Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe for Pulled Beef Sandwich
If you’re looking for something besides traditional BBQ to cook this weekend, I have a great recipe for you today. I’m using Beef Chuck Roast cooked low and slow; then I’m making one mouth-watering sandwich.
Chuck Roast is one cut of meat that most people don’t associate with BBQ. Similar to brisket, chuck roast needs to cook for a long time to become tender.
It’s made up of different groups of the shoulder and contains a good bit of fat and collagen. This cut stands up well to long cooks and the fat melts away leaving moist, flavor-packed meat.
I bought 2 chuck roasts weighing 3lbs each. Chuck is considered a lesser cut of beef, so it’s common to find it under $3 per lb. This means you can feed a lot of people some good food without spending a lot.
Much like a pork butt or brisket it takes a while to cook a chuck roast. You want it to be close to falling apart in the end, so it takes some time. You can plan on a 6 hour cook easy depending on the size of the roast.
For this recipe I’m shooting for more of a beefy flavor than typical bbq, so the seasoning I use is savory based. I take my AP seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Garlic) and add a few things to it.
1/2 cup Salt
1/4 cup Garlic
1/4 cup Onion Powder
1/4 cup Chili Powder
1/8 cup Black Pepper
1 tea Ground Parsley
1 tea Ground Oregano
Season all sides of the chuck roast with this mixture (this recipe is more than enough seasoning for 2 chuck roasts).
Now it’s time to light the fire. I’m looking for 250 degrees with a little mild pecan smoke for these chucks. Once the smoker is up to temperature, place the roasts directly on the grate and close the lid.
I’m using my Yoder (set & forget) today but any cooker will work as long as you can regulate the heat.
After 1.5 hours flip both roasts over and continue smoking. Keep adding pecan chunks as necessary and maintain the temperature at 250 degrees.
At the 3 hour mark the chuck roasts should be ready to pan. Take a thermometer reading here; it should read between 140-150 degrees. The meat won’t take any more smoke at this point, so it’s best to get it covered.
For these chuck roasts, I use a large steam pan to hold them both. The meat needs some additional liquid as well, so I pour in 32oz of warmed beef broth. If you want to change it up a little substitute red wine or even a dark beer, go for it.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place it back on the smoker still holding 250 degrees.
You’re looking at another 2-3 hours at least, so keep an eye on the pit and add fuel as needed.
You want to go more by the internal temp that the time – and the final target temperature is 195-200 internal. It’s not the end of the world if you overshoot the target temp on this cut of meat. There’s plenty of liquid in the pan to add moisture and you want it falling apart. This beef is for pulling, so we want the collagen and fat holding it together to completely dissolve.
When the thermometer is reading 195 and it feels like a knife sliding into hot butter, you know it’s done. Remove the pan from the smoker and let the steam escape for about 5 minutes. Rest the meat for at least an hour (I go for 2) before breaking it down. Even after two hours it will still be so hot you’ll need to wear hand savers and gloves.
When it’s done properly this meat will practically pull itself. Separate any fat that didn’t render and pull the pieces into small strands. If you don’t want to shred it by hand you can always use a couple forks or a pork puller… it will flake right apart after it cools a little.
I like to reserve the liquid from the large pan. That beef broth is rightly seasoned after you’ve cooked the chuck roasts in it. You can use it to add a little extra moisture to your pulled meat. Just ladle some of the liquid over the pulled meat… and you’re ready to serve.
Now, you can just serve this pulled beef the way it is. And it is some good stuff. But I like to make a pulled beef sandwich. It’s something great to serve for tailgates and football parties because it’s different and delicious.
For my Pulled Beef Sandwich here’s what you’ll need:
Caramelized Onions (recipe on the right side)
*Horseradish Mayo Recipe
– 16oz Mayo
– 6oz Horseradish Cream Sauce
Mix together and place into a squeeze bottle.
All you do to make this sandwich is to split the onion roll and pile on a heaping serving of pulled beef. Then I just top with caramelized onions and Mayo.
It’s easy and folks go crazy over it. You get a little sweetness from the onions – and the horseradish mayo has just enough of a kick without being overpowering.
Give this recipe a try, your friends will thank you for it.
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Love what you’re doing man! When you say let the meat rest for up to 2 hours, do you mean to leave it wrapped in foil? Thanks again for all the awesome recipes!
I always pull the meat off the smoker, open the foil and allow it to vent for 3 – 5 minutes. Then wrap it back up and put it in a dry cooler.
What horseradish do you use for your horseradish
Love the chuck roast, something a little different and very tasty! Really like the videos keep them coming.
