Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Recipe (In the Oven) + Video

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Poor Man’s Burnt Ends, in the oven!! A simple dry rub really packs in the flavor, and each piece of chuck roast burnt ends is equally melt-in-your-mouth tender as it is crispy. If you love traditional burnt ends, this is a great way to get that flavor! 

titled (shown close up): poor man's burnt ends


Not everyone has outdoor kitchens or a pellet smoker. We get that – and because of that, this is how this great recipe was born!

While we’re big fans of classic burnt ends, the printable recipe card below shows how simple a new recipe like this can be. 

Head to the grocery store and grab a chuck roast to make this poor man’s burnt ends recipe.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on this, an inexpensive chuck roast will work!

I have a delicious beef rub that is one of the best things to add, and before you know it, you’ll have brisket burnt ends in no time at all! 

It’s amazing how simple it is to get those succulent pieces of beef as your main course without having to do the slow cooking over a grill grate.

This recipe is a great option with great flavor and just might be your new favorite way to cook beef chuck roast! 

Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the post for full instructions on how to make this simple and budget-friendly option! 

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Instead of spending all day smoking a brisket, this burnt ends recipe made with chuck roast is cooked in your oven!! 

It’s the best way to get all the flavor of the popular barbecued meat dish without a smoker!

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!

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 burnt ends 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!

We cook chuck roast burnt ends 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 mans burnt ends further down in this post.

Burnt Ends 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 mans 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!

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

  • Baking Sheet – Use a roasting rack on top of the sheet pan when cooking the whole roast.
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil – This is thicker and sturdier than regular foil, meaning it won’t tear as easily.

    If you’ll be using a smoker instead, be sure to grab a bag of your favorite blend of wood chips.

Making Chuck Roast 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.

Serving Suggestions

Serve poor man’s burnt ends with toothpicks and extra BBQ sauce as a party snack, or add them to sandwiches or baked beans.

You can also pair this recipe with all your favorite cookout sides. Pasta salad and/or potato salad 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 summer fruit salad and some crispy onion rings or fries.

Poor Mans Burnt Ends FAQ

At 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 poor man burnt ends at 450°F. This helps them get crisp and deeply charred.

Do you cover burnt ends in foil?

For this 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 Traeger 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 poor man burnt ends and be sure to set your grill to indirect cooking.

Storing Leftover Poor Man Burnt Ends

If you manage to have any leftovers, transfer the beef burnt ends to an airtight container once cooled. 

Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and reheat in the oven for the best results. Or, enjoy them cold!

Poor man’s burnt ends can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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    extreme closeup of chuck roast burnt ends

    Poor Man’s Burnt Ends Recipe (In the Oven) + Video

    Donna Elick
    Poor Man’s Burnt Ends are dry-rubbed, tender beef chuck, cooked low and slow for a crispy exterior. You’ll love this oven burnt ends recipe!
    5 stars from 2 reviews
    Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
    Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
    Course Main
    Cuisine American
    Method Oven
    Servings 5 people


    BBQ Spice Rub Ingredients:

    • 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

    Burnt Ends Ingredients:

    • 3 pounds chuck roast
    • 2 tablespoons spice rub
    • 1-2 cups barbecue sauce, I use Sweet Baby Rays
    • 8 tablespoons 1 stick salted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pats


    • Combine ingredients for spice rub in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Measure out 2 tablespoons and store remaining rub in an airtight container.
    • Preheat the oven to 275°F.
    • Generously sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of spice rub over the entire chuck roast. Rub in with your hands to fully coat all sides.
    • Place the seasoned roast on a roasting rack placed over a sheet pan. Bake approximately 3 hours.
    • 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.
    • Place the pats of butter over the meat and return sheet pan to the oven.
    • 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.)
    • Serve with additional BBQ sauce if desired.


    Donna’s Notes

    • Spice rub recipe makes approximately 1/4 cup, enough for 2 roasts.
    • A chuck roast typically loses 30 percent of its weight during cooking. So, a 3 pound chuck roast after cooking yields about 2.1 pounds (34 ounces) of edible meat. Nutrition shown is based on a serving size of 6.3 ounces.
    • A good rule of thumb is to cook the roast for 1 hour per pound.
    • Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
    • If you use sugar-free BBQ sauce, this recipe is keto-friendly.
    Smoker Instructions
    1. Rub roast with 1-2 tablespoons spice blend.
    2. Cook in the smoker at 275°F until internal temperature of beef reaches 165°F. Wrap meat in aluminum foil and continue smoking until the internal temperature reaches 195°F.
    3. Cut the meat into 1” cubes, place in a foil pan and toss with BBQ sauce and butter.
    4. Smoke for 1-2 hours longer, stirring occasionally, until chuck roast burnt ends are crispy and tender.


    Serving: 6.3ounces | Calories: 616cal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 180mg | Sodium: 1593mg | Sugar: 19g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 5mg

    All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    titled pinterest collage for poor man's burnt ends

    Originally published May 2022, updated and republished May 2024

    Disclosure: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your price will remain the same and The Slow Roasted Italian will automatically receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting us – It allows us to keep creating new recipes.

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    1. 5 stars
      I love that you can make this recipe Keto! I just started the Keto diet and had a hard time finding recipes that I would actually like. This one was awesome and will be a staple moving forward with my diet.

    2. 5 stars
      This recipe was amazing! The burnt ends were tender and full of flavor. Easy to follow too!

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