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.
Smoked Chuck Roast: Guide To Delicious Pulled Beef
Tacos, sandwiches, or just a fork. It really doesn’t matter what you use to transfer the food to your mouth, this pulled beef tastes incredible. 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 really 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. 250°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 hour to keep the outside from getting dry.
- Broth, onions, and steam. Similar to brisket, chuck roast tends to plateau with its 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 it with coffee for a darker, bolder flavor. Try adding warm spices, or smashed garlic into the broth for additional aromatics.
You can’t beat the classic salt & pepper if you’re not sure. Texas definitely knows their flavors when it comes to BBQ beef.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cook it longer. BBQ isn’t about strict rules, you have to use intuition. It should be probe tender when it’s ready to shred. Every piece of meat is slightly different.
I let mine rest at room temp (still covered) for 30 minutes, which allows some of the juices to retreat back into the muscles and also cools it off enough to handle.
Let it cool down to about 180°F, still in-tact, and then you can wrap the container in a warm cooler which should keep it warm for quite a while. Do not shred ahead of time, that will cool it off.
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
- Season the beef on all sides generously. Allow it to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- When you’re ready, preheat your smoker to 250°F.
- 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, beef, pulled beef, shredded beef, bbq beef