Smoked Chuck Roast

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Create juicy and tender beef with this easy smoked chuck roast recipe that’s perfect for beginners. You’ll love the smoky flavor infused into the meat from your wood pellet smoker!

A great recipe for game day, tailgates, and backyard cookouts with family and friends!

smoked chuck roast sliced on a cutting board.
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Why You’ll Love It

  • takes less time to smoke a chuck roast than a larger cut of meat
  • produces fork tender beef with a great smoky flavor
  • smoked chuck roast is less expensive than smoked brisket
  • great option for sandwiches, tacos, chili, queso and bbq plates
  • perfect tailgate and cookout recipe!

What is a Wood Pellet Smoker?

A wood pellet smoker uses indirect heat from hardwood pellets to smoke or grill poultry, meat and seafood at low temperatures.

If you recently bought a wood pellet smoker and you’re looking for a chuck roast recipe for your first cook…this is it!

Even if you’re a veteran and know the smoking process inside and out, this is a good recipe to have on hand when you want to smoke a smaller roast in a shorter amount of time.

For reference, I used a Traeger Grills® Pro Series 22 (ad) to make this recipe. It is an electric wood pellet grill and smoker.

Traeger Pro 22 Series Grill

What is a Chuck Roast?

A chuck roast has a high fat content and comes from the shoulder area of the cow. It tends to be a tougher cut of beef so it requires a low and slow cooking process to create a tender piece of meat.

Beef chuck roast is often called ‘poor man’s brisket‘ because it’s a smaller cut of beef that requires less cooking time on the smoker. It’s a good choice to begin the smoking process and a great alternative to more expensive cuts of meat.

marbled chuck roast on a cutting board.

Equipment You’ll Need

Pick up items at your local grocery store or order online before you start to cook.

  1. wood pellet grill and smoker – I love smoking on my Traeger® Pro 22 grill!
  2. hardwood pellets – hickory or mesquite tastes great with this recipe
  3. wireless thermometer – ThermoPro® is what I use and it works very well
  4. peach or pink butcher paper – allows the roast to breathe better than aluminum foil
  5. sheet pan or foil pan – transfers beef from one place to another
  6. kitchen tongs – for turning roast over while on the grill
  7. smoker oven gloves – safe way to remove beef from the smoker
  8. cutting board – needed for carving
  9. sharp chef knife – helps cut thin strips of beef when it’s time to serve
  10. cooler and an old towel – use the towel to wrap the beef and place in a cooler to rest

*The above are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Dry Rub Recipe

Dry rubs come in all shapes and sizes. There are many choices available to purchase online or at most supermarkets. If you like being creative, you can also make your own.

To make a Texas style smoked chuck roast, simply rub it with kosher salt and coarse black pepper.

If you want to try something new, use a dry rub recipe that includes instant coffee granules. It gives great depth to the roast and there’s no coffee taste.

dry rub for smoked chuck roast.

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

Coffee Rub Recipe

  • garlic powder – the base for most dry rubs
  • onion powder – gives a hearty onion flavor
  • smoked paprika – the smoky flavor adds depth to the beef
  • coarse salt – best to use kosher or coarse salt
  • black pepper – adds a little kick
  • instant coffee granules – creates a dark and delicious bark

Chuck Roast

  • 3 to 3.5 pound chuck roast – look for one with plenty of marbled fat
  • BBQ sauce (if desired) – use your favorite bottled sauce or make your own
sliced chuck roast with kitchen tongs on a cutting board.

Beginner Tips

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to season, prep and preheat your machine.

Smoking meat is not an exact science. The time it takes depends on several factors including the type of grill and smoker used, the temperature outdoors, and many other elements. Practice makes perfect!

The most important thing to focus on is the internal temperature of the meat. Invest in a good thermometer or use the temperature probe that comes with most smokers.

Allow plenty of time to prep, smoke and rest the roast before serving. Don’t skip the resting step! The entire process may take more or less time depending on the size of your chuck roast.

