Sunday, May 15, 2022

Poor Man's Burnt Ends + Video

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends, in the oven!! A simple dry rub really packs in the flavor, and each piece is equally melt-in-your-mouth tender as it is crisp.

Instead of spending all day smoking a brisket, this burnt ends recipe made with chuck roast is made in your oven!! It's the best way to get all the flavor of the popular barbecued meat dish without a smoker!

titled (shown on wood cutting board) poor man's burnt ends
Popularized in Kansas City and a staple of Texas barbecue, burnt ends have become popular across the US. So much so, that recipes were developed just for these enticing bites of beef!

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

But, what are burnt ends? Traditionally, they are crispy, flavorful pieces of meat from the point end of a brisket.

This cut has a higher percentage of fat, and the longer cooking time allows the pieces to get crispy and charred.

Because this recipe uses budget-friendly chuck roast rather than brisket, it is often called poor man’s burnt ends instead. The bonus is, you’ll save loads of time not having to trim as much fat from the beef!

oven burnt ends recipe ingredients

Watch the video to see us preparing oven burnt ends.

We cook them with both a spice rub and BBQ sauce, plus butter to help them get nice and crispy.

You can also make grilled or smoked burnt ends for a more traditional smoky flavor and fall-apart tender meat.

If you'd rather use a smoker, you'll find instructions for smoking poor man's burnt ends further down in this post.

plate with dry rub spices for beef

Burnt End Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Watch the temperature.
    A good rule of thumb is to cook the roast for 1 hour per pound. However, an instant read thermometer will remove the guesswork by giving you precise and accurate results.

    Bake until the internal temperature reads about 190°F, then finish cooking the burnt ends at the higher oven temp.
  • Choose the right cut of meat.
    Typically, Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are made with the fattiest piece of the muscle from brisket. For chuck roast burnt ends, look for a cut with plenty of small, white flecks (fat) throughout.
  • Make cleanup a breeze.
    Line your pan with foil to catch the drippings from the roast, then swap it for a new piece before cooking the burnt ends.
  • Store extra rub for later.
    This spice rub recipe makes approximately 4 tablespoons, which is enough for 2 roasts. You could also double or triple the recipe and keep it in a jar in the pantry.
  • Want a keto-friendly version?
    Beef burnt ends are naturally sugar-free, so by using a sugar-free BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s is great!), you can make it a keto recipe!
applying dry rub spices to chuck roast

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

Making Beef Burnt Ends In The Smoker

  1. Rub the roast with the spice blend.
  2. Cook in the smoker at 275°F until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Wrap in aluminum foil and continue smoking until a thermometer reads 195°F.
  3. Slice the meat into 1-inch cubes, then place in a foil pan. Toss with BBQ sauce and butter pats until well coated.
  4. Place the pan in the smoker for 1 to 2 hours. Cook until the meat is crispy and tender, stirring occasionally.
oven burnt ends on baking sheet topped with pats of butter

Burnt Ends Recipe FAQ

What temperature do you cook burnt ends?

You want to start out low and slow — 275°F in the oven — so the chuck roast gets nice and tender.

Once you slice the meat into cubes, bake your chuck roast burnt ends at 450°F to get them crisp and deeply charred.

Do you cover burnt ends in foil?

For this burnt ends recipe, it isn’t necessary to cover the meat with foil. In fact, doing so would prevent the pieces from crisping properly!

If you plan to make Poor Man’s Burnt Ends on a grill or in a smoker, then you will want to wrap the whole roast part way through cooking to prevent burning and lock in that delicious flavor.

Can you make burnt ends on a grill?

Absolutely! Simply follow the directions for smoked burnt ends and be sure to set your grill to indirect cooking.

What do you do with burnt ends?

Serve them with toothpicks and extra BBQ sauce as a party snack, or add them to sandwiches or baked beans.

You can also pair Poor Man’s Burnt Ends with all your favorite cookout sides. Pasta and potato salads are always a hit, as is a big batch of coleslaw or mac and cheese.

For a simple weeknight dinner, add a big bowl of fruit and some crispy onion rings or fries.

poor man's burnt ends, close up

How To Store Poor Man's Burnt Ends

If you manage to have any leftovers, transfer beef burnt ends to an airtight container once cooled. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and reheat in the oven for best results. Or, enjoy them cold!

The meat can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

beef burnt ends with sides of corn on the cob and baked beans


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Yield: 4
Author: Donna Elick
poor man's burnt ends, close up

Poor Man's Burnt Ends

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are tender pieces of beef with an irresistibly crispy exterior, packed with plenty of flavor from a homemade spice rub.

Prep time: 10 Minutes  Cook time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes  Total time: 3 Hours 40 Minutes


BBQ Spice Rub
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Poor Man’s Burnt Ends
  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ spice rub
  • 1-2 cups Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pats


  1. Combine ingredients for spice rub in a small bowl. Whisk together to blend evenly. Store in an airtight container.
  2. Preheat oven to 275°F.
  3. Generously sprinkle about 1 tablespoons of the spice rub over the entire chuck roast. Rub in with your hands to fully coat all sides.
  4. Place the seasoned roast on a roasting rack placed over a sheet pan. Bake approximately 3 hours.
  5. Remove the roast from the oven and cut into 1” cubes. Spread the chunks of meat on the baking sheet and toss with BBQ sauce.
  6. Place the pats of butter over the meat and return sheet pan to the oven.
  7. Bake at 450°F for approximately 30 minutes longer, until the edges of the meat are crisp and deeply charred. (Stir meat halfway through cooking, at the 15 minute mark.)
  8. Serve with additional BBQ sauce if desired.
  1. Spice rub recipe makes approximately 4 tablespoons - enough for 2 roasts.
  2. A good rule of thumb is to cook the roast for 1 hour per pound.
  3. Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  4. To prepare in the smoker, rub roast with spice blend. Cook in the smoker at 275°F until internal temperature reaches 165°F and then wrap in aluminum foil and continue smoking untilt the internal temperature reaches 195°F. Cut the meat into 1” cubes, place in a foil pan and toss with BBQ sauce and butter pats. Smoke for 1-2 hours longer, stirring occasionally, until meat pieces are crispy and tender.
  5. Use smoker for more traditional smokey flavor and fall-apart tender meat.

titled pinterest collage for burnt ends recipe

Originally published May 2022

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  1. Whatcut is best can u use a pork tenderloin

  2. I'll be trying this; I didn't see a video though!


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