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How to Make Smoked Pot Roast on a Traeger Pellet Grill

Learn how to make smoked pot roast on a Traeger pellet grill, following our detailed instructions and recipe below!

We start by partially smoking a chuck roast, then sear it in a blazing hot Dutch oven before  braising with beef stock, wine, and vegetables right on the pellet grill for an out of this world Traeger Smoked Pot Roast!

Let’s Go!

a finished traeger smoked pot roast

When it comes to smoking beef on your Traeger, we’ve already shown how a smoked chuck roast is a great option for beginners, or those looking to feed a crowd without breaking the bank on a prime rib roast or beef tenderloin.

And what better way to take that smoked chuck roast up a notch than to incorporate it into a Traeger Smoked Pot Roast!

You’ve probably seen many a chuck roast thrown into the slow cooker all day to make pot roast.

That’s because low and slow is the BEST way to cook this very affordable cut of beef.

But we are going to add some smokey flavor on the Traeger by smoking the chuck roast for about 90 minutes.

Then we will be searing it to get a nice crusty exterior, and then we will finish cooking it the old fashioned way braising with beef stock, red wine, and vegetables, but right on the Traeger!

 

How to Prepare a Chuck Roast for Traeger Smoked Pot Roast

Trimming the Fat

Leaving a little exterior fat is ok.  But you want to take some time trim away any large pieces and hard chunks on the exterior of your chuck roast before seasoning it.

trimming fat from chuck roast

Depending how it was butchered and packaged, you’ll notice one side may have a thicker “Fat Cap” on it.

It’s OK to leave some of this in place but ideally trim it down to no more than about 1/4 inch of thickness.

After trimming, score through the fat cap with a good knife in 2 perpendicular directions to help the fat underneath render out during the smoking process and allow some more of the rub to penetrate the meat.

 

Best Rubs for Traeger Pot Roast

If you are going for a traditional American pot roast, it’s probably best to keep the rub simple on the chuck roast before you smoke it on the Traeger.

a seasoned chuck roast

You can use a traditional American BBQ rub without too much sugar, or something more exotic or internationally flavored such as a spicy chipotle rub for fajitas.

Now, conventional American BBQ rubs have A LOT of sugar in them as that is what helps form the crusty bark on the exterior of ribs or a pork shoulder as it cooks in the smoker.

Because we are going to sear our smoked pot roast before braising it, we want to stay away from high sugar content rubs that will burn on the outside of the chuck roast.

Stick to more savory beef rub recipes like the one we have at the end of the article that are more heavy on ingredients like paprika, onion and garlic powder, and chili powder rather than sugar.

We are big fans of Bad Byron’s Butt Rub Seasoning on smoked beef, especially smoked steaks, because it is heavy on flavor, and has no sugar.

It also works great anytime you are cooking something like our hot and fast brisket or a whole chicken, and you don’t want a sugary rub to burn at those higher smoking and searing temperatures.

After trimming the fat, cover the chuck roast in a thin layer of cooking oil and then the rub.

Be generous with the amount of rub you put on.

a seasoned chuck roast

Then you can wrap the chuck roast in plastic wrap and put it back in the refrigerator until you are ready to smoke it.

This can even be done the night before to save some time the next day and to let the salt in the rub fully penetrate the meat.

 

The Best Wood Pellets for Traeger Smoked Pot Roast

You have a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing the right wood pellets to smoke your Traeger smoked pot roast.

We will only be adding heavy smoke for the first 90 minutes so you can use more “aggressive” smoke woods like mesquite and hickory that you might not otherwise want to use on a 8-12 hour smoke.

traeger hopper filled with pellets

Alternatively, you can also go for an overall milder smoke flavor by choosing oak or fruitwood pellets.

Pecan, apple, beech, alder, and cherry all give great results on smoked pot roast.

For the best of both worlds, load your empty hopper with a couple pounds of a more aggressive smoking pellet like hickory, and then add a milder wood like oak or apple for the braising portion.

You won’t get much smoke flavor added during the braising portion of the cook anyways so don’t worry too much about what kind of pellets you use as they will mostly be providing heat vs. flavor.

For a straightforward smoke right out of the bag that works great on beef, we are big fans of Bear Mountain Red and White Smoky Oak Pellets

For the best results, store your unused pellets in a sealed room temperature container like this 20 lb pellet container rather than in the Traeger hopper outside.

Traeger pellets do not last forever, but will definitely last a LOT longer if stored indoors in a quality airtight container.

