Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best Recipes

We show and tell you how to cook ideal smoked and shredded beef, with basics, recipes, and tips included.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
Reviewed By
Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 18, 2023
GrillGuru is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here

Smoked pulled beef is a delicious recipe and a favorite for most people. If you love pulled pork, then you certainly will love pulled beef. Pulled beef can be included in so many smoked meat recipe options and is very juicy. The meat is tender and comes out right when you combine it with very nice flavors. It is also very easy to prepare like every other smoked recipe. You can always experiment with smoked pulled beef and even personalize your ingredients to your taste.

In this article, we will be looking at how you can make the best smoked chuck roast for pulled beef.

What is a Chuck Roast?

Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesThere is hardly anyone to disagree that chuck roast is one of the best cuts for most pulled beef recipes. The beef chuck roast is taken from the steer front shoulders, which usually requires long slow cooking for a succulent outcome. The chuck roast is packed with fat, collagen, and enough marbling, which brings out delicious tasty juices.

If you use the right cuts, you get better results when making pulled beef recipes. Also, with chuck roast, you don’t need to use tenderloin, and it is also an affordable option, unlike chunk pork.

How to Pick the Best One for Smoking

When you want to make the best roast, you should choose the right one for smoking. How do you know which chunk roast is right? You can determine this by its cut, size and appearance. We will be looking at these in detail, so you know how to make the right choice.

  • Cut

When people cook a roast, they prefer to simmer it for a long time. If you have a tough beef cut, it would require slow cooking to be properly cooked. You get tough cuts mostly from the parts of the cow that are muscular or more exercised. Most people prefer the chuck roast, which comes from the shoulder part of the cow. There are also other alternatives apart from the chuck roast. For instance, some people may choose the rump roast, the eye of round roasts or even the rib roast. However, the chuck roast comes out best for pulled beef.

  • Size

One thing to remember when picking the size of your chuck roast is to consider the ages of the people you are cooking for and their appetites. If you are cooking for five people, you will need enough meat to go around.

  • Appearance

Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesWhen choosing your beef roast, ensure it is a deep red color and not bright red. It can only be bright red if it was just cut from the cow. If the beef is looking greyish brown, it means it isn’t fresh and has possibly been on the shelf for quite some time. Also, when choosing your chuck roast, ensure it has marbling on it. It should look like a bright white marbling of fat spread around the meat. This is what adds to the amazing taste that comes out in your cooking.

If you are wondering where to buy a good chuck roast, we recommend you get it at a local butcher shop and not the one sold at the grocery store. Meat sold at the butcher’s block is always fresh and of the best quality.

Smoked Pulled Beef Recipes

If you love pulled beef, there are many recipes you can make with it. You can make almost anything with pulled beef. You can enjoy it with tortilla chips and even nachos. The pulled beef in a sandwich is also quite popular.

The choice is up to you to make your preferred blend of spices. You can make your chuck roast with cumin, cayenne or tune things up with spices like black pepper and chili. You can also enjoy it with provolone cheese, mushrooms, sautéed onions and peppers. All of these together, and you can whip up a delicious dinner. You should also have a list of rubs so you can be inspired to make a unique dish.

If you have tried smoked pulled beef sandwiches, and you loved it, then you will certainly find other pulled beef recipes delicious. Here are a few recipes you can make with a smoked pulled chuck roast.

  • Smoked Pulled Beef

  • Smoked Pulled Beef Sandwich

Chuck Roast Smoking Tips

Before you make any of these delicious recipes, there are certain things you should know about preparing your chuck roast. Here are some tips to help you get the best out of your chuck roast:

Trimming Your Chuck Roast

Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesIt is better to start your beef preparation by trimming. Making a good pulled beef is the same way you make a pulled pork. You will need to trim the fat cap and then the excess fat around the chuck roast. You can get a good knife for this to make sure you get all the extra fat out. According to most reviews, the best trimming knife you can get for your meat is the Wusthof Gourmet 4-Piece Steak Knife Set. It cuts the fat out neatly and even the toughest parts.

