Smoked chuck roast Recipe

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When you think of BBQ, chuck roast might not be the first thing that comes to mind. You’d think of brisket first, and while beef brisket is the king of Texas BBQ, it isn’t always the cheapest or easiest to get your hands on. 

Smoked chuck roast sliced on the cutting board

Don’t worry though, if you’ve got a hankering for smoky beef and can’t smoke a brisket, you can always turn to the chuck roast. That’s right, you can make smoked beef chuck roast like a Texas-style brisket or however you prefer your brisket. Chuck roasts aren’t just for braising in a liquid for pot roasts.

While I may live in North Carolina, I firmly believe that smoking brisket Texas-style is the proper way to go. So when I get ready for smoked chuck roast, I target the same flavor profile of salt and black pepper. I also do like throwing some garlic powder in there as well, because garlic goes well with beef. 

What Is A Chuck Roast?

Beef Cuts Showing Chuck Roast

The chuck roast is part of the chuck primal cut from the shoulder of the cow. It is a hardworking area of the cow, producing tough pieces of meat. However, the chuck roast and its fellow cuts pack a very beefy flavor that will stand up to both the dry rub and a sprinkling of Montreal Steak seasoning. 

Chuck roasts are also ground for 80/20 hamburger you find in the supermarket. Its intramuscular marbling makes it ideal for making burgers.

Why Is Chuck Roast A Good Replacement For Brisket?

Chuck roast is very similar to the brisket point. They both come from the front of the cow and are tough pieces of meat that did a lot of work during the cow’s life. They have a lot of tough connective tissue that can only be broken down through low-and-slow cooking. They also have a lot of intramuscular fat marbling that will break down through the smoking process.

Cut Brisket
Cut Brisket Ready to Serve

Just like brisket, chuck roast will be incredibly tender when it is cooked low-and-slow with care to not dry it out. 

A chuck roast is much smaller than a full packer brisket which makes it ideal for working on a smaller cooking surface. Its size is also ideal for beginner pitmasters because ending up with a tough three-pound hunk of chuck roast is easier to deal with than that of a large brisket.

How To Prepare A Chuck Roast For Smoking

You want to have a well-marbled piece of chuck roast, because all that fat will help keep the interior of the chuck roast moist throughout the smoking process. Coat the chuck roast evenly with yellow mustard or whatever binder you like to use. Then season with salt, black pepper, and garlic. 

I also add Montreal Steak seasoning lightly for that extra pop of intense flavor in the bark. If you have the time, you can let the rub rest on the chuck roast for an hour or two or even overnight in the fridge. 

Smoked chuck roast smoking on Z Grills 200A

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp Himalayan Pink salt (substitute your preferred coarse salt)
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Montreal Steak seasoning
  • Yellow Mustard (or your preferred binder)
  • Apple juice (substitute your preferred spritzer for smoking)

You can modify the dry rub as needed for the size of your chuck roast. Just remember that it is two parts salt, two parts pepper, and one part garlic powder. If you are looking for more ideas, take a look at our spin on a Texas rub.

Equipment:

Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  2. Mix the salt, black pepper, and garlic powder together.
  3. Coat the chuck roast with a thin, even layer of yellow mustard.
  4. Coat the chuck roast thoroughly with the base dry rub. 
  5. Sprinkle all surfaces lightly with the Montreal Steak seasoning.
  6. Place on the preheated smoker and insert your temperature probe. 
  7. After the chuck roast has been on the smoker for 90 minutes, open the lid and spritz the chuck roast using the spritz bottle filled with apple juice. This helps keep the meat moist and develops the bark.
  8. After the bark has developed the way you want and its internal temperature is around 150°F, remove it from the smoker and wrap it in aluminum foil tightly, then place it back on the smoker. This will help get through any internal temperature stall as well as help keep the meat moist.
  9. Monitor the temperature until it reaches 200°F, then check to see how tender the meat is. If you can slide the temperature probe out and then back into a new spot with no resistance, then remove the chuck roast and let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute.
  10. Slice like brisket and serve! You can also shred the meat if you are looking for shredded beef. 
Smoked chuck roast with garlic mashed potatoes
Smoked chuck roast sliced on the cutting board
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe

Brisket is too expensive these days. Try smoking a chuck roast and save some money. This recipe follows traditional Texas style brisket cooks. It tastes as good and doesn't hurt the wallet.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Keyword: brisket alternative, chuck roast recipe, smoked chuck roast
Servings: 6
Calories: 423kcal
Author: Jeremy Pike

Equipment

  • Smoker of your choice
  • Aluminum foil (or pink butcher paper)
  • Spritz bottle

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Himalayan Pink salt substitute your preferred coarse salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Montreal Steak seasoning
  • 2 tbsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1/4 cup Apple juice substitute your preferred spritzer for smoking
  • 3 lbs Chuck Roast

Instructions

  • Preheat your smoker to 225°F.
  • Mix the salt, black pepper, and garlic powder together.
  • Coat the chuck roast with a thin, even layer of yellow mustard.
  • Coat the chuck roast thoroughly with the base dry rub.
  • Sprinkle all surfaces lightly with the Montreal Steak seasoning.
  • Place on the preheated smoker and insert your temperature probe.
  • After the chuck roast has been on the smoker for 90 minutes, open the lid and spritz the chuck roast using the spritz bottle filled with apple juice. This helps keep the meat moist and develops the bark.
  • After the bark has developed the way you want and its internal temperature is around 150°F, remove it from the smoker and wrap it in aluminum foil tightly, then place it back on the smoker. This will help get through any internal temperature stall as well as help keep the meat moist.
  • Monitor the temperature until it reaches 200°F, then check to see how tender the meat is. If you can slide the temperature probe out and then back into a new spot with no resistance, then remove the chuck roast and let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute.
  • Slice like brisket and serve! You can also shred the meat if you are looking for shredded beef.

Notes

Regarding the Rub: 
You can modify the dry rub as needed for the size of your chuck roast. Just remember that it is two parts salt, two parts pepper, and one part garlic powder. If you are looking for more ideas, take a look at our spin on a Texas rub.

Nutrition

Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 1015mg | Potassium: 795mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 5mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should I wrap smoked chuck roast?

A: You want to give the bark plenty of time to develop, but you don’t want to dry out the exterior of the chuck roast. You should wrap around 150°F.

Q: What is the best temp for smoked chuck roast?

A: You want to take your chuck roast to around 200°F, but the texture of the roast is the most important part. Remove the temperature probe and reinsert in a different spot, aiming for the thickest part of the meat. If the probe inserts smoothly without resistance, your chuck roast is done!

Q: How long should I rest smoked chuck roast?

A: You want to let your chuck roast rest a minimum of 30 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the chuck roast and help break down any remaining connective tissue. You can let it rest for up to two hours as long as the internal temperature remains over 140°F. You want to keep it wrapped tightly in the aluminum foil or butcher paper you wrapped it in on the smoker. A good cooler is the best place to let the chuck roast rest.

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