If you love a good smoked brisket, then you will love his smaller cousin, smoked chuck roast. I have heard of others smoking different cuts of beef as an alternative to brisket, including chuck roast, and I had to give this a try. I love brisket, but it can be a large investment of time and money as well. Usually you are going to pay at least $30 and more likely $50 for a good brisket. I found this beautiful 2.5 lb chuck roast for $14. Quite the steal, considering the highly marbled beef that will render down into tender delicious brisket like morsels.
Picking out a Chuck Roast to Smoke
When choosing your chuck roast, look for piece that is very thick and highly marbled with fat. Most of the fat will disappear over the 10 hours it will take to smoke the chuck roast, so you want a good amount of fat in this cut of meat. The key is finding awesome marbling, vs large veins or chunks of fat within the chuck roast. Its OK to have some of the larger pieces of fat, as its hard to avoid… but look for the best cut with the best marbling. The piece I found was 2.5 lbs, but try to get a thicker cut that is in the 3″ thick range….. giving you a starting weight of 3.5 lbs or more.
Preparing the Chuck Roast for Smoking
Because this is a smaller piece of meat, we are not going to cut any fat off of it. This is subjective depending on your chuck roast, so make the call that you are most comfortable with.
Next, we are going to season the beef with a salty spicy rub that will soak into the chuck roast as we smoke it for 10 hours over indirect heat. This rub is on the spicier side, but it will mellow out over the duration of the cook. The end result is nice back end heat with each bite. If you do not care for any heat at all, then you can omit the jalapeno powder and cayenne pepper. Either way, season the chuck roast heavily on the top and bottom and less heavily on the sides.