A Beef Picnic – Smoked Pot Roast Recipe
While the star of most barbecues is pork, whether it be in rib, shoulder, dog, or another form, one mustn't overlook beef. Even beyond steak, beef can be a fantastic option for smoking in many of the same ways you'd go about smoking other meats. For example, while the chuck steak is often roasted in a pot (hence, pot roast), it's also perfect for dropping onto a smoker.
If you've ever wanted to spice things up at your next barbecue or picnic, then try this recipe for a smoked pot roast. We'll cover everything you'll need plus how to cook it, so let's get started.
What You Need
In order to follow this recipe and smoke your own pot roast, you'll need to grab a few ingredients and tools first. They are:
Once you've gotten everything together, you're ready to start the recipe.
Step 1: Season the Meat
The key to a good smoke is to season your meat the night before. This lets your beef absorb more of the spices and dries the outside of the meat, leading to a crispier crust and more developed flavors.
Mix up your spice rub using the above listed ingredients and apply liberally to the outside of your meat, rubbing into every crevice until fully coated. Place your baking rack into a container or pan, then set your beef on top. Store in the refrigerator uncovered overnight.
Step 2: Light the Smoker
Around half an hour before you're set to cook, take your beef out of the fridge. Pat the outside dry with paper towels, then let it sit and warm up as you begin lighting your smoker. Additionally, if you're using wood chips instead of chunks, soak them in hot water at this time.
Fill your smoker with charcoal before lighting it, closing the lid and adjusting the air vents to get it to burn hot. Once the smoker has had a chance to heat up and coals have burnt to a lower temperature, add on your wood, fill the water tank, and place on the grate, closing it up again to let smoke and steam build up.
Adjust your vents once more to keep the temperature around 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Prep the Vegetables
While you might be smoking the meat, it's still a pot roast. To keep true to the name, you'll be roasting the beef near the end of cooking. During this time, you can make good use of your resources and cook some vegetables to go along with your barbecue.
Peel the carrots, potatoes, garlic, and onions before chopping them into chunks along with the celery. Keep them in a plastic container or bag for the time being.
Step 4: Smoke the Meat
With your preparation taken care of, it's finally time to smoke the beef. Place your meat onto the smoker grates and close the lid. As your meat cooks, make sure to monitor the levels of charcoal, wood, and water left in the smoker, refilling as needed and adjusting the air vents to maintain the target temperature.
While cooking, be careful not to let the outside of the beef burn. If it's starting to become too dark or spots are beginning to burn, wrap the outside of the meat loosely in aluminum foil and continue cooking like that. Around two hours in, begin checking your meat's temperature. Once it hits 160 degrees Fahrenheit or so, you'll be ready to move on to the next step.
Step 5: Smoke the Vegetables
Once your meat has hit the right temperature, you can start cooking your vegetables. Just add about two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Then, add the vegetables with a pinch of salt, sautéing for a few minutes until lightly roasted.
Add beef stock and your fresh herbs to the pan and continue cooking, scraping up any browned bits of vegetable that stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Once the stock begins to simmer, transfer the contents of the skillet into an aluminum baking pan. Place the pan into the smoker and let it cook alongside your meat, absorbing the smoky flavor for the next thirty minutes or so.
Step 6: Roast the Meat
After about a half hour, take your beef and place it inside the pan on top of some of the vegetables. Baste the top of the meat in the stock before covering the pan with aluminum foil. Continue cooking your meat this way until the internal temperature reads 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you hit that, your meat is done.
Step 7: Rest the Meat
When you take the beef off the heat, wait at least half an hour before digging in (for even better results, an hour or longer). This lets the meat relax as the residual heat spreads throughout the dish. The end result will be a more tender, juicy piece of beef.
Step 8: Serve the Meat
Once you've given your beef a chance to rest, it's time to eat. With meat that's so tender it's nearly falling apart and deliciously smoky roasted vegetables on the side, this dish is sure to be a hit at your next picnic. Slice off pieces, shred it for sandwiches, or any other way you like it, your smoked pot roast will taste great.
By following this guide, you should have no problem making your own smoked pot roast that's sure to impress your friends and neighbors at any get together. If you liked this recipe, make sure to leave a comment down below to let us know, as well as any tips you've got related to smoking or roasting beef.
And remember to share this page (and your leftovers) with a friend in need of a serious barbecue boost.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Pot Roast?
Pot roast doesn’t refer to a specific cut of meat. Rather, it is describes the process of turning a large, tough cut of meat (usually beef) and cooking it low-and-slow in a pot.
What is the Best Cut of Beef for Pot Roast?
Our favorite cut of beef for pot roast is the chuck roast. Chuck is naturally 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat. That gives you enough fat to keep the roast juicy as it cooks, and it will definitely make the roast taste more tender. It’s not too much fat that it will taste fatty, though. It also has a nice, beef-forward flavor that comes out beautifully as it braises in the cooking liquid.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Beef Chuck Roast?
Chuck roast takes a long time to smoke because you’re cooking it at the low temperature of 200 to 250 degrees F. Depending on the size of your chuck roast, it can take anywhere from 4 to 5 hours until the chuck roast is fully cooked.
What Temperature Do You Smoke a Chuck Roast?
There are two stages of smoking a chuck roast: first, you take it to 155 degrees F. Then, you wrap it in foil (or, place it in a covered pot for braising) and continue cooking it until it reaches 190 degrees F. This will ensure the most tender pot roast imaginable.
How Do You Serve Pot Roast?
After allowing it to rest, you can slice the pot roast into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces. You always want to slice pot roast against the grain so it’s as tender as possible. Then, place the roasted vegetables on a platter and top them with the pot roast slices. Ladle some of the pan sauce over the platter (and, serve some extra on the side because it’s so good) and you’re ready to serve!