 

How a Traeger Pellet Grill Works

In order to cook ANYTHING well on a Traeger pellet grill, you need to first have a basic understanding of how a pellet grill works.

***Completely New to Using a Traeger Pellet Grill?  No Worries!****

We’ve previously covered how to start a Traeger, how to season a Traeger, how to change the pellets in a Traeger, and even how to troubleshoot a Traeger that won’t ignite.

Or hop over and check out this Complete Guide to Understanding How a Pellet Grill Works first if you are interested in learning more.  We’ll be here when you get back!

 

Add your Hardwood Pellets

First, you add hardwood pellets into the side hopper.

The Traeger pellet grill automatically feeds these small wood pellets via an auger mechanism to a fire pot where they are burned up, providing both heat and smokey flavor.

wood pellets in a traeger grill

The pellet grill automatically controls the flow of pellets depending on your temperature setting so that you maintain an even temperature throughout the entire cook.

 

How to Start up the Traeger

There is a specific start up process for the Traeger brand pellet grills you can read all about in depth here if you aren’t sure how to fire it up the first time.

Otherwise, here is the basic process for how to start a Traeger before throwing on your food:

  • Plug in the grill.
  • Flip the power switch to ON and turn the dial to “Smoke”.
  • You will hear the fan kick on and the auger start to move and begin to kick pellets into the fire pot.  Your fire rod will begin to heat up as well.the fire rod heating up when starting a traeger pellet grill
  • Leave the lid open for about 5-7 minutes until you start to see white billowing smoke come out of the grill.  This happens when the pellets are first igniting.a traeger grill starting to make smoke
  • Once a smoke is being produced, close the lid and change the temperature dial to your desired temperature setting.
  • Allow about 10-15 minutes to preheat the grill.
  • While you are waiting, make sure you’ve got the drip pan in place and the grease bucket hanging to catch any grease that comes out during the cook.
  • Put your grates on if they aren’t already in place.
  • Using a good bristle free grill brush, clean off the grill grates if there is any leftover stuck on food from the last cook.
  • When the pellet grill comes up to temperature go ahead and put on your food!

 

How to Smoke a Pot Roast on a Traeger Pellet Grill

Step 1: Smoke the Chuck Roast

Once your Traeger is humming along at 225°F, put on your seasoned chuck roast directly on the grill grates and close the lid.

a seasoned chuck roast smoking on a traeger pellet smoker

We are going to slow smoke the chuck roast at 225°F for about 90 minutes in order to add some smokey flavor to our Traeger smoked pot roast.

While the chuck roast is smoking, you can prep your vegetables and other ingredients for the braising portion.

 

Step 2: Prepare the Pot Roast Ingredients and Heat up the Dutch Oven

While the pot roast is smoking on the Traeger, you can start chopping your vegetables and measuring out the other ingredients.

Traeger Smoked Pot Roast Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 2 Cups Red Potatoes
  • 2 Cups Sliced Carrots
  • 2 Cups Pearl Onions (frozen are ok)
  • 4 Cups Low Sodium Beef Stock
  • 1 Cup Red Wine or Sherry
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Chopped Thyme
  • 1 7.5 oz Can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Chop and slice your potatoes, carrots, and thyme and have them ready to go.

Now, the next step will be searing the smoked chuck roast before we braise it in the liquid.

This is a very important step to get a nice crusty exterior on the smoked pot roast and give it more texture and flavor.

While you CAN do this completely on the Traeger, and easier option is to heat the oil right in the Dutch Oven you will be eventually be braising in, over HIGH heat on a stovetop burner inside.

Preferably use a HIGH smoke point oil like Grapeseed or Avocado.

If you don’t yet own a Dutch oven, we like the ones from Lodge because they are affordable, very sturdy, the cast iron is already pre-seasoned, and they hold up well on hot grills like a Traeger.

 

Step 3: Sear the Pot Roast

When the Chuck roast has smoked on the Traeger for 90 minutes and the oil in the Dutch oven is hot, take the hot Dutch oven with just the oil in it out to the Traeger and put it on the grill.

searing a pot roast after smoking on a traeger

Switch the Traeger over to DIRECT heat at 275°F and position the Dutch oven with the hot oil in it over the direct heat.

Using a pair of Long-handled BBQ tongs put the smoked chuck roast into the hot Dutch Oven.

Let it sear on each side for about 4-5 minutes, with the lid off the Dutch oven and the Traeger lid open, until it gets a nice dark and crusty exterior.

 

Step 4: Add the Other Pot Roast Ingredients

a smoked pot roast in a dutch oven

Now, remove your chuck roast from the Dutch Oven and place it next to the pot on the Traeger momentarily.

