top of page

A Complete Guide to Burnt Ends BBQ


burnt ends with side dishes

The evolution of American-style barbecue has quite a bit of history and it's thought to have originated with the first eastern colonies in Virginia and North Carolina. It developed from a concoction of two techniques. The first was adding sauces to cooked meats from the British, and the second was incorporating the technique of preserving meat which came from the Caribbean.


When it comes to American barbecued meat, there's nothing quite like burnt ends, an all-time favorite. They are essentially the candy of meats. These smoky, flavorful morsels are the perfect addition to any cookout or backyard barbecue. But what are burnt ends, exactly? Where do they come from? And how are they made?

Today we're going to talk about everything you need to know about burnt ends BBQ with our complete guide. Get ready though, as you're going to be craving some mouthwatering BBQ by the end of this article.


What are BBQ Burnt Ends & Why Are They So Good

Burnt ends is a popular barbecue dish that originated in Kansas City. The dish is made by cooking the fatty ends of meat until they are crispy and charred. The burnt ends are then usually smothered in barbecue sauce and served on a bun, them themselves, or with baked beans.

image of fresh burnt ends

Burnt ends are a type of American barbecue that wasn't created through design though, but rather by adaptation. As beef barbecue became more popular, pitmasters would set aside the tougher, drier, and awkwardly formed end pieces of their briskets after they sliced them.

These pieces at one time were scraps and not served very often. Burnt ends, unlike rib tips though, are able to capture melted fat and turn into a smoky crunchy piece of meat. Making them extremely juicy and flavorful.

Burnt ends have become a favorite of pitmasters and barbecue lovers all over the world and for good reason. They are juicy, flavorful, and packed with protein. Plus, they are easy to make at home with just a few simple ingredients. Burnt ends are now served as an appetizer or main course in many barbecue restaurants across the country and are sought after by BBQ lovers.


Where Do Burnt Ends Come From?

Burnt ends came from Kansas City. Restaurants somewhere around the 1970s would start serving brisket sandwiches with the crispy, fatty, and well-charred meat stuffed inside of some delectable bread, it quickly became popular!

There are two main types of burnt ends:

  1. Brisket Burnt Ends

  2. Pork Belly Burnt Ends

illustration of a cow showing cuts of meat

Burnt ends can be made from either cow or pig meat, but the most popular type is brisket burnt ends. A brisket is a cut of meat from the chest or breast of a cow.


Pitmasters will also use pork belly to create pig meat burnt ends, which have similar fat content to brisket. Which is why they can be just as good as brisket burnt ends.


On top of using brisket and pork belly for burnt ends, some people have even used a good marbled chuck roast for another type of burnt ends.


Which chuck roast is made from less expensive cuts of meat and is often referred to as "poor man's" burnt ends since a roast is frequently cheaper than brisket or pork belly.


It's up in debate as to which type of burnt ends is the best kind!


What is Your Favorite Type of Burnt Ends?

  • 0%Brisket Burnt Ends

  • 0%Pork Belly Burnt Ends

  • 0%Chuck Roast Burnt Ends

You can vote for more than one answer.