Smoked Chuck Roast: Guide To Delicious Pulled Beef
You won’t find a dry chuck roast here! Smoked chuck roast is the best alternative to the big boy (smoked brisket) for pulled beef. It’s smaller, generally much more affordable per pound, and it takes significantly less time to cook.
The process is pretty straightforward but there are some simple steps below to make sure that you’re not disappointed the next time you fire it up.
Perfect Pulled Beef
This guide is going to show you how to take chuck roast and make the most flavorful pulled beef. Sometimes I’ll use a chuck roast as a replacement for sliced brisket, because I’m feeling lazy. That guide is here: Smoked Chuck Roast, Lazy Brisket.
Smoking a chuck roast low and slow will help break down the tough connective tissue through the beef. This is a similar process to brisket, beef ribs, and other tough cuts. Patience pays off, you will have incredibly tender and moist shredded beef.
The Secrets for Moist Chuck Roast
Maybe these aren’t real secrets, but they are definitely some hot tips that will help you meet your goals: tender, moist, pulled beef.
How to Smoke a Chuck Roast
- Low and slow. 225°F for the first half, and wrapping for the second half.
- Spritz! Keep a spray bottle nearby, and hit that beef with some mists of beef broth every hours to keep the outside from getting dry.
- Broth, onions, and steam. Similar to brisket, chuck roast tends to plateau with it’s internal temperature at 165°F. Place the chuck roast in a skillet or foil pan, add some broth and sliced onions before increasing the temperature to 265°F. You’ll be cooking it like this the rest of the way until about 200-205°F.
Customize your flavors.
There are so many opportunities in the process to customize the flavor profile of your chuck roast. The seasoning, the spray, and the braise. Play with combinations that you feel could be a hit! I like to mix it up and spray with coffee for a darker, bolder flavor. Try adding warm spices, or smashed garlic into the broth for additional aromatics.
Now that you’re mastering the shredded beef, try out a variation: Spiced Shredded Beef with Chile Peanut Sauce
Smoked chuck roast is an affordable, quicker alternative to brisket and makes incredible pulled beef.
- 1 chuck roast (3–4 lb)
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chile powder (chipotle, or guajillo)
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- Combine the spices and season the beef ahead of time, at least an hour or up to overnight. This dry-brine process will help build a thick, delicious bark on the outside.
- When you’re ready, preheat your smoker to 225°F. Take the beef out of the fridge while you are preheating the smoker.
- Place the beef on the grates and cook for about 3 hours, spraying with beef broth at least once an hour. This will help build flavor and keep the edges from drying out.
- The internal temperature will stall around 165°F, around the 3-hour mark. This is completely normal, meaning that the temperature will seem like it’s not going up anymore. Increase the smoker temperature to 265°F. Place the chuck roast into a skillet or foil pan, adding in the 2 cups of beef broth and onions. Cover the skillet or pan with foil and continue to cook.
- You will be cooking until your thermometer or probe has little to no resistance when checking the temperature, between 200-205°F. Each piece of beef will be slightly different.
- Remove the beef from the liquid and shred. Strain the fat from the liquid, and add the meat back into the juices or reserve for a dipping sauce.
Time will vary depending on the meat. It might take more than 3 hours to hit 165F, and it might take more than 6 hours total cooking time. Plan accordingly, always start early. It’s easy to keep meat warm, but it’s not easy to keep guests from being hangry!
Keywords: smoked chuck roast