"Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch." Orson Wells
My favorite cut for pot roast is a large boneless chuck roast full of rich, beefy flavor. A tough cut, beef chuck is the perfect candidate for braising because the moist heat of a little liquid in the pot slowly breaks down the tough connective tissue in the meat, rendering the beef juicy and fall apart tender. Although pot roast is fairly foolproof, the flavor is somewhat one-dimensional as everything mingles together in the pot. However, if you cook that same chuck roast with low and slow moist heat on a grill or smoker, you get deep smoky flavors that make the beef taste even better.
For this recipe, you simply rub a 3 pound roast with Big Bad Beef Rub, smoke it at 225°F to an internal temperature of 160°F, and then wrap it in foil with a little beef broth to mirror the pot roasting method and help soften the tough connective tissue into rich-tasting collagen. When the meat reaches 205°F, it is as fall apart tender as a pot roast but with a smoky flavor that's perfect for pulled beef sandwiches, tacos, nachos, baked potatoes, and so much more!
Recipe: Pulled Beef Chuck Roast
Makes. 6 to 8 servings.
Takes. 5 minutes of prep. Approximately 8 hours to smoke.
Serve with. Full bodied red wine such as pinot noir or dark beer such as porter or stout.
1 beef chuck roast (approximately 3 pounds)
2 tablespoons Big Bad Beef Rub
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt per pound of meat
1/4 cup beef broth
About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works.
1) Prep. Season the chuck roast with Kosher salt. If you can, give the salt 1 to 2 hours to be absorbed. The process of salting in advance is called dry brining. The rule of thumb is 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat, but you can simply eyeball it by sprinkling on the same amount of salt you would use to season a steak if it was served to you unsalted.
2) Fire up. Prepare a smoker for indirect cooking. Alternatively, you can set up a charcoal grill for 2-zone cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill's charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the smoker or grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F and add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side.
3) Once the smoker or grill is ready, season the chuck roast with Big Bad Beef Rub.
4) Cook. Place the chuck roast on the main cooking grate as far away from the heat source as possible. Set the lid on the grill with the top vent fully open and positioned directly above the chuck roast in order to force the smoke over and around the meat.
5) Allow the chuck roast to smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F. Place the chuck roast on a double layer of aluminum foil, fold the sides of the foil up to create a boat, and pour the beef evenly broth over the meat. Tightly wrap the chuck roast in the foil and return to the smoker.
6) Continue cooking the wrapped chuck roast until it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F.
7) Serve. Remove the chuck roast from the smoker or grill and carefully open the foil to allow steam to escape. Alternatively you can store the wrapped chuck roast in a faux Cambro for up to two hours until ready to serve. Use two forks to shred the chuck roast just prior to serving.