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Food & Recipes

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends: You’ll Love These Smoky Meaty Bites — BBQ Champion’s 5-Ingredient Recipe

This version of the BBQ classic cooks low and slow in the oven — so easy!

We love getting our BBQ fix with smoked classics like burnt ends. But, when we want an easy version to enjoy at home, we make a version of this dish called “poor man’s burnt ends.” These burnt ends are made with beef chuck roast as it cooks quicker and is cheaper than using brisket. Even better, you don’t need a smoker or grill to make these burnt ends. Just toss the meat in your favorite BBQ rub and other ingredients while baking low and slow. The result is saucy, melt-in-your-mouth beef chunks that’s fine to enjoy on their own or with a range of sides. Here’s how to make a delicious chuck roast burnt ends using just 5 ingredients!

What are burnt ends?

Burnt ends are made by slicing off a portion of smoked brisket known as “the point“. This fatty meat is then chopped, coated in sauce and smoked again to caramelize the chunks.

The origins of burnt ends

A Kansas City restaurant called Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque is credited with popularizing burnt ends during the 1970s. “The main course at Bryant’s, as far as I am concerned, is something that is given away free — the burned edges of the brisket,” food writer Calvin Trillin wrote in a 1972 article. “The counterman just pushes them over to the side and anyone who wants them helps himself.” You can say the rest is history as burnt ends went from being viewed as scraps to a BBQ staple. While brisket gives this treat a meaty flavor, chuck roast is a cheaper yet equally delicious cut that’s perfect for making your own burnt ends.

Why you should make burnt ends with beef chuck roast

Chuck roast comes from the top portion of the cow and is naturally a tougher cut that requires slow cooking. Because of this, chuck roast is inexpensive as the price typically ranges between from $5 and $7 per pound. Along with the wallet-friendly perks, this cut doesn’t require smoking to infuse it with those intense BBQ flavors. Using a sauce and dry rub that’s both smoky and sweet will get the job done as it cooks in the oven. Before using this meat to make burnt ends, it’s important to prep it correctly for mouthwatering results.

A key step to chuck roast burnt ends

Since chuck roast is quite fatty, it’s best to trim most of it off of the outside of the meat. This ensures that meat becomes moist and tender rather than tough and greasy. A sharp knife will help you easily remove large amounts of fat on the meat’s outer surface. Once trimmed, discard the fat and proceed the remaining steps in the recipe.

How to make poor man’s burnt ends 

Below, Erica Roby, BBQ chef and Food Network’s “Master of Cue” champion, shares her 5-Ingredient Poor Man’s Burnt Ends recipe. The entire chuck roast gets coated in dry rub before it’s cooked for a few hours. Then, the beef is cut into chunks, combined with BBQ sauce and other ingredients and baked again. This process yields tender and saucy burnt ends that chef Roby says are “a delicious way to enjoy the rich flavors of barbecue right from your oven!”

Poor Man’s Burnt Ends

Chuck roast burnt ends (aka "poor mans burnt ends") served alongside various sides


  • 3 to 4 lb. whole beef chuck roast, excess fat trimmed
  • ½ cup BBQ dry rub
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce


  • Yield: approximately 6 servings
  1. Preheat oven to 275°F.
  2. Apply generous amount of BBQ rub evenly over entire surface of roast and make sure sides are coated. Place chuck roast on baking sheet above aluminum pan. Cook in preheated oven about 3 to 4 hours, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 190°F to 195°F and is fork tender. Spritz meat with water every hour to keep it moist.
  3. Remove roast from oven and let it rest about 15 minutes. Then, cut roast into 1 to 1½ inch cubes with sharp knife. Transfer cubes into large mixing bowl.
  4. Add BBQ sauce, melted butter, and beef broth to bowl with meat cubes. Gently toss until all pieces are well coated. Spread coated meat cubes in single even layer on baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.
  5. Return to oven and increase temperature to 350°F. Bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until edges of meat cubes begin to caramelize and sauce thickens.
  6. Once burnt ends are caramelized to your liking, remove them from oven. Cool for a few minutes before serving on brown paper or large platter.

What to serve with chuck roast burnt ends

For a complete meal, Roby suggests serving the beef chuck roast burnt ends with a side of coleslaw, moist cornbread and extra BBQ sauce for dipping. You can also make a sandwich by placing the beef chucks on a bun or between two slices of bread and topping them with pickles.

Continue reading for more hearty meat recipes!

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