Many people have heard of smoking a pork butt, but did you know you can smoke a beef chuck roast?
Sometimes referred to as the “poor man’s brisket,” beef chuck roast is a popular cut of meat because of its balance of rich flavor and affordability. There are many different ways to prepare a beef chuck roast. But one way is quickly gaining popularity: smoking it!
Smoking this cut of beef is a great way to elevate any great recipe by adding in smoke flavor.
I’ll immediately answer your question about cooking duration, but keep reading for my helpful guide on preparing and smoking a beef chuck roast from start to finish!
How Long to Smoke Chuck Roast Per Pound
Smoking time will vary, depending on the size of your whole roast. For an average roast, the entire smoking process from start to finish can take anywhere from 6-8 hours. You want to reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees F, but your first goal is 165 degrees…
Most will need to be smoked about one hour per pound of chuck roast until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. For the average roast, this will be about 5-6 hours.
Once the internal temperature of the chuck roast reaches 165 degrees F, you’ll want to pull the roast from the smoker. Then immediately transfer it to a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. Wrap it as tightly as possible, keeping the seam facing upward.
Next, return the foil-wrapped chuck roast to the smoker and continue to smoke it for one additional hour. If using a meat probe, place it quickly inside the meat before wrapping it back up. Watch for the internal temperature to reach 190 degrees F, and then remove the roast.
Place the hot roast onto your cutting board, keeping it wrapped in the foil. Let it rest for approximately 30 minutes before slicing it with a sharp knife. That will prevent its juices from running when you cut into it, keeping the roast more moist and succulent.
After you slice the meat, pour the juice in run over the top of the roast to reabsorb some of the liquid. Serve and enjoy the leftovers the next day!
What is Beef Chuck Roast?
The chuck is the shoulder area of the cow. A beef chuck roast is any cut of meat that comes from the shoulder part of a steer.
Chuck roast is popular because it is a large cut of meat that can feed many people, and has a good flavor. However, it also comes from an area of well-worked muscles. That means that it can be tough if not properly prepared.
For this reason, it’s best suited to low-and-slow cooking applications like braising.
What is the Difference Between a Pot Roast, Roast Beef and Chuck Roast?
Many people confuse a chuck roast and a pot roast. A pot roast is not any specific cut of meat but instead describes a roast cooking preparation. A pot roast is cooked in a liquid, while a chuck roast is a specific cut of meat from a steer’s shoulder area.
Roast beef is also not any specific cut of meat. It too refers to a preparation method. Roast beef is any dish of beef that has been prepared by roasting it.
A chuck roast can be cooked in different ways. The following is a guide to preparing the perfect smoked chuck roast.
Why Smoke a Roast?
Many people wonder why it’s better to smoke a beef roast. The simplest reason is that it gives the meat a delicious, smoky flavor that can not be achieved through other cooking methods.
A smoker is very similar to a slow cooker. It is a pellet grill that acts as an outside oven. You burn wood pellets, producing smoke that gets infused into the wood.
On a smoker, the roast cooks by using low temperature, and longer cook time. While the cooking process does take a long time, many people claim there is no other cooking preparation that can infuse that much flavor into meat.
I’d have to agree with them!
Slow cooking is the best way to breakdown down connective tissues in meat. It will slowly turn collagen into gelatin, which is soft and jiggly. This process can help make your meat more moist and succulent. However, achieving this on a smoker can take some practice!
Aside from having the best flavor, cooking a chuck roast low and slow, as most avid meat smokers would say, is a good option to achieve truly tender meat.
How to Smoke a Chuck Roast
The following is my guide to properly smoking a beef chuck roast. This is what I do, and it comes out juicy and tender every time.
Prepare the Roast for Smoking
To prepare your chuck roast for smoking, rinse your beef under cool water. Pat dry with paper towels.
You can also cut off any excess fat, silver skin, or gristle if needed.
Set aside the chuck roast for about 30 minutes, allowing it to come to room temperature. Doing this allows your meat to get a more even cook.
Add a Dry Rub
After your meat sits for a bit, season it. You may want to use a pre-made seasoning mix, or a favorite chuck roast recipe that you have used for years.
If you do not already have a “go to,” here is a tried and true delicious spice rub.
Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl:
- Kosher Salt – 1 1/2 TBL
- Course Ground Black Pepper – 1/2 TBL
- Paprika – 2 TSP
- Garlic Powder – 2 TSP
- Onion Powder – 2 TSP
- Sugar – 1 TSP
- Chili Powder – 1/4 TSP
Salt, pepper and paprika are very popular meat dry rub ingredients. I like to add a little garlic powder, touch of sugar, and a little chili to “spice” t up. (Pun intended!)
It is a good idea to make a dry rub a couple of hours ahead (or even the night before!) to allow the seasoning to meld and become more flavorful.
Next, it’s time to choose the wood pellets for your smoke.
Best Wood Pellet for Smoking Beef Chuck Roast
In general, hickory and oak are the two best wood pellets to use to smoke meat. Mesquite is a close second, since it has a distinct (and delicious) smoked flavor.
Some like to use pecan, walnut or maple flavored pellets because they produce a mild flavor that pairs well with beef. While they are a little less popular, fruit tree flavors can work, too.
You can even get creative and try out different combinations to find your favorite!
Now It’s Time to Smoke the Chuck Roast!
Step 1: Place your chosen wood pellets in the smoker, and preheat it a cooking temperature of 225 degrees f.
Step 2: Using a baking dish, place the chuck roast inside. Rub the dry rub on both sides of the roast, using about half of the seasoning for each side.
Step 3: Turn the roast to coat its with the dry rub that has fallen into the baking dish. That way the dry rub coats all surfaces evenly.
Step 4: Once the smoker temperature has reached 225 degrees F, place the chuck roast directly onto the grill rack. If you are using a probe thermometer, stick it into the thickest part of the roast, until it reaches the center. You want to be careful not to push it in too far, as that could give a false reading of the meat’s internal temperature. Close the lid or door to the smoker to begin the smoking process.
Step 4: Smoke for 6-8 hours depending on the size of the roast. Return to the top of this article to determine exactly how long to roast your cut of meat and how to finish it off!
Bonus: Side Dishes
Are you looking for some side dish ideas to add to your meal? Some of my favorites to make your meal complete are:
- Double stuffed mashed potatoes
- Macaroni and cheese
- Green salad