Plowboys Restaurant Makes the Best Burnt Ends Sandwich in Kansas/Missouri

Joe's Kansas City BBQ, Squeal Like a Pig BBQ (S.L.A.P.S.), Danny Edward's Boulevard BBQ and Johnny's BBQ also winners

Burnt ends are what you call the pieces of meat cut from the part of a smoked brisket often referred to as the flat. Parts of the brisket, like the point, take longer to fully cook and the “ends” can become crispy or burnt by the time the point is fully cooked. Sometimes the flat is removed when it is done and the point is returned to the smoker for further cooking. This part of the brisket is considered a delicacy in the barbecue world – particularly in and around Kansas City – and is often made into delicious sandwiches.  Many try to recreate burnt ends by recooking parts of the flat, but for those who have had these true nuggets of barbecue gold, there is no comparison. 

  • Woodyard BBQ
    Kansas City, Kan.

    It doesn't get much better than Woodyard BBQ for classic old-school authenticity. Wood piles abound out back, where three large brick-encased smokers work their magic Monday through Saturday. Sandwiches come with a variety of meats, so you can enjoy Woodyard's burnt ends solo on a bun or with pulled pork, brisket, turkey sausage or ham piled on top.
    Photo courtesy of Woodyard BBQ

  • The BBQ Shack
    Paola, Kan.

    The BBQ Shack proclaims on their site, "Our Meat is Our Mission," and that commitment to quality is evident from the first bite. Briscoe's Burnt End Sandwich is heaped with a half-pound of meaty nuggets, tasty whether sauced or naked.
    Photo courtesy of TravelKS.com

  • Q39
    Kansas City, Mo.

    Led by national barbecue champion Rob Magee, Q39 has become well-known for pushing the boundaries of barbecue during its few short years of operation. The Q39 sliced burnt ends sandwich comes with classic, zesty or chipotle-cilantro sauce on a toasted bun. The specialty Mr. Burns sandwich features burnt ends, chipotle BBQ sauce, onion straws and pepperjack cheese. You can even get your burnt ends on top of a burger!
    Photo courtesy of Q39

  • RJs Bob-Be-Que Shack
    Mission, Kan.

    KC native Robert "Bob" Palmgren has been working in the food and restaurant industry for more than 25 years when he decided to convert his BBQ hobby into a full-time career. The Burnt End sandwich comes with either beef or pork burnt ends (we like the beef), slow-smoked and served on a toasted French roll with a choice of sides.
    Photo courtesy of RJs Bob-Be-Que Shack

  • Bogart's Smokehouse
    St. Louis

    Chef Skip Steele, pit master at Bogart's Smokehouse, was raised in another barbecue capital, Memphis, so he certainly knows his meats. The burnt ends sandwich at Bogart's comes in two sizes and with a choice of two sides. Options include deviled egg potato salad, pit baked beans and BBQ pork skins. Yum!
    Photo courtesy of LP Creative Studio. St. Louis, MO.

  • Johnny's BBQ
    Mission and Olathe, Kan.

    Johnny's BBQ been hickory smoking KC-style barbecue since 1977, and more recently, they've been featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Unlike many nominees on our list, the burnt ends sandwich at Johnny's comes with cheese, as well as pickles, onions and as much or as little sauce as you'd like.
    Photo courtesy of Johnny's BBQ

  • Danny Edward's Boulevard BBQ
    Kansas City, Mo.

    This fixture in Kansas City's industrial district offers no-frills surroundings with red checked tablecloths and serve-yourself beverages, an exceptionally friendly staff and an owner who personally cuts the meat. An Ol' Smoky sandwich comes heaped with 8 or 12 ounces of burnt ends – perfect with Danny's sweet and spicy sauce.
    Photo courtesy of Visit KC

  • Squeal Like a Pig BBQ (S.L.A.P.S.)
    Kansas City, Kan.

    Squeal Like a Pig BBQ, or SLAPS for short, has its roots in competition barbecue and only opened as a brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2014. In that short time, it's already gained a loyal following of hungry customers who help the business sell out of meat every day. Those craving crispy, chewy, smoky burnt ends can order The End is Near sandwich to get their fill.
    Photo courtesy of TravelKS.com

  • Joe's Kansas City BBQ
    Kansas City, Kan.

    Anthony Bourdain has named this wildly popular barbecue destination inside an old gas station, 'One of Thirteen Places to Eat Before You Die.' Formerly called Oklahoma Joe's, Joe's Kansas City BBQ only serves burnt ends on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and they almost always go fast.
    Photo courtesy of TravelKS.com

  • Plowboys Restaurant
    Blue Springs, Mo.

    Plowboys Restaurant has its roots in competition barbecue. In 2001 two brothers started Pork Pullin Plowboys, a competition team that won its first Grand Championship in 2007. Plowboys Restaurant was soon to follow. Available only at the downtown Blue Springs location and only on Wednesdays and Fridays, Plowboys burnt ends are made from Angus beef seasoned with Bovine Rub and smoked for nine hours.
    Photo courtesy of Plowboys Barbeque

10Best and Sandwich America recruited a panel of local foodies to nominate their 20 favorite burnt ends sandwiches in Missouri and Kansas. For the past four weeks, our readers have been voting for their favorites, and the results are in.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Burnt Ends Sandwich in Kansas/Missouri are as follows:

  1. Plowboys Restaurant - Blue Springs, Mo.
  2. Joe's Kansas City BBQ - Kansas City, Kan.
  3. Squeal Like a Pig BBQ (S.L.A.P.S.) - Kansas City, Kan.
  4. Danny Edward's Boulevard BBQ - Kansas City, Mo.
  5. Johnny's BBQ - Mission and Olathe, Kan.
  6. Bogart's Smokehouse - St. Louis
  7. RJs Bob-Be-Que Shack - Mission, Kan.
  8. Q39 - Kansas City, Mo.
  9. The BBQ Shack - Paola, Kan.
  10. Woodyard BBQ - Kansas City, Kan.

A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Shanley Cox (Eat it Kansas City), Ardie A. Davis (Barbecue Lovers Kansas City Style) and Rod Gray were chosen based on their extensive knowledge of Kansas City-style barbecue.

Other barbecue restaurants nominated in this category included Arthur Bryant's, B.B.'s Lawnside Bar-B-Que, Big T's Bar B Q, Brobeck's Barbeque, Char Bar, Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q, Jack Stack Barbecue, LC's Barbeque, Rye and Snead's BBQ.

Congratulations to all our BBQ winners!

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Shanley Cox

Shanley Cox

Ardie A. Davis

Ardie A. Davis

Rod Gray

Rod Gray

Jennifer Daskevich

Jennifer Daskevich

Terry French

Terry French