Chuck roast is one of my favorite cuts of meat to smoke, and this easy smoked chuck roast recipe is bound to be one of your favorites as well. As the title suggests, this is a very easy recipe, but more importantly, it’s delicious. This roast is packed full of flavor but the cut of meat itself is pretty underrated.
Why? Well, to be fair it can be pretty tough — more on that later. Because of this toughness, it needs to cook for a long time to break it down and make it tender.
The upside is that because it’s not highly sought after it’s relatively inexpensive, allowing you to feed a large number of people without breaking the bank.
What is a Chuck Roast?
A chuck roast is a cut of beef that comes from the shoulder of the steer. Because it comes from a very active and working muscle it has very little intramuscular fat and tends to be tough if not prepared correctly.
They’re readily available and usually come in sizes ranging from 2-4 lbs. I highly recommend getting a larger roast and hope you have leftovers to make this NEXT LEVEL open-faced sandwich.
What’s the Difference Between a Chuck Roast and a Pot Roast?
Interestingly, there isn’t actually a cut of meat called “pot roast.” But, it’s used to describe the chuck roast and some other cuts of beef from the chuck section of the steer because they are often braised in a pot.
So, you’ll often hear the beef chuck roast being called a pot roast, or a “Chucky.” They are generally found in the commodity meat case along with the other prepackaged meats, as opposed to inside the butchers case with the more expensive cuts.
Should You Wrap a Chuck Roast When Smoking?
You certainly can wrap a chuck roast when smoking it. It’s not necessary for this recipe because the roast is being braised after taking on some smoke.
Wrapping will produce a similar end product to braising, but we won’t be able to collect the juices for the gravy so I prefer to braise when I can.
How to Smoke a Chuck Roast
For my smoked chuck roast recipe, which I call The Cowboy Chuck Roast because of my use of coffee, I like to use a combination of two techniques.
First, I start by smoking the roast for several hours in order to get that nice smoky flavor into the meat. Then I finish with braising the meat.
This makes for the best of both worlds — that smoky flavor I love, along with the tenderness from the steam during the braise. Not to mention, the juices used for braising make for an INCREDIBLE beef gravy.
Internal Temperature for Chuck Roast
In short, you’ll smoke your chuck roast at 225 °F until it reaches 160 °F internal temperature. You’ll need a reliable leave-in meat thermometer for this. Then you’ll take it off your grill or smoker and place it in a large pan along with your braising liquid and continue to cook till the internal temperature of the smoked beef chuck roast reaches 200 °F.
This method makes the perfect sliced beef chuck roast. If you want to make this into a pulled version, it’s very simple. Just let the beef stay in the braising liquid until an internal temperature of 210 °F which is perfect for fall-apart tender beef.
That usually only takes about another 30 minutes of cooking time. In rare cases, and depending on the size of the roast, it might take another 45 minutes of cooking time.
There’s a ton of information floating around the internet about time and temperature for cooking beef chuck roast, brisket, etc. In my opinion, most of the temperatures you’ll find about the beef chuck roast are on the low side.
Less than 200 °F, I find leaves the beef a bit tough for slices.
Less than 210 °F, and I find pulling it is still rather difficult. Keep in mind, there’s a ton of connective tissue in the cut of meat and it takes a long time to break down.
Feel free to experiment with various temperatures as you explore this value cut of beef and drop me a message on social media to let me know your preference and why.
Easy Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe
Serves: 4-6 | Prep Time: 10 min | Cooking Time: 6-8 hours
2-4 lbs beef chuck roast
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced
3 cups beef broth
1 cup dry red wine (optional)
2 cups strong black coffee
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp beef bouillon powder
1 tbsp corn starch, mixed with an equal amount of water
For the Rub:
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
2 tbsp coarse black pepper
1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp mustard seeds
Easy Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe
Step 1: Place your beef chuck roast on the counter and allow it to come up to room temperature slightly while you prepare your grill. Light your charcoal grill or smoker and set up for indirect heat, establishing a temperature of 225 degrees.
Step 2: Combine all ingredients for your rub in a small bowl and whisk together. Liberally coat all sides of the beef chuck roast with the rub.
Step 3: Place your roast on a wire cooling rack inside of a sheet pan, insert a reliable leave-in thermometer, and place the roast in the smoker or charcoal grill. I like to add some hickory and pecan wood when doing this recipe but use your favorite wood.
Step 4: In a spray bottle, combine coffee, Worcestershire sauce and beef bouillon, shake well to dissolve bouillon. Spritz the roast every hour it’s on the smoker until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
By this point, the spritz and smoke will have produced a beautiful dark bark on the meat and it won’t take much more smoke past 160 °F. Remove roast at that temperature.
Step 5: Place onions on the bottom of a large cast-iron skillet. Add beef stock, red wine, and any remaining mixture from the spray bottle. Then, position roast on top of onions and cover with aluminum foil.
Cover with a lid and place on stove over medium-low heat and continue to cook until the desired temperature. You’re aiming for 200° for slicing or 210° for pulling the beef.
Step 6: Remove roast from pan, and allow it to rest. Turn the heat up to medium-high. As gravy starts to boil, whisk in corn starch slurry to thicken gravy as desired. Add more slurry to achieve desired thickness.
Step 7: Slice the roast and serve with mashed potatoes and onion gravy.
Easy Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe
- 2-4 lbs beef chuck roast
- 1 medium Vidalia onion sliced
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1 cup dry red wine (optional)
- 2 cups strong black coffee
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp beef bouillon powder
- 1 tbsp corn starch mixed with an equal an amount of water
For the Rub
- 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
- 2 tbsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tbsp chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Place your beef chuck roast on the counter and allow it to come up to room temperature slightly while you prepare your grill. Light your charcoal grill or smoker and set up for indirect heat, establishing a temperature of 225 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients for your rub in a small bowl and whisk together. Liberally coat all sides of the beef chuck roast with rub.
- Place your roast on a wire cooling rack inside of a sheet pan, insert a reliable leave-in thermometer and place the roast in the smoker or charcoal grill. I like to add some hickory and pecan wood when doing this recipe but use your favorite wood.
- In a spray bottle, combine coffee, Worcestershire sauce and beef bouillon, shake well to dissolve bouillon. Spritz the roast every hour it's on the smoker until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. By this point the spritz and smoke will have produced a beautiful dark bark on the meat and it won't take much more smoke past 160 degrees. Remove roast at that temperature.
- Place onions on bottom of a large cast iron skillet. Add beef stock, red wine and any remaining mixture from the spray bottle. Place roast on top of onions and cover with aluminum foil. Place on stove over medium low heat and continue to cook until desired temperature — 200 for slicing or 210 for pulling the beef.
- Remove roast from pan, allow to rest. Turn heat up to medium high. As gravy starts to boil, whisk in corn starch slurry to thicken gravy as desired. Add more slurry as desired.
- Slice roast and serve with onion gravy.