Chuck roast is a tough cut of beef the comes from the shoulder. It is usually braised in a heavy, covered pot in the oven until tender, along with vegetables added part way through the cooking process to make a complete, one-pot meal. This cooking method is easily adapted to the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker using a disposable foil pan and aluminum foil.
Thanks to Kevin Taylor, who goes by the nickname "Stogie", for providing this recipe. This article is named in his honor.
Here are some photos I took on February 17, 2007 when I cooked this recipe on the WSM.
As always...click on any of the pictures to view larger images.
Select The Chuck Roast
You'll find a variety of chuck roasts at the supermarket, some boneless, some bone-in, with lots of different names.
For best results, follow these chuck roast selection tips from Food Network celebrity Alton Brown:
I used a USDA Choice, 7-bone chuck roast for this recipe, so called not because it contains seven bones, but because the piece of shoulder blade bone it contains looks like the number seven. This roast can be found in many supermarkets, and any good butcher will know what you want if you ask for a "7-bone roast".
The roast shown in Photo 1 weighed 5.45 pounds. Choose something in the 5-6 pound range for this recipe.
You'll also need a disposable foil pan and aluminum foil wide enough to cover the pan. Make sure to buy a pan that measures 18" or less diagonally so it fits on the WSM top cooking grate.
Season The Meat
My grandfather seasoned his pot roasts very simply—with garlic salt and lots of black pepper. You can season your pot roast any way you like, but Stogie does something interesting by using pre-packaged seasoning mixes—brown gravy, ranch dressing, and Italian seasoning.
Now, I know this sounds like a weird combination, but if you look at the ingredients list on each packet, you see some flavor combinations that start to make sense:
The etcetera part of each packet includes things you can't pronounce and don't know the purpose of, and if you're OK with that, I think you'll like the results. If not, just season your roast with salt, pepper, and maybe some granulated garlic powder.
Photo 2 shows the packets of seasoning I used in this recipe.
Pour the contents of each packet into a small bowl and mix together, as shown in Photo 3. This makes enough seasoning for two roasts, so divide the mixture in half and save half for future use.
Apply the remaining mixture evenly to both sides of the roast, as shown in Photo 4.
Pour 1 cup of beef broth or water over the roast, as shown in Photo 5. No stirring is necessary.
Fire The WSM
Fire-up the cooker using the Minion Method. Fill the charcoal chamber 3/4 full with unlit Kingsford charcoal briquettes, then place 20-40 lit coals on top of the unlit ones.
Put the water pan in the cooker and fill it with cold tap water to help with temperature control.
Cook The Roast
Place 2-3 medium-sized chunks of dry smoke wood on the coals. Use a mild wood—I used three chunks of apple wood.
Assemble the cooker and
place the foil pan on the top grate, as shown in Photo 6. Set the three bottom
vents to 100% open. Open the top vent fully and leave it that way
throughout the entire cook.
Cook the roast uncovered for two hours, then cover with foil and cook for another 5-6 hours until fork tender. Add vegetables and a sprinkling of black pepper during the last 2 hours of cooking, as shown in Photo 7.
I added four
medium-sized potatoes and three carrots that were peeled and cut into
large pieces. I also added one yellow onion that I prepared by cutting
off the stem end, leaving the root end intact, then cutting into
quarters lengthwise and peeling off the outside skin.
Here's how the cooker temperatures and vent settings went during my cook:
Rest Then Serve The Pot Roast
To check the tenderness of the meat, poke it with a fork in several spots and twist. The meat should yield easily to the fork. It will also pull away cleanly from the bone.
Remove the roast from the cooker. Leave covered with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Separate the fat from the liquid in the bottom of the pan and serve as a thin gravy with the meat.
Photo 8 shows the pot roast after a 10 minute rest. Photo 9 shows the pot roast served with potatoes and carrots. Photo 10 shows a close-up view of the meat—dark, tender, and succulent.
I noted in my cooking log that the pot roast looked dark, moist, and very tender. There was a small smoke ring in the meat and plenty of thin gravy in the bottom of the pan. The meat had a subtle smoky flavor, the potatoes were tender, and the carrots were done perfectly and not mushy.
More Beef Chuck Links On TVWB