Brisket may be the king of Texas barbecue, but you should definitely try smoked chuck roast. It’s a faster, more approachable cook for beginner pit masters and requires a much smaller investment. There’s no need for trimming, waking up before sunrise, or special ordering premium brisket.
This recipe will teach you how to smoke chuck roast like a brisket, low and slow. And I think you’ll be surprised at how closely the two resemble one another in terms of flavor, tenderness, and melt in your mouth goodness.
While chuck roast and brisket come from different parts of the cow and have a different fat content and distribution, they’re both tougher cuts with lots of connective tissue. That makes them perfect for low and slow cooking on a smoker. When done properly, the collagen in the meat transforms into gelatin, leaving you with an ultra tender hunk of beef.
How to Serve Smoked Beef Chuck Roast
Whether you slice or chop, I recommend serving with as big a spread of sides as you can handle. Make your guests feel like you’re one step away from opening up the next great BBQ joint with some of these side options:
- Potato Salad or Smoked Potato Salad
- Smoked Baked Beans
- Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Cole Slaw
- Smoked Sweet Potatoes
- Traeger Loaded Mashed Potatoes
- Smoked Hash Brown Casserole
It would be irresponsible for me to send you off without ideas for what to do with leftover pellet smoked chuck roast. Some of my favorites include beefy Texas style kolaches, fried rice, quesadillas, or a grilled cheese.
Alrighty then, it’s time to fire up the grill. You will find a recipe card to print below. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments at the bottom of this post.
Best of luck with your chuck roast. If you love the finished product, I always appreciate recipe reviews!
- 3 small Boneless Chuck Roasts (about 2 1/4 pounds each)*
- 1/4 cup Yellow Mustard (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (ancho or guajillo, preferably)
- 2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Coffee
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- Mix the dry rub ingredients together in a large bowl. Coat the roasts in mustard or your choice of binder before seasoning with the dry rub on all sides. For best results, place the seasoned roasts on a wire rack over a sheet pan in the refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours before smoking.
- To smoke the roasts, preheat a smoker** to 250ºF with the lid closed for at least 15 minutes.
- Smoke the roasts for about 3-4 hours until the internal temperature reaches 155ºF to 165ºF and a nice bark has formed. (I recommend using your grill's probe or a wireless thermometer to alert you when the roasts come to temperature.)
- Tightly wrap the roasts in butcher paper or heavy duty foil before smoking an additional 2-3 hours until the internal temperature reaches 203ºF to 205ºF.
- Place the wrapped roasts on a sheet pan in your oven or in a cooler without ice to rest for 30-60 minutes before slicing or chopping.***
*Beef Selection Notes
You can use this same rub and smoking technique for a larger 4-5 pound roast. The cook times may be surprisingly close due to the water content in larger roasts, but you should always go by internal temperature instead of designated cook time. I would wrap a larger roast once it's in the 165ºF to 175ºF range.
Unlike my brisket style tri tip or pulled chuck roast tacos, I wouldn't spend more for prime cuts. There should be plenty of fat and marbling in USDA choice or even select roasts for juicy and tender smoked chuck roast. If you use select, you can add a bit of beef tallow or butter on top before wrapping.
I used a Traeger Pro 575 and the Traeger Pro Blend wood pellets, which is a blend of oak, hickory, and cherry. Mesquite or the brisket blend pellets would also be great if you can get your hands on them.
The grain on a chuck roast is a bit unique and is pretty tricky to consistently slice against. You can try to section it off to perfectly slice against the grain, but I find the meat is tender enough that thinly slicing is perfectly fine. And chopping obviously alleviates any concerns about grain direction.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: about 3 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 230Total Fat: 15gCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 24g