While the Dutch oven is still hot, add your sliced carrots and onions and stir them in the meaty oil for about 5 minutes.

The add your Worchestire sauce and Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and stir for about 1 minute without letting them burn.

Next, pour your Red Wine into the Dutch Oven to deglaze everything and stir for about 1 minute.

Remove the pot from the Direct Heat and switch your Traeger over to INDIRECT Heat, still at 275°F.

Put your smoked and seared chuck roast back into the pot and also add the beef stock, potatoes, rosemary, and thyme.

 

Step 5: Braise the Traeger Smoked Pot Roast

Now put the lid back on the Dutch Oven and close the lid to the Traeger and keep it pegged at 275°F with INDIRECT Heat (like and oven).

It will take about 2-3 more hours for your Traeger smoked pot roast to finish cooking, depending on the size of your roast.

Make sure to use a good temperature probe to keep track of your meat’s temperature while it is cooking.

We are big fans of this one from ThermoPro.

While we have used and recommended ThermoPro for years, lately we have also become big fans of the MEATER leave in thermometer.

It is extremely accurate and has an incredible 165 foot bluetooth range and works right with your smartphone so you don’t need to carry a separate controller around with you like many other remote thermometers require.

It’s got a great free app that is constantly being updated and even has an algorithm to predict how much longer your type of meat will take to cook based on cooking temperature, target temperature, and current internal temperature.

It’s like a GPS for your meat!

Anyways, back to our smoked pot roast…

 

To What Internal Temperature Should the Smoked Pot Roast be Cooked?

You are going to leave your pot roast in the Traeger until it hits 200°F when measured with a good temperature probe or instant thermometer.

Don’t rush it!

Pot roast is not a cut of meat you want to serve medium or even medium well like a nice ribeye roast.

There is too much intramuscular fat and connective tissue that needs to break down and render at higher temperatures.

The pot roast will be tough and unappetizing if you cook and serve it like a tenderloin or prime rib roast.

Smoked pot roast is best served when cooked to 200°F internally, then pulled or shredded.

It will not be fork tender or shred well even if you take it off at 180°F.

If you want, you can flip the the pot roast every hour so that it cooks more evenly in the braising liquid.

 

How to Shred the Traeger Smoked Pot Roast

Once your smoked pot roast reaches 200°F as measured on an instant read thermometer, carefully remove the whole Dutch oven from the Traeger and place it on a heat proof surface.

shredding traeger smoked pot roast in a dutch oven

If there is a lot of fat floating at the top of the liquid, use a spoon to scoop out as much as you can.

You can also remove the rosemary sprigs floating at the top.

Now for shredding the pot roast.

Keeping it right in the Dutch Oven, you can use 2 forks or, better yet, a pair of BBQ Bear Claws to make the job even faster (and fun)!

Once you have pulled the meat, taste test it for seasoning, you may need to add some more salt, or more beef stock if it dried out a little.

Add a little salt at time, mixing it in and re-taste testing as you go.

As you shred the beef it should start to soak up more and more of that beef stock which will impart more saltiness too.

The best part about a Traeger smoked pot roast is you have all your side dishes already incorporated!

But if you want, you can serve some crusty bread alongside to help soak up more of the delicious juices.

Serve it up hot and enjoy!

 

What Else Can I Smoke on my Traeger Pellet Grill?

Looking for some more smoky inspiration for that new Traeger?

the traeger ironwood 885

So glad you asked.

Check out some of our other great recipes of smoked and grilled food to try out at your next outdoor BBQ!

Some are Traeger specific but they can all easily be adapted to be made on a Traeger pellet grill.

Pork

 

Beef

 

Seafood

 

Poultry

 

Lamb

 

Other Odds and Ends

 

a finished traeger smoked pot roast

Traeger Smoked Pot Roast

We start by partially smoking a chuck roast, then sear it in a blazing hot Dutch oven before braising it with beef stock, wine, and vegetables right on the pellet grill for an out of this world Traeger Smoked Pot Roast!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Christmas, Holiday, Irish, New Years, Smoked
Servings 6 people
Calories 850 kcal

Equipment

  • Traeger Pellet Grill
  • Traeger Wood Pellets
  • Large Dutch oven
  • Long Handled BBQ Tongs
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Large forks or a Pair of BBQ Bear Claws
  • Internal Meat Thermometer
  • Plastic Wrap

Ingredients
  

  • 3-4 lb Boneless Chuck Roast
  • 4 Tbsp Cooking Oil preferably Grapeseed or Avocado

