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Shredded Barbecued Beef


  • Buy a chuck eye roast weighing 5-6 pound.
  • Cut roast into quarters and trim large areas of fat.
  • Apply rub and refrigerate overnight.
  • Cook at 225-275°F until fork tender.
  • Let rest for 30 minutes before shredding.
  • Mix with your favorite barbecue sauce plus reserved defatted cooking juices.
3 shredded barbecued beef sliders

This recipe is inspired by a segment on Cook’s Country on PBS. They made shredded barbecued beef using a chuck eye roast on a Weber kettle grill, and I’ve adapted it here to the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker.

For this recipe, you’ll need a disposable aluminum pan that fits on the WSM cooking grate. The one shown here came from Walmart. You can use a regular kitchen pan, but you should cover the outside with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier after cooking.

Here’s a description and photos of how I cooked shredded barbecued beef on April 4, 2011.

Select & Prep The Meat

Purchase a USDA Choice beef chuck eye roast weighing 5-6 pounds. The roast shown here weighed 6.39 pounds.

6.39 pound beef chuck eye roast

Cut the roast into quarters. This helps the meat cook faster and creates more surface area for dark, smoky outside meat to form during cooking. Remove any gristle or large areas of fat. I trimmed away the large area of hard fat seen on the top right chunk of meat.

Chuck eye roast cut into quarters

Apply The Rub

Rubbed chuck eye refrigerated overnight

Mix-up this simple Texas-style rub and apply it to the meat. Place in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight.

Shredded Barbecued Beef Rub

  • 1 Tablespoon table salt
  • 1 Tablespoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Fire The WSM

Fire-up the Weber Bullet using the Minion Method—fill the charcoal chamber about 1/2 full with unlit Kingsford Charcoal Briquets and then light 30 briquettes with a Weber chimney starter and spread them over the unlit charcoal.

Smoke The Chuck Eye Roast

Place 2 fist-sized chunks of smoke wood on the hot coals. I used two chunks of apple wood.

Assemble the cooker with the water pan in place and fill it with cool water.

Place the 4 pieces of chuck eye in a foil pan on the top cooking grate. To the extent possible, arrange them to maximize their exposure to the smoke and so they don’t touch one another.

Chuck eye in foil pan goes into WSM

Set the top vent to 100% open and leave it that way throughout the entire cooking process. Start with all 3 bottom vents 100% open. As the cooker approaches 250°F, begin to partially close all 3 bottom vents to maintain 225-275°F. Adjust the bottom vents as needed to maintain this temperature range throughout the cooking process.

After 3 hours of cooking, the meat will look like this.

Chuck eye after 3 hours of cooking

Rearrange the meat in the pan so you can cover it with foil.

Meat covered with foil for 3 hours of cooking

Cook for another 2-3 hours until the meat is fall-apart tender when tested with a fork.

Here’s how the cooker temperatures and vent settings went during my cook:

Time Lid Temp Vent 1 % Vent 2 % Vent 3 %
4:00 pm 100 100 100
4:15 pm 225 100 100 100
4:30 pm 242 100 100 100
4:45 pm 255 75 75 75
5:00 pm 251 75 75 75
5:30 pm 247 75 75 75
6:00 pm 240 75 75 75
6:30 pm 258 75 75 75
7:00 pm 265 75 75 75
7:30 pm 277 75 75 75
8:00 pm 270 75 75 75
8:30 pm 265 75 75 75
9:00 pm 260 75 75 75
10:00 pm 245 75 75 75


Note that the vent percentages represent the way I set the vents at the time indicated.

Rest The Meat & Shred

Remove the meat from the smoker and let rest for 30 minutes so it’s cool enough to handle.

Meat resting before shredding

Pour off the juices and use a fat separator to separate the fat from the rest of the liquid. Discard the fat and reserve 1/4 cup of the defatted cooking juices.

Shred the meat using forks or just your fingers. Remove any large areas of fat or anything you don’t want to eat.

Measure 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, add the 1/4 cup of reserved defatted cooking juices, and heat gently in the microwave. Mix the sauce into the shredded beef.

Shredded beef mixed with barbecue sauce and defatted cooking juices

Serve any way you like—on a plate, in a tortilla, on white bread, or as sliders.

3 shredded barbecued beef sliders Close-up of shredded barbecued beef slider with sauce

More Beef Chuck Links On TVWB

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