The thought of smoking an entire beef brisket can be intimidating, expensive, and potentially wasteful for novice barbecuers and those with small households. Chuck roast is the little brother of the brisket, a cheaper, entry-level cut of meat that offers a very similar eating experience in a more manageable size.
I’ve smoked a lot of beef chuck roasts over the years as a Texas chef and caterer, and this instructional video will show you how to achieve exceptionally juicy meat and excellent smoke flavor in your own backyard.
Here is what we will cover in this step-by-step guide so that you can master smoked chuck roast with ease.
To get the best cook, you must first determine how long to smoke chuck roast per pound and what temperature to keep in your smoker.
What is Chuck Roast?
Pick the most marbled one for the best flavor because chuck cuts, also known as chuckies, are the little cousin to briskets and are less expensive and smaller.
Due to the tight connective tissue, a beef chuck roast is a tough cut of meat, but smoking it low and slow makes it so tender. This cut, which comes from the front of the animal, is quite tough and frequently used to make ground beef, but it is also incredibly flavorful and has a great ratio of meat to fat.
Buying a chuck roast gives you the option to purchase smaller cuts, such as the chuck roast, which allows you to pay less overall than purchasing a brisket and is ideal to serve to a family of 6 to 8 people (this is a 3–4 lb cut).
Chuck roast is frequently roasted or grilled in addition to being used to make pot roast. The smoking method is also brilliant (although less known). The plan is to smoke the chuck roast over low heat for a few hours to gradually render the fat while also breaking down and tenderizing the fibrous connective tissue.
Prepping the Beef Chuck Roast
I usually get a 3-3. 5 pound chuck, and as I mentioned earlier, whenever possible, I try to get a marbled cut. Additionally, I only season Texas-style smoked beef with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Simple but gives the best flavor!.
In order to maximize flavor, marinate the cut of beef for at least a few hours and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, uncovered. To do this, generously season it with equal parts of kosher salt and pepper on all sides. This will result in the meat losing some moisture through sweating, absorbing salt, and the proteins weakening (tender meat!). This will all help produce a better smoked flavor, tender meat, and beautiful smoking bark.
If the intermuscular fat has caused the meat to become loose, tie it all together with butcher’s twine to keep it from falling apart.
The meat will be a little wet, but it will still taste great if you skip that step and season it before putting it in the smoker if you’re in a rush and unable to wait. To avoid sweating and steaming, never put a cold cut of meat on a smoker; instead, remove the beef from the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before smoking.
How to Smoke a Chuck Roast
Chuck roast is a smaller cut of meat than brisket, so it will finish cooking more quickly, but our goal is to let the meat cook LOW AND SLOW just like brisket. It will be smoked in two stages: first, it will be smoked without being wrapped, and then it will be tightly wrapped in butcher paper or aluminum foil, if you have any on hand.
To prevent the chuck roast from drying out, wrap it in butcher paper or aluminum foil. This will keep the meat moist and tender. However, be sure to WRAP IT TIGHTLY to prevent the meat from steaming and losing the gorgeous crusty bark that we worked so hard to achieve!
Therefore, after the meat has attained room temperature, place it on a preheated smoker and cook it at 225°F for three to four hours. Start probing it by placing the probe in the thickest part of the cut after five hours of smoking; if it reaches 160°–165°F, remove it from the grill.
Wrap it with 2 layers of butcher paper or foil, and put it back on the smoker for another hour. Probe it, and when it registers an internal temperature of 208°-210°F, take it off the grill keeping it wrapped.
To test the meat, prick it through the foil or butcher paper (do not unwrap). You won’t have to keep opening the smoker to check the temperature if you have one of these fancy electric meat stainless steel probes with a wire.
Give it an hour to rest in a dry cooler; during that time, the temperature should reach about 145°F. This aids in heat retention and allows the meat’s temperature to drop gradually as the intermuscular fat continues to render, destroying any remaining muscle tissue. Additionally, this will allow the meat juices to evenly distribute and prevent any flavor from escaping when you cut the meat to serve it. It also keeps the meat juicy and tender. Don’t worry it will still be hot for serving!.
