how to smoke a chuck roast in less than 4 hours for some sexy shredded beef
in the past, i have had success using the high heat method for smoking brisket. after i made that discovery, i pretty much decided i would never spend 12+ hours smoking a brisket again. so, when i wanted to smoke a chuck roast today for shredded beef, i arrived at the brilliant idea to apply the same technique here. now, to be fair, traditional smoked chuck roast does not take as long as a brisket, but.. still. so with that in mind, i smoked a chuck roast for some delicious shredded beef.
get a chuck roast
get yourself the best quality chuck roast available to you & to your budget- grass fed/local if possible.
then, cut it up into several large pieces to help it cook faster. plus, more surface area = more bark. remember that. give it a generous coating of kosher salt & pepper. add other spices if you feel like it. i did not. smoked chuck roast has a pretty excellent flavor. just saying.
play with fire
after you empty out the ash from last time & foil the water pan, throw some charcoal in your chimney starter & light it up. the amount you use depends on the size of your smoker. i have the little guy, so if i fill my chimney all the way, & still want to put a small pile in the chamber before i dump the lit ones, i have not really got any room & the charcoal will be pressing against the water pan. so, i filled my chimney about halfway & lit it up. i also like to open up my vents now, so i do not end up forgetting later. the top vent & all 3 bottom vents need to be 100% open, as the idea here is to keep this thing rolling as hot as possible.
make a protein shake
once your charcoal is going, go back inside & make yourself a refreshing protein shake while you wait. okay, or not. consider it though 🙂
the charcoal will be ready in about 15 minutes or so. flames shooting up through the coals is what you want to see, not all covered in white ash like with grilling.
smoke that chuck
pour some unlit charcoal into the bottom of the chamber, then dump the hot ones on top. get your thermometers all hooked up, set up the smoker with the empty water pan, then toss your smoke wood on the coals. i used a mixture of mesquite & hickory, & a lot of it, because it is delicious. however, some may find the taste to be “too strong” or “too smokey” or something else ridiculous, so adjust your amount & type of wood as needed. also, stop hanging out with those people. then, throw your beef on the top grate, close it up, & go watch preseason football (!!!).. with your thermometer monitor close by, of course.
an hour after i closed the lid, my temperature inside had not broken 300F, so i went & opened the door to help raise the temperature. you only need to open it for a few minutes & it will heat things up pretty quickly. no need to worry about losing smoke because by this point the chuck has taken the majority of what it is going to take, as far as smoke flavor.
walk the dog
alright, time to take meatloaf for a walk while the WSM does its thing, now that the sun has gone down & its less than 500F outside.
no, i did not put that kingsford bag there on purpose, i really do just have bags of charcoal everywhere.
probe the chuck
when i got back, the meat clock was at about 3.75 hours of smoke time. i started checking temperatures with the thermopop, & was reading low-mid 190s throughout. good enough for me to call it. pulled it off the smoker, took it inside to rest.
rest the chuck
while the chuck was resting, i figured i would eat dinner, AKA have a giant pile of smoked chuck from last week.. is that normal?
smoked chuck roast in a rick bayless dish that called for shredded beef, except he called for boiling it. no. alongside is a zucchini side dish, from the same rick bayless cookbook. i like to get a cookbook & then use only that cookbook for a while.
shred that smokey chuck
mesquite smoked shredded chuck roast, high heat method. man, my house smells good right now..
comparing the results last week from the traditional method with these results, i would honestly have to say i prefer the low & slow chuck. this method did work, & work well, but the meat definitely lost some of its tenderness as compared to the other beef. it did have a really nice solid bark though. in this case, with the time savings only being 2 hours or so, i do not think it is worth what is sacrificed in the product [do not misunderstand- they are both unbelievably delicious]. i would have to recommend the traditional low & slow method.
what is your favorite way to use shredded beef? even better, what are you smoking today?