pellet grill burnt ends recipe? You’re in the right place. We’re certified experts on cooking anything on wood pellet grills and Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are a meal many people have yet to try. Today, we’re going to guide you step-by-step through everything you need to know to make burnt ends on your pellet grill.

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    Why Are They Called Burnt Ends?

    Burnt ends are traditionally the fatty ends of a whole brisket, but poor man’s burnt ends are usually made with a Chuck Roast instead. The good news about this is that they are much faster to cook – you don’t need to wait for a brisket to cook to make them. (If you want to make traditional burnt ends with pellet grill brisket, learn how to smoke a brisket here.)

    Burnt ends are usually well-cooked small cubes of meat that can be eaten as a meal, as party food, or as a snack.

    What Do I Need for Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

    Ingredients for Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

    To make poor man’s burnt ends you’ll need:

    • A chuck roast cut into cubes (about 2-3” square)
    • Olive oil
    • A smoky or BBQ seasoning of your choice

    Equipment for Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

    • A bowl to mix the ingredients together
    • A baking sheet or another non-stick surface to lay on top of your grill grates with the chuck cubes on
    • Your pellet grill and pellets
    • A temperature probe
    • Heat protective gloves

    What Pellet Grill Do I Need to Make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

    You can use any pellet grill to make poor man’s burnt ends, but it needs to be one that’s in good condition and can hold a consistent temperature with a high level of accuracy. If you’ve yet to invest in a pellet grill or if yours has seen a lot of life and needs replacing, we recommend:

    • Pioneer 450B pellet grillBy far our most popular grill for beginners and those with limited space, this grill does absolutely everything you need it to. It has been made with the best quality materials, and the best PID temperature controller, and can cook in just about any way you ask it to.
    • 7002B pellet grillThis grill is the best mid-range grill you’ll find – it can do just about anything you ask it to and looks as good as it makes food taste. If you’re looking for a workhorse that can cook meals for a large family and small friend and family gatherings, this is a great grill to invest in.
    • Multitasker 11002B pellet smoker with WifiReady to upgrade to a serious grilling machine or are you ready to throw yourself into grilling in earnest? This is the grill for you. It has all our latest features including wifi temperature control so you can monitor your cooking from anywhere with an internet connection.

    What Are the Best Wood Pellets for Poor Man’s Burnt Ends?

    If you’ve fallen in love with the smoky flavor your pellet grill offers, definitely go for Hickory pellets or Oak wood pellets. If you don’t have them to hand and are ready to go, you can use whatever you have to hand, just make sure you have enough for 5 hours of cooking.

    z grills wood pellets

    What is the Cheapest Meat to Smoke?

    If you’re looking to keep things budget-friendly, you’ve got a few different options:

    • Chicken – whole, thighs, legs, or breast, all are an affordable choice for your pellet grill
    • Turkey – again, whole, legs, thighs, wings, or breast
    • Chuck Roast – this is one of the best cuts to make with your smoker and is fortunately cheap to pick up
    • Ribs – pork or beef are delicious, and you can often pick up beef ribs for as little as $2.69 a pound
    • Pork Shoulder – another cut that can be difficult to cook in the kitchen but is divine on the pellet grill.  

    If you want to cook any of these and are looking to keep things budget-friendly, don’t forget to check out the pellet grill recipes section of our website where you’ll find dozens of recipes for cooking these cuts.

    It is worth noting that while these are the cheapest meats, you should try to buy the best quality you can. Cheap poultry, in particular, is often full of water and salt to preserve it and while that can work to your advantage, it can lead to sub-par cooking and a lack of full flavor. Whenever possible, look for free-range meat.


    What to Serve with Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

    You’ve got a few different options here:

    • They make a great buffet food – simply add toothpicks and a dipping sauce
    • Serve with mac n cheese and grilled asparagus
    • Serve with mashed or baked potatoes
    • Allow them to cool and eat them as a snack
    • Add them to salads and pasta dishes

    Don’t be afraid to be creative here – there are very few burnt ends that don’t go with, especially if you used a mild seasoning.

    Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are delicious and a great option for party foods and high-protein snacks as well as a main. If you’ve never tried them, why not give them a try now?

    One of the key things to remember for burnt ends (whether you do this poor man’s version or use brisket cutoffs) is that you need a pellet grill that keeps a temperature accurately. There’s nothing worse than coming back to look at your burnt ends to find that they are literally burnt to a crisp on the outside, and still pink and raw on the inside. You need a grill to keep the right temperature so you get the delicious, balanced, crunchy-yet-soft burnt ends a great pellet grill can produce for you.

    If you’ve yet to get your hands on one of our grills or if your pellet grill just isn’t producing the right results, it’s time to check out our current top deals on our industry-leading grills: you can do that here.

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    About The Author

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    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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