Just put it on! I only have a 1.5 pounder because I only have 4 1/2 hours before we pull it out. I have faith
Thank you so much for your recipe this is my first chuck roast that I’ve ever done. My truck right now actually is on the grill cooking away but with your method I am positive it is going to come out great again thank you so much. Marc
Everything i make the way you describe comes out amazing.
Im making the korean ribs tomorrow and the smoked chuck roast next.
I recommend your site to all the backyard cookers here on long island
What kind of garlic do you use for your seasoning mix? Garlic salt or garlic powder I’m guessing? Love the website; keep the recipes coming!
Just granulated garlic
You could make a killing off those cookbooks .it needs to be a step by step .
Keep making videos thank you
Hi Malcolm, I tried this recipe for the time and temp suggested on my GMG pellet grill. It looked and smelled great but would not pull. It was very tough. Later I boiled it in the juice thinking it wasn’t done in spite of reaching 200 on the grill. It then was tender enough to eat but still wouldn’t pull. Any ideas on what I did wrong? I have done pulled pork butts on the grill that turned out great.
With beef you have to take it until it’s fork tender – if that means taking it to 203 or even higher – that is what it takes. Every cut of beef is different and sometimes you get a really tough cut.
Malcom, you are a cooking genius. Use your site as my go to reference to produce excellent food on my grill and cooker. Always rave reviews from whoever I feed and I’ve served over 100 with your pulled pork recipe. Thanks for contributions, always easy and straight forward. Refer everyone to you when asked how to cook with fire.
Followed recipe as stated, came out awesome. Served on toasted onion bun with provolone and horseradish sauce. Sprinkled bun with beef pan juice. My wife and daughter’s want it again soon. Thanks for the recipe. Rich in Seal Beach
Looks like a great recipe that I intend to try soon. I don’t see the recipe for the caramelized onion that is supposed to be to the right? I may have missed it? Any help finding it would be appreciated.
You just slice and onion and sauté it with a little butter until it starts to caramelize.
Do you have to put it in a pan with liquids? Could I wrap it in butcher paper to finish cooking?
Hey Malcom! Thanks for the great teachings!! I am cooking these on a WSM 14.5 a foil pan does not fit…can I boat wrap this with the beef broth and get the same results?
You could, but you want to use some thick foil and really make it so it can’t leak. Can you try a smaller pan that will fit? Might be the better option
LOVE this recipe Malcolm (and your AP rub)! When determining how much meat to use, what do you use as a rule of thumb for serving larger groups? How many oz. per person?
I figure 1/3 lb of meat per person.
Just popping in to say I’ve done this recipe twice and it’s outstanding. Second time I added some melted pimento cheese (for fun, not because it was necessary). One of Malcolm’s best!!!
You put the meat into a pan with broth and cover at the right temp as I do…..and you do the onions separately….I have found that if I put the sliced onions into the bottom of the pan below the roasts, add the both, cover and finish, I wind up with nicely braised onions and the roasts which have taken on the added flavor of the onions…..hard to suggest anything to the master because you have been my mentor from day one…but have you ever done it that way and what do you think.?
Great, I made this recipe several times.
Sometimes, I need to start the day before when I use a large amount of beef ( 8 pounds or more) or if I need it in the morning.
Too short of time to smoke it on the same day.
What is the best way to keep the beef till next day or even later? Pulled already?
And just warm it up again till 200Gr?
Jeff from the Netherlands
I would cook it, let it rest and then pull it. Store it in a ziplock bag until it’s time to reheat – then you can reheat it anyway you like.
Why don’t you have a cook book my man? I would love one for quick reference… rather than having to refer to the videos every time! Laminated pages would be awesome.
I am working on it!
You could make a killing off those cookbooks .it needs to be a step by step
I’ve never missed with one of your recipes. The was not good for us. 4.1 Chuck Roast cooked exactly as described in your recipe on my Ironwood 650. 200 at 6. 25 hrs. Pulled at 200 based on Traeger probe, verified b Thermapen MK4. Let rest covered in foil pan with broth2 hours.. Tougher than a boot. Could barely rip apart with insulated gloves or bear claws. Flavor great., appearance great tenderness zero. USDA choice meat from BJ’s. Any advice?
It just didn’t go long enough. Keep taking it until it feels like you are probing butter. Might have to take it up higher…
I pull at 210 making sure the all the connective tissue is broken down sufficiently. If it’s a really tough cut I may even go to 215.
Everyone loves and Malcolm makes me look like a cooking genius!
Love your recipes and videos. Every one I’ve done has been a success until this one. Followed the recipe exactly as presented on my Ironwood 650. 4 pound chuck roast. 6 hours 15 minutes cook. Rested in covered foil pan with juice for 2 hours. When I went to pull I could barely pull apart using bear claws or gloved hands. Looked great, flavor was great but tougher than a boot! Any ideas what I might have done wrong or how to avoid in the future? Thanks!