When you cut off the fat, it allows your rub to go in deep, and the taste come out right when cooking. You need to remove the fat cap without leaving any behind. The chuck roast already has enough fat marbling.

Brining Your Meat

Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesAnother step you will need to get a great result is to brine your meat. If you are using a thick piece of chuck roast, you will need to brine it for at least 24 hours to get the desired flavor. You will need at least half a teaspoon of salt for each pound of meat. Also, make sure that the brine gets around the meat properly.


When you brine your chuck roast, you should keep it in a cool place, preferably in the fridge. It should be stored under a temperature of about 34°F and 38°F. You should wrap your roast in plastic or leave it uncovered to give it a drier bark. You should also make sure your roast is kept away from other food to avoid any contamination.

Preparing Roast to Smoke

Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesWhen your roast has been brined for 24 hours in the fridge, you need to take it out and apply the unsalted rub. If you want to add salt to the rub, make sure you did not include it when brining the roast. You can apply the rub to the roast instead of brining it for 24 hours before smoking.

Also, remember to use the right rub because the rub for beef is different from pulled pork. You can always get the premade beef rub sold at the grocery store. They usually come in different types; you can mix the spices. You can also use oil or mustered depending on which you prefer. This is to make the rub stay better on the meat. If you don’t want to use any, you can add water.

Cooking Smoked Chuck Roast

The best way to make your smoked chuck roast is to cook it at low and slow temperature. The recommended temperature is 225°F. When your water is at this temperature, you can even add the chuck roast directly from the fridge. You will need a thermometer if you don’t have a smoker with an inbuilt thermometer. Preferably, it would be best if you had an inbuilt thermometer. Click here to find the best smokers with thermometers.

Choosing Wood

Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesWhen it comes to smoking to the desired taste, you will need to use the right wood. There are lots of wood, but the most popular choices are hickory, oak and fruitwood (from Apple or cherry trees). These can add to the flavor of your smoked chuck roast. However, most BBQ lovers prefer the Western Oak BBQ Smoking Chips because it adds flavor to the chuck roast. It is a reliable option and gives the best results. You will need enough wood for your cooking but make sure to have three fist-sized chunks of wood or four if you are using smaller pieces.

The Smoking Process

Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesThe cooking temperature of your smoker will increase as your roast is cooking. It is important to monitor the internal temperature when it increases from 170°F to 200°F so that the roast softens. Beef usually needs a higher temperature before it can render its fat fully. Your roast will need a temperature of about 220°F or more to cook. When it gets to this temperature, it will take an hour or two to cook properly. If you haven’t got a smoker yet, you may want to check out these best smokers to make your chuck roast.

You can check to see that your roast is tender by using a meat thermometer or skewer to check the meat texture.

Click here to find best smoker accessories and where you can get best smoker thermometers. If it feels tough or too dry, you need to allow it to continue cooking. However, if it feels like butter, you can bring it out.


Smoked Pulled Beef Chuck Roast: The Best RecipesWrapping the roast will require a foil, and this process is usually referred to as crutching. It helps to speed up the cooking process. You can wrap your roast from the start, but it is not always recommended. Wrapping won’t allow your roast to give as much of that golden-brown crust on the roast. If you still want to wrap, it is best to wait until the internal temperature of your smoker is about 180°F, then you can wrap it in foil so the juice can penetrate the chuck roast.

Final thoughts

You can make amazing smoked pulled beef recipes with your chuck roast. This chuck roast is usually delicious because of the amount of marbling. It is also important that you cook under the right heating temperature for the best results. If you plan on getting a smoker, we recommend you get one with a thermometer so that you can monitor your cooking temperature. Hopefully, you have learnt a lot about making your own smoked pulled beef. You can also play around with spices when making your recipes; smoked pulled beef is easy to make.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *