Ever had a tender pot roast? A smoked chuck roast does that one better, adding great smoky flavor to that tender, melt in your mouth beef.
I've always loved my momma's tender pot roasts, braised for hours in the
old cast iron dutch oven on the stovetop. But when you take that same
chuck pot roast, or any other type of chuck roast and cook it in the
smoker, it beats Momma's hands down. Sorry Mom!
Beef chuck is tough when not cooked low and slow for hours. All that connective tissue need time to break down, and when it does it releases all sorts of great flavor. Pick a roast that has a fair amount of fat, too, and you can bet it'll be really moist to boot!
This simple smoked chuck roast recipe requires just a few ingredients, which allows the great flavor inherent in well cooked beef chuck to shine through.
Start by trimming just a bit of the excess fat from the roast. Not a lot, because that fat, when it melts, bathes the meat with flavorful juices. Once trimmed, split the garlic clove in half and rub it over the outer surface of the roast.
After that chore is done, I like to poke a
couple of holes into the roast with my paring knive, shoving the garlic
clove halves deep inside.
Season the chuck generously with salt and pepper and onion powder. A lot of the surface seasoning drips away as the roast smokes, so it's necessary to put more on than you think it really needs.
Preheat your smoker, bringing the temperature up to a minimum of 225
degrees Fahrenheit, but more than 240 degrees. Remember, low and slow is
the key with this tough cut of beef.
Add a foil packet or two of red oak (or white oak, or mesquite) to the smoker, right on top of the charcoal or next to the electric element. Or, you can bury a couple chunks of smoker wood in the charcoal, where it will slowly smolder away.
Add more smoker wood each hour during the first two hours of smoking. It's not necessary for smoke to be rolling out of the smoker the entire time the chuck roast is cooking, but it does need a fair amount of smoke for flavor.
Cooked at 240 degrees, a four pound chuck roast should be done in no more than 6 hours, but total smoking time depends on a lot of factors. Use a thermometer, and when the internal temperature reaches 180, check for tenderness with a fork. When properly done, the meat fibers will slightly separate when a fork is inserted and twisted.
Remove the smoked chuck roast from the smoker, wrap in aluminum foil, and let it rest for up to an hour. The meat fibers will relax as they cool, and the juices will soak in, making the meat really moist and flavorful.
Shred for sandwiches, or slice to serve. And give some to Momma. She'll be proud of your cooking ability, and maybe a little jealous, too.