"The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook." Julia Child
Brisket is one of the pillars of low-and-slow barbecue, but it can be a lot of work and a lot of leftovers for a weeknight meal.
In search of something to rival the best Texas brisket but with less effort, I turned to the chuck roast. Taken from the shoulder of the steer directly above the brisket, chuck roast offers as much flavor as its neighboring cut but at a more manageable price and weight.
To mimic cooking brisket the traditional way, I rubbed the chuck roast with a simple combination of salt and pepper then smoked it to an internal temp of 180ºF, which takes about six hours. That internal temp makes the chuck tender yet sliceable like smoked brisket. If you prefer to pull the meat, cook it to an internal temp of 205ºF, as in our recipe for Smoked and Pulled Chuck Roast.
Recipe: Smoked and Sliced Beef Chuck Roast
Makes. 6 to 8 servings.
Takes. 5 minutes of prep. Approximately 6 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)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt per pound of meat
Coarsely ground black pepper
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 sprinkle on a steak.
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 hot 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 in the indirect zone 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 (the indirect side) 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 coarsely ground black pepper.
4) Cook. Place the chuck roast in the indirect zone 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 180°F.
6) Serve. Remove the chuck roast from the smoker or grill. Slice and serve.