Soon you’ll be a pro and know exactly how to cook burnt ends, create a dark bark and beat the stall!

How to Smoke a Chuck Roast

Prep

  • Allow chuck roast to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Prep beef by rubbing it with a dry rub. Use your hands to get in all the nooks and crannies and up the sides of the meat.
roast after being rubbed with dry rub.

Temperature

  • Set the temperature of the smoker to 225° F and allow it to preheat.
  • Once the smoker reaches 225° F, place beef on the bottom grill grate and insert thermometer probe into the thickest part of the roast.
roast with temperature probe inserted.

Smoke

  • Close lid and smoke until the temperature of the roast reads 165° F. This may take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours.

Wrap

  • Take roast off of grill when it reaches 165° F and wrap tightly in butcher paper. (ad)
  • Put roast back on the grill and insert the probe thermometer through the butcher paper. Close the lid.
roast wrapped in peach butcher paper.

Cook

  • Continue to cook beef until the internal temperature reaches 195° F. This could take 1 to 2 hours, or even longer. Resist the urge to crank up the heat!

Rest

  • Take meat off of grill (while still in butcher paper) with tongs or gloves. Turn off the smoker.
  • Wrap beef (still in the butcher paper) in an old towel. The internal temperature will continue to rise.
  • Place roast in a small cooler. Allow it to rest for at least 1 hour before slicing or chopping.

Slice

  • Slice chuck roast against the grain into thin slices. Serve with barbecue sauce on the side. Or, chop the beef with a sharp knife and mix it with the BBQ sauce before serving on a sandwich. Be sure to chop the burnt ends too which are some folk’s favorite part!
smoked chuck roast after the cook.
Smoked Chuck Roast Burnt Ends

Cooking Tips

These instructions work if you are planning to slice the beef. If you want to shred it, you’ll need to cook it to an internal temp of 210 degrees.

This method is only a guide. Your smoker may yield different results. It takes practice with your equipment to find the sweet spot. Your new best friend will be an instant-read meat thermometer.

How Long To Smoke a Chuck Roast?

It’s best to trust your thermometer and cook to the proper temperature. But, as a guide, you can estimate about 2 hours per pound at 225 degrees.

For a 3 pound chuck roast, the cook time would be around 6 hours plus another hour of rest time for a total of 7 hours. That means if you want to serve dinner at 6 pm, you need to start prepping at 10 am to allow plenty of time for the entire process.

chopped chuck roast on a wooden cutting board.

Helpful Hints

  • Add wood pellets and start the smoker as early as possible to ensure you have time.
  • Get all of the pre-smoking prep out of the way before turning on your grill.
  • Make or buy the BBQ rub ahead of time so it will be ready when you are.
  • Fill the hopper with plenty of wood pellets so the smoker won’t stop while cooking.
  • Only use hardwood pellets that are recommended for your smoker for best results.

Storage and Freezing

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To reheat chuck roast, it’s best to do so in the microwave in small increments until heated through.

Smoked Chuck Roast can be frozen up to 6 months if wrapped tightly and placed in an airtight container. Thaw out beef in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat slowly in the microwave or oven on low heat. Too much heat will toughen the roast.

smoked chuck roast sandwich platter.
Chopped Smoked Chuck Roast Plate

What to Serve with Smoked Chuck Roast

Cooking chuck roast on a pellet grill at a low temperature produces a tender cut of meat with smoky flavor that goes great with all types of sides! Try these southern recipes alongside any type of smoked protein…

Recipe FAQS

Do I need to use a water pan during the cook time?

This depends on your smoker. My Traeger model does not require a water pan. You can add one if you like, but some folks say it doesn’t make that much difference. Refer to your manufacturer’s instructions for more information.

What happens if you don’t let meat rest?

Allowing the meat to rest before slicing causes all of the juices to flow back into the meat as it cools down. If you cut into a hot piece of beef, the juices will drain out and will lose some of its tenderness.