Once you’ve taken it out of the cooler, enjoy admiring the lovely pink smoke ring that you’re going to get before unwrapping and slicing or shredding it for the pulled beef sandwich of your dreams.
The timings listed above are merely a guide, so it’s vital that you continue to probe the meat to ensure that it reaches the ideal temperature for tender smoked chuck roast!
Masking the flavor of the meat is not always a good idea if you want to enjoy a good cut of beef. For a Texas-style flavor, I like to keep it simple by seasoning the beef chuck with equal parts kosher salt and pepper. Occasionally, we will also add garlic powder, which enhances the flavor.
This straightforward seasoning embraces the meat flavor with the rendered intermuscular fat because, as we all know, Texas is the home of grilling and smoking, and these people KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING! Also keep in mind that the meat’s gorgeous crusty bark is the result of a generous coating of coarse seasoning!
Paprika, cayenne, brown sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder, and onion powders are good choices for barbecue rubs.
Choice of Wood for Smoking
Smoking should only be done with hardwood, never with softwood because the former comes from trees that lose their leaves in the fall, while the latter does not. Softwood burns more quickly and produces more moisture, which results in black smoke. Use hardwood for clean smoke that tastes amazing!.
We typically use oak for smoked brisket and chuck roast to achieve a traditional Texas BBQ flavor. Hickory has a strong aroma but also enhances the flavor of the beef, and pecan is another excellent choice.
How to Smoke a Chuck Roast for Pulled Beef
Wrapping the smoked chuck roast in butcher paper or foil is crucial if you want to pull it because you want to keep all of the moisture. The temperature of the beef should reach around 145°F after an hour of resting in a cooler, indicating that the meat is now tender and prepared to be sliced or pulled.
I typically just use my fingers or two forks to pull the beef because it pulls so easily because it’s so tender, but a stand mixer set to low speed also works well.
If you’re fortunate enough to have leftovers, keep them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days in an airtight container. Additionally, smoked chuck roast reheats beautifully for sandwiches the following day.
Other Smoked Recipes to Try
Check out some of my other favorite smoked recipes below if you enjoyed this chuck roast recipe as much as I do:
Please leave a review and tag me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest if you made this!
Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe
- ▢ Probe
- ▢ Butcher paper or foil
- ▢ Tongs
- ▢ 3-4 lb chuck roast
- ▢ 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- ▢ 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- liberally salt and freshly ground black pepper the roast on all sides.
- If possible, leave the chuck roast uncovered in the refrigerator for at least a few hours and up to 24 hours, or until the meat starts to sweat.
- Before putting the chuck roast in the smoker, truss it if necessary with butcher’s twine to keep its shape, and make sure the meat reaches room temperature (rest for 45 or 1 hour).
- Stock the smoker’s steam pot with wood or pellets and add water to it.
- Place the chuck roast on a preheated smoker and cook it for three to three hours at 225°F. 5 hours. Start by probing it in the thickest part of the cut, and if it registers 160°–165°F, remove it from the grill.
- Put it back on the smoker for an additional hour after wrapping it in two layers of butcher paper or foil.
- Take it off the grill while still wrapped when the internal temperature is between 208 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit. It should drop to about 145°F after an hour of resting in a dry cooler. Unwrap it, slice or shred it, and serve.
- The timings listed above are merely a guide, so it’s vital that you continue to probe the meat to ensure that it reaches the ideal temperature for tender smoked chuck roast!
- On a hot day, avoid placing the smoker directly in the sun because probing could produce inaccurate readings. Reposition the smoker to a shaded or cloudy area.
- We used oak wood for this recipe.
- For Texas-style BBQ flavor, I typically season with equal parts salt and pepper, and occasionally I’ll add garlic powder. Instead, I use paprika, cayenne, brown sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder, and onion powder when making a barbecue-style rub.
- Low and slow is the best way to smoke meats. This allows the seasonings and wood’s flavor to really permeate the meat, making it incredibly flavorful.
- Make sure to regularly check the steamer and add water as necessary. It’s crucial to keep the smoker’s moisture content high.
This website only offers rough nutritional data as a courtesy and for convenience. When available, the USDA Food Composition Database or alternative online calculators are the main sources of nutrition information.
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