Beef chuck roast is probably your first thought when making pot roast, and not what you would consider for grilling or smoking. But since the chuck roast is a tough cut very similar to brisket, it’s a natural choice for cooking low and slow on the TEC Grills Infrared Smoker/Roaster Rack. We like to think of chuck roast as a cheaper, quicker and more forgiving version of brisket.
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WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Chuck roast is from the shoulder of the cow, right above the brisket. But it’s a smaller cut than the brisket, so a more manageable amount of meat at a more affordable price. It’s typically cooked as a pot roast, but the addition of smoke and time on the grill amps up the beefy brisket-like flavor.
Image courtesy of Certified Angus Beef
With a lot of marbling and connective tissue, the chuck roast needs to be cooked low and slow in order for the connective tissue to soften and self-baste the meat. But given its smaller size, it will cook faster than a brisket.
If you want to slice it for sandwiches, it will only take about 4-5 hours to smoke a chuck roast to an internal temperature of around 180 degrees F. Or you can smoke it even longer after wrapping in aluminum foil, similar to the technique for classic Texas-style brisket. In this case, you are looking for a temperature of around 200-205 degrees F, which takes about 5-6 hours. This will further break down the connective tissue of the meat so that it is super tender and can easily be pulled.
PREPARE THE CHUCK ROAST
Since chuck roast is so similar to brisket, you can cook it pretty much the same way. Which means that it doesn’t need much prep or seasoning. Just a generous salt and pepper rub is all you need, but feel free to use some garlic powder or your favorite meat rub too.
Rinse the roast under cold water.
Pat the roast dry all over with paper towels, and place on a sheet pan. Make sure that the roast is completely dry.
Season the roast all over with coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper. Let sit for 30-minutes to an hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate overnight. Just remember to remove it from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes prior to grilling to allow the meat to come to room temperature.
SMOKE/ROAST THE CHUCK ROAST
To keep the meat moist, add some beer or water to the radiant drip tray of the smoker/roaster while it cooks. If you would like the meat to be tender enough to pull, about halfway through the cooking time (at about 160 degrees F) place the roast in a disposable aluminum pan with some beef stock. Cover the roast with aluminum foil, and continue cooking until the temperature reaches 200-205 degrees F.
Place the Smoker/Roaster rack on top of the grates of your TEC Grill. Position the chip corral in front of the rack, and fill the corral with small wood chips (we suggest oak or pecan wood with beef). No need to pre-soak the chips!
Preheat the grill on medium for 10 minutes with the hood closed until the chips start to smoke.
Place the chuck roast on the Smoker/Roaster rack, fat-side up.
If desired, position a remote thermometer deep in the middle of the roast, taking care not to touch the tip of the probe to a bone (this will give you an incorrect temperature reading).
Pour some water, beer or beef stock into the radiant drip tray.
Turn the heat down to low, and close the hood.
Check on the roast about every 30 minutes to replenish the wood chips, check its temperature, and add more liquid to the radiant drip tray if needed.
Cook until the roast’s internal temperature reaches about 160 degrees F, about 2 1/2-3 hours for a 3-4 pound roast.
Continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F for meat that is easily sliceable.
Or if desired, place roast in a disposable aluminum pan, and add enough beef stock to come up halfway up the sides of the roast. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place back on the grill.
Turn up the heat slightly to medium-low, and continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches at least 200 degrees F, about another 2 1/2-3 hours.
Remove pan from the grill, and let rest for about 10-15 minutes. Remove the roast from the cooking liquid, and pull or slice. Moisten the meat with the cooking liquid, and be sure to serve some alongside the meat as an au jus dip.
TEC Tips: To pull the meat, try this genius tip from Hey Grill Hey. She suggests to place the meat in the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment on a slow speed to pull your meat. Use the pulled meat to make sandwiches of course, but it’s also great on baked potatoes, burritos, nachos, or even noodle bowls!
What’s your favorite cut to smoke? Share with us by tagging your grilling pics @TECGrills!