Do I have to wrap the meat in butcher paper?

You don’t have to wrap the meat in butcher paper, but if you want to speed up the cooking process, this is the best way to do it. It also keeps the meat from drying out during the stall period. Some folks use aluminum foil instead, but butcher paper allows the meat to breathe.

What is the stall in smoking?

The stall is the period when meat’s internal temperature will stop rising for a long amount of time…even hours. This is a totally normal process, so don’t be tempted to crank up the heat. Wait out the stall, or move it along by wrapping the Traeger smoked chuck roast in butcher paper.

What is a smoke ring?

The coveted smoke ring is what purist barbecue masters strive to achieve during every cook. It’s the pink or slightly red stripe just under the bark of the beef. It’s caused by a chemical reaction between the gases in the wood and the pigment in the meat.

Should I rub the beef with mustard first?

Some folks swear by slathering yellow mustard on beef so the dry rub will stick, but it’s not totally necessary. It’s fun to experiment with this technique, but be sure to wear gloves so the mustard won’t burn your hands!

Is a Traeger a smoker or a grill?

A Traeger is both a smoker and a grill. It can grill at high temperatures or smoke at low temps, which makes it a very versatile machine.

smoked chuck roast sandwich with potato salad and pickles.

More BBQ Recipes

If you love barbecue, try these other mouth-watering recipes that will make you the hit of your backyard cookout or tailgate party!

Recipe Card

sliced smoked chuck roast on a cutting board.

Smoked Chuck Roast

Create juicy and tender beef with this easy smoked chuck roast recipe that's perfect for beginners. You'll love the smoky flavor infused into the meat from your wood pellet smoker!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish, Smoked Meat
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Rest Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 7 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 506kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

Ingredients

Coffee Dry Rub

  • 2 Tablespoons instant coffee granules (ground fine)
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ Tablespoon coarse salt
  • ½ Tablespoon black pepper

Chuck Roast

  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  • Mix all spices together in a small bowl.
  • Allow chuck roast to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Prep beef by rubbing it with dry rub. Use your hands to get in all the nooks and crannies and up the sides of the meat.
  • Set the temperature of the smoker to 225° F and allow it to preheat.
  • Once the smoker reaches 225° F, place beef directly on the bottom grill grate.
  • Close lid and smoke until the temperature of the roast reads 165° F. This may take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours.
  • Take meat off of grill when it reaches 165° F and wrap tightly in butcher paper.
  • Put roast back on the grill and insert the probe thermometer through the butcher paper. Close the lid on the smoker.
  • Continue to cook beef until the internal temperature reaches 195° F. This could take 1 to 2 hours, or even longer if you experience a stall.
  • Take meat off of grill with kitchen tongs or gloves and turn off smoker.
  • Wrap beef in an old towel with the butcher paper still intact. (temp will continue to rise)
  • Place wrapped roast in a small cooler. Allow it to rest for at least 1 hour before unwrapping. Slice against the grain or chop as desired.

Notes

  • These instructions work if you are planning to slice the beef. If you want to shred it, you’ll need to cook it to an internal temp of 210 degrees.
  • This recipe is designed for use with a wood pellet smoker that burns hardwood pellets.
  • The most important thing to focus on is the internal temperature of the meat. Invest in a good thermometer or use the temperature probe that comes with most smokers.
  • Allow plenty of time to prep, smoke and rest the meat before serving. Don’t skip the resting step!
  • Resist the urge to crank up the heat if you experience a lull or ‘stall’ during the smoking process.
  • The times stated here are only an estimate. It could take more or less time depending on your smoker, the size of chuck roast used, or many other factors. 
  • View the Google Web Story for Smoked Chuck Roast! 

Nutrition

Calories: 506kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Sodium: 1840mg | Potassium: 954mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Wow! Thanks for the details on how to use a smoker and make smoked chuck roast. This is a great guide for a beginner like me.

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