Poor Man’s Burnt Ends + 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 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 close up): 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!

poor man's burnt ends ingredients in prep bowls

Easiest Burnt Ends Recipe EVER!!!

Watch the video in this post 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.

overhead: bowl of bbq spice rub

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!
rubbing spice blend onto chuck roast for oven burnt ends

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.

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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.
pats of butter on pieces of smoked chuck roast

Burnt Ends Recipe 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 chuck roast burnt ends at 450°F. This helps them get 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 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 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 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.

oven 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.


With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

cubes of crispy oven roasted beef roast next to bowl of pinto beans and cooked ears of corn

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close up: piercing fork into poor man's burnt ends tossed in barbecue sauce

Other Amazing Beef Recipes

extreme closeup of chuck roast burnt ends

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends + 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 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 40 mins
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.

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One Comment

  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.

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