It just didn’t get cooked long enough. With big cuts of beef like this, you have to go by feel as well as internal temps – and forget about times. You want it to feel like butter when you probe it. You might have to take it to 200 or maybe 202 or even 208 for the internal… but when it feels like probing butter you will know it’s finally tender and ready to pull.
Do you set this for indirect cooking?
Made 5 roasts in smoker today using your step by step instructions. They turned out perfect!! Great flavor!! I was leery at 1st but you made a believer out of me. Thanks for sharing, definitely going to be trying your other recipes.
WOW!! Made 5 roasts today using your step by step instructions, they turned out perfect. Great flavor!! I was leery at 1st but you made a believer out of me with your recipe. Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes in my smoker . Thanks for sharing.
Made this today. Will be making it again, very soon. The flavour combinations of the beef, horseradish mayo, onions, and dipping sauce is just fantastic!
When you talk about having a “tough cut “, are there things to look for in the cuts of meat, prior to buying, that can help prevent this?
I look for marbling in the meat vs thick areas of fat
Been following you for years Malcolm and boy do I wish I could buy you a drink someday and thank you for all the great info, tips, and recipes that you provide. I started years ago on a homemade UDS but recently purchased a Rec Tec 790.
Along the way, I bought a roasting pan that has a removable rack that sits inside it. I like using the rack because I can move the meat without having it stick to the grates, fall (off/down/apart) but when I put it in the pan, the meat is elevated from the bottom of the pan by an inch or two.
So here’s my question, in a recipe like this one, is it detrimental, beneficial or irrelevant to have the meat suspended and out of the broth/juice? Will it make a big difference for it to not be swimming?
Thanks Malcolm! You’re a blessing to us all.
Once you pan, do you continue to add wood, or just charcoal?
thanks, planning on trying this recipe tomorrow
just charcoal – you don’t need to smoke at that point, just continue cooking
I have seen some videos that use a dutch oven to cover instead of the pan and foil. Is there any reason you would not Recommend this approach?
no, dutch oven will work great
Thank you so much for this recipe. I have now made it twice since finding it and it has turned out superb both times. I followed your advice to not pay attention so much on the final temperature to remove from the smoker while in the foiled tray, but rather on the feel of the roast to be probe tender. My roast yesterday had to go to an IT of 210 before it probed tender. I then rested in the foiled tray covered with towels for 2 hours in a dry cooler, and the roast almost pulled itself.
One suggestion I would like to make that I tried this time for the Horseradish Mayo Recipe is to add one tablespoon (or more to taste) of the rub in this recipe to the Mayo recipe, mix well and leave in fridge for at least one hour before serving on sandwiches.
Looking forward to your new cook book!
If one is using a Green Egg Grill, does one use indirect heat with a place setter?
I use the place setter for low and slow cooks
Just wanted to say “THANKS!”!!!!! I made pulled chuck a few weeks ago and thanks to your guidance and tips, I don’t know that it could have turned out better. Dry brined it the night before with a mix of seasonings. Injected with beef broth and cooked at 250 for 3 hours. Took it out and put it in a pan with more beef broth and red wine. Covered and back in for another 3ish hours. She passed the probe test at 208 internal. Wrapped and rested for an hour. She shredded like absolute BUTTER. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. I WILL be making this again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did it today on my offset smoker! Came out great, very juicy and exceptionally tender. Pulled it easily with two forks!
This is a family favorite at my house. I have found that lasagna pans from Dollar tree are the perfect size for when you add the broth for the last 2 hours. Letting it rest is the key, and beef is harder to pull than pork, as it just doesn’t have the same fat content. Thanks Malcolm, keep bringing it! Your my go to source for cooking!
Tried pulled beef sandwich today with carmelized onions! Man was it good, so tender. Malcolm delivered again!
I followed the directions to the letter, but unfortunately the meat was dried out. Kind of hard to believe since the meat was completely submerged in the broth. I’m not sure what went wrong, but it was a total failure.
Malcolm, I would welcome you’re input…
I wish I could upload photos.
This was fantastic. Actually a lot like a smoked bear shoulder ( I always tell when asked that smoked bear shoulder is the consistency of pulled pork but tastes like beef). Savory, moist and one we will do often.
Hi Malcom. Love your videos and seasonings. Trying your pulled beef recipe today. Do you use low sodium beef broth or full sodium? Thanks for your help.
Does he look like a guy that goes “reduced”? He’s a legend that goes full flavour!
This made great quesadillas with pepper jack cheese. Very tasty and easy to make. I made a sauce with sour cream, AP seasoning and hot sauce to go with them. Will do this again! Thanks