Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast is like best Sunday pot roast you’ve ever had with an extra kiss of smoked flavor you never knew you wanted. Tender, melt in your mouth, full of beefy flavor.
How to Smoke a Chuck Roast for Pulled Beef
Chuck roasts are well marbled pieces of beef with some really tight connective tissue. By smoking a chuck roast low and slow, you allow that fat to slowly render and the low heat to break down and soften that connective tissue that can make chuck roasts chewy.
I season my chuck roasts liberally with equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder to add flavor without masking or covering up the beef. From there, the chuck roast hits the smoker at 225 degrees F. I use oak wood for this recipe, because I feel like oak can really stand up and support that rich beef flavor. While the chuck roast smokes during this first step, I like to spritz with beef stock every hour to keep things moist.
Next step is to increase the heat on the smoker to 250 degrees F. Add the smoked chuck roast to a pan of beef stock and onions and return to the smoker to keep on cooking! You’re shooting for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before you cover the whole pan tightly with foil and let that chuck roast finish cooking.
Internal Temperature for Smoked Chuck Roast
My recommended internal temperature is at least 200 degrees F. At that temperature, the connective tissues in the chuck will have broken down and gelatinized so they just melt in your mouth. Since we also covered the roast and braised in liquid, the roast will be incredibly juicy and tender as well.
If you don’t already own one, I really recommending getting a high quality instant read thermometer. I’ve used Thermoworks products for years and love their quality. They start out at around $29 for the small hand held Thermopop.
Quick tip for shredding: use your mixer with the dough hook attachment on a slow speed to pull your meat. Works like a charm!
Smoked Beef Chuck Roast Video
Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe
- 1 chuck roast 3-4 pounds
- 1 yellow or white onion sliced
- 3 cups beef stock divided use
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons coarse black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
- When ready to cook, start your smoker going at 225 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl and rub liberally onto your beef roast, using your hands to press the rub into every surface of the meat. (Optional, rub your meat the night before smoking and refrigerate)
- Put the roast directly on your grill grate, fat-side up, and cook for 3 hours, spraying with 1 cup of the beef stock every hour (reserve the other 2 cups of stock).
- After 3 hours it is time to turn up the heat! Place the sliced onions in the bottom of a large disposable aluminum foil pan and pour the remaining 2 cups of stock in the bottom of the pan. Transfer the roast into the pan on top of the onions and set the pan in the grill.
- Increase your grill temperature to 250 degrees F, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (about 3 more hours). If you're watching a thermometer, you'll notice the temperature will stay between 155 and 165 degrees for quite a while. This is called the stall period and is totally normal.
Once your roast hits 165, cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and continue cooking until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers at least 200 degrees, up to 202 degrees F (this step can take another 3 hours). Every roast will be done at a slightly different temperature, so look for your probe to slide into the meat like it is sliding into softened butter.
Remove the pan from the smoker and let rest for a few minutes. Separate the roast from the cooking liquid. Shred the roast and separate the fat from the cooking liquid. Moisten the roast with the remaining cooking liquid, or make it into au jus for dipping, or turn it into gravy.
If you are cooking a smaller 3-4 pound chuck roast, follow the same steps, but plan slightly less time per step (usually only about a half hour less). The whole roast will cook in closer to 7-8 hours. Also, reduce the onion and broth amounts by half.