Smoked Chuck Roast {A Step-by-step Guide

Smoked Chuck Roast {A Step-by-step Guide

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David and I smoked our first chuck roast on his Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker, a couple of weekends ago. Today, we are sharing a step-by-step guide about how we did it so that you can smoke a tender and juicy smoked chuck roast of your own. 

A smoked chuck roast would be a great way to impress guests at your holiday party. Besides the fact that it’s a little different from normal holiday meats, beef chuck is cheaper than beef prime rib or tenderloin, easier to get along with than brisket and it is a lot easier to come by in the grocery store.

Here’s how we smoked a beef chuck roast on David’s water smoker:

raw chuck roast, seasoning and twine

Smoked Chuck Roast | Servings: 8 to 10 | Time: 6-8 Hours +

 What You’ll Need:

Beef Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Equipment and Supplies:

#1 Prep the Chuck Roast for Smoking

Start with a chuck roast in the 5-pound range. Rinse it under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels.

Secure chuck roast with 1 to 2 pieces of twine, tied around its circumference and 3 to 4 pieces of twine going around the width at 1 to 1 ½-inch intervals, making a grid pattern with the twine.

raw roast, seasoning and twine

Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl; stir with a whisk to mix and remove any clumps. Rub the spice rub onto the chuck roast on all sides. – Learn more about rubs HERE!

chuck roast with seasoning

If you have time, wrap the roast in plastic wrap and let it cure in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. Smoking the roast right away is ok, but sitting in the refrigerator for several hours allows the rub to penetrate the meat.

seasoned meat

#2 Prep the Smoker

Soak a few handfuls wood chips for about 30 minutes in water before placing on the coals.

Preheat the smoker or charcoal grill to 250 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.)

Alternatively, using a charcoal grill set up for indirect heat with a drip pan of water directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature.

If you are interested in purchasing a new smoker, please check out detailed research on how to find the best charcoal smoker to meet your needs here: SmokeySteakRanch.

#3 Smoking the Chuck Roast

When the coals are ready to cook, place the prepared chuck roast onto the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan filled with water and insert temperature probes (if using).

probing the meat on the smoker with thermometer

Toss a handful of soaked wood chips and some dry wood chunks onto the hot coals; cover and allow the beef to smoke.

hot coals inside smoker

When smoking meat, David likes to use a combination of dry and wet wood chunks, alternating between the two. The dry gives a quick intense smoke and brings the heat up. The wet wood chunks provide a lower, slower smoke and bring the heat down. Heat adjustments can be made using this technique, along with adjusting the vents on the smoker.

David setting up smoker

Bring the temperature up to 225 degrees F, using the vents and wet and dry wood chips to regulate the temperature. You will need to add fresh coals and more wood chips almost every hour for at least the first 4 hours.

#4 Low and Slow

Check the temperature of the smoker every hour, staying as close to 225 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid unless you need to add more charcoal or soaked wood chips to maintain temperature and smoke.

smoker smoking
smoker with Thermoworks Smoke Thermometer

*Knowing the temp in your grill is crucial, so if your grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, purchase a digital BBQ thermometer. I gave David a brand new top of the line Thermoworks Smoke™ thermometer for his birthday last month. He was able to try it out on this chuck roast. It has 2 channels, one for the meat and one for the smoker, with a remote control. David is in love with it. Having the remote control saved him a lot of worrying about the smoker temperature. The alarm sounded each time it would fall below the ideal smoking temperature. If you are a serious pit master, we highly recommend it.

checking meat temperature

#5 Testing For Doneness

Smoke the chuck roast until a dark “bark” (outside crust) forms and the internal temperature of the meat is about 190 degrees F, about 6 to 8 hours; if you don’t use a probe thermometer, use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness.

Knowing the temperature inside your smoker or grill is crucial. Even if your smoker or grill has a temperature gauge, we still highly recommend that you purchase a digital BBQ thermometer such as Smoke™ from Thermoworks. Thermoworks thermometers are some of the most accurate thermometers money can buy. This particular model was designed for competition BBQ teams and professional chefs. It has a two-channel alarm uses probes to accurately read the temperature of the meat and the pit.

smoky meat

The ideal temperature of a properly smoked chuck roast is no less than 160 degrees F for medium to 190 to 200 degrees F for well done. The internal temperature of the chuck roast can increase by 10 degrees even after it’s been removed from the smoker, so keep that in mind. If the internal temperature is 190 degrees F when you take it off the smoker, it may rise to an optimal 200 degrees F, perfect! Any hotter than that and could overcook your chuck roast, which results in dry, chewy meat.

#6 Holding

Remove the chuck roast from the smoker wrap it in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil; return to the smoker for at least 1 hour maintaining an internal smoker temperature between 225 to 250 degrees F.

foiled meat on smoker

Holding helps tenderize by allowing some carryover cooking which helps melt tough connective tissue. The foil captures the natural au jus for use in a sauce, and holding allows the surface parts that have dried out during cooking to absorb some of the juices.

#7 Slicing the Smoked Chuck Roast

Remove the foil-wrapped chuck roast from the smoker. Carefully unwrap the layers of foil and transfer the meat to a cutting board, tent with foil. Allow the chuck roast to cool until internal temperature drops to around 150 degrees F before serving, 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Don’t slice until the last possible minute. The smoked chuck roast dries out quickly once it is cut. When you are ready, start by cutting off and discarding the twine. With a sharp chef’s knife, slice the chuck roast thinly, with the grain, about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick. For best results, slice only what you are serving.

finished smoked chuck roast

#8  Serving the Smoked Chuck Roast

Perfectly cooked meat should be moist and juicy. You can serve it simply sliced on a plate or as a sandwich. If you wish, drizzle some sauce (cheese or BBQ sauce) and serve slices of flat fanned out like a deck of cards surrounded by chunks of burnt ends.

sliced smoked chuck roast

For this smoked chuck roast, we made sandwiches with the slices and topped them with a homemade Beer Horseradish Cheddar Cheese Sauce.

smoked chuck roast sandwich with cheese sauce

We hope you will use this step-by-step guide to smoke a beef chuck roast of your own to enjoy with your family and friends. This was our first one, but definitely won’t be our last.

Get smokin’!

This smoked chuck roast is cheaper than prime rib, easier to get along with than brisket and it is a whole lot easier to come by in the grocery store. | TheMountainKitchen.com
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5 from 4 votes

Smoked Chuck Roast

This smoked chuck roast is cheaper than prime rib, easier to get along with than brisket and it is a whole lot easier to come by in the grocery store.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, BBQ
Keyword Chuck, Roast, smoked
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 412kcal

Ingredients

What You’ll Need

Beef Rub

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

Instructions

#1 Prep the Chuck Roast for Smoking

  • Start with a chuck roast in the 5-pound range. Rinse it under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels.
  • Secure chuck roast with 1 to 2 pieces of twine, tied around its circumference and 3 to 4 pieces of twine going around the width at 1 to 1 ½-inch intervals, making a grid pattern with the twine.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl; stir with a whisk to mix and remove any clumps. Rub the spice rub onto the chuck roast on all sides. If you have time, wrap the roast in plastic wrap and let it cure in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or as long as overnight. Smoking the roast right away is ok, but sitting in the refrigerator for several hours allows the rub to penetrate the meat.

#2 Prep the Smoker

  • Soak a few handfuls wood chips for about 30 minutes in water before placing on the coals.
  • Preheat the smoker or charcoal grill (using to 250 degrees F. To maintain this low temperature, use only half as much charcoal as usual. (A half chimney-full.)
  • Alternatively, using a charcoal grill set up for indirect heat with a drip pan of water directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature.

#3 Smoking the Chuck Roast

  • When the coals are ready, place the prepared chuck roast onto the center of the hot grate, over the drip pan filled with water and insert temperature probes (if using). Toss a handful of soaked wood chips and some dry wood chunks onto the hot coals; cover and allow the beef to smoke.
  • David likes to use a combination of dry and wet wood chunks, alternating between the two. The dry gives a quick intense smoke and brings the heat up. The wet wood chunks provide a lower, slower smoke and bring the heat down. Heat adjustments can be made using this technique, along with adjusting the vents on the smoker.
  • Bring the temperature up to 225 degrees F, using the vents and wet and dry wood chips to regulate the temperature. You will need to add fresh coals and more wood chips almost every hour for at least the first 4 hours.

#4 Low and Slow

  • Check the temperature of the smoker every hour, staying as close to 225 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid unless you need to add more charcoal or soaked wood chips to maintain temperature and smoke.

#5 Testing For Doneness

  • Smoke the chuck roast until a dark “bark” (outside crust) forms and the internal temperature of the meat is about 190 degrees F, about 6 to 8 hours; if you don’t use a probe thermometer, use an instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness.
  • The ideal temperature of a properly smoked chuck roast is no less than 160 degrees F for medium to 190 to 200 degrees F for well done. The internal temperature of the chuck roast can increase by 10 degrees even after it’s been removed from the smoker, so keep that in mind. If the internal temperature is 190 degrees F when you take it off the smoker, it may rise to an optimal 200 degrees F, perfect! Any hotter than that and could overcook your chuck roast, which results in dry, chewy meat.

#6 Holding

  • Remove the chuck roast from the smoker wrap it in double-layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil; return to the smoker for at least 1 hour maintaining an internal smoker temperature between 225 to 250 degrees F.
  • Holding helps tenderize by allowing some carryover cooking which helps melt tough connective tissue. The foil captures the natural au jus for use in a sauce, and holding allows the surface parts that have dried out during cooking to absorb some of the juices.

#7 Slicing the Chuck Roast

  • Remove the foil-wrapped chuck roast from the smoker. Carefully unwrap the layers of foil and transfer the meat to a cutting board, tent with foil. Allow the chuck roast to cool until internal temperature drops to around 150 degrees F before serving, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Don’t slice until the last possible minute. The chuck roast dries out quickly once it is cut. When you are ready, start by cutting off and discarding the twine. With a sharp chef’s knife, slice the chuck roast thinly, with the grain, about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick. For best results, slice only what you are serving.

#8 Serving the Chuck Roast

  • Perfectly cooked meat should be moist and juicy. You can serve it simply sliced on a plate or as a sandwich. If you wish, drizzle some sauce (cheese or BBQ sauce) and serve slices of flat fanned out like a deck of cards surrounded by chunks of burnt ends.

Nutrition

Calories: 412kcal | Protein: 43g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 883mg | Potassium: 769mg | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 4.9mg
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Hi, my name is Debbie, Author and Photographer at The Mountain Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious homemade recipes using clean food ingredients, and stories about mountain life.
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41 thoughts on “Smoked Chuck Roast {A Step-by-step Guide”

  • Couldn’t have done it better myself. Good to see young David enjoying his Weber Smokey Mountain. I remember the days when he had no such privilege. he just bugged you for one, I think you said. Now finally, there is smoke curling off the mountain proper, and man oh man, what a sammich! Golly. Nicely executed. This post was of course, right up my smoke tinted alley! Very nicely done.

    Merry Christmas to you and David. Hope all is well out yonder!

    PotP

    • Thank you so much PotP! Yes, David is enjoying his Smokey Mountain, but hasn’t had a lot of time to use it and it has been way to dry on the mountain for fire of any kind. Luckily we had some much needed rain before he fired it up to smoke this chuck roast. The new thermometer is really cool! Check it out when you get the chance.

      I will pass on your kind words oh great Pit Masters. Merry Christmas to you and yours from our Mountain to your… frozen tundra? 😉

      D&D

  • I came across your site today and in due timing!! I’m smoking my first chuck roast tomorrow and I’m super excited about it! I’ll be doing the cooking process basically the same as ya’ll did, but I’m going to brine my roast overnight in some Guinness Stout and a homemade rub!! The fiance’ is out of town for a week so like the old saying goes “when the cat’s away the mice must play!!” Thank you for sharing your experience on what seems to be a delicious time!!

    Chris Q.
    Summerville, SC

  • I’m a bit confused why you wrap at 190, then put it back in for 2 hours at 225-250 (the same temp its been cooking). Isn’t this just going to ramp the internal temp up way beyond 200-205?

    I know some people say wrap it in and put it in a cooler for two hours, or lower the temp (or put it in an oven) at 175-200, I can see this so it maintains the temp… or as is commonly done with brisket wrap at 160-165 and the continue to cook to 190, but I don’t see what this method buys.

    What am I missing? Why wrap at 190 then cook at the same temp for another 2 hours?

    • Hi Jesse. The ideal done temperature for a smoked chuck roast is about 200 degrees F. After wrapping in foil, David lets the smoker temperature drop as well, so there is no additional heat only a steady cool down. Feel free to wrap earlier, but a lower done temperature will cause chewier meat.

  • Hi there! I would love to read your recipe and try it but I think something went bisserk with your typestyle. The blog part is fine but the actual recipe part is all squished together so it’s almost like decoding to try to read I. Any chance f having you email it to me?maybe it’ll be more readable that way..
    Thanks!
    Erica

  • I’ve never had smoked chuck but it makes perfect sense! This is reallly a gorgeous roast – and I’m going to be trying it this summer. What a fantastic way to get smoked beef on the table and brisket these days is so pricey!

  • 5 stars
    I’ve done this 4 times and each time was perfect. I rub my roast with Kent Rollin’s Red River Ranch original seasoning before smoking and if it was! any better I couldn’t stand it! Thanks

  • Plan on making this on Saturday for our 28th wedding Anniversary in our new smoky mountain smoker. This will be our second smoke in it. Last weekend we made ribs and they were delicious! Were excited to use this recipe. Could you email it to me for my recipe book please. I will let you know how it turns out.

    • Hi Jody! I’m delighted to hear that you are going to make this for your anniversary. This is a great recipe and I know it will turn out great for you! At the top of the post, you should see a “PRINT RECIPE” Button right under the main photo. You should be able to print the recipe out. I will send you a digital pdf just in case. Enjoy the chuck roast, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!

    • Hi there! You are so welcome. Mesquite has a bold intense earthy flavor that is ideal for most red and dark meats. David and I like mesquite smoked beef the best, it’s our favorite! However, you can use milder wood smoke from oak, hickory maple, pecan, alder, cherry, or apple. It’s all about personal preference.

  • #6 Holding
    Remove the chuck roast from the smoker wrap it in double-layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil; return to the smoker for at least 1 hour maintaining an internal smoker temperature between 225 to 250 degrees F.

    During the holding phase – do you also lower the smoker’s cooking temperature from the original 225 degrees???

  • Can’t wait to try this recipe. I am a novice smoker and looking for some new recipes. Do you cook for the 6-8 hrs and than hold for an additional hour? Or, Should I cook for 5-6 hours check the temp and than hold for 1 hr. Any feedback or detail on the timing/cooking would be greatly appreciated. I also use the Weber Smokey mountain.

    • Hi Bob! You’ve got the right equipment and the right thinking about the time. Yes, smoke 5-6 hours check the temp and then hold for an hour. You can let the heat die down during the hold if needed. That’s mainly to help redistribute the juices of the meat. Best of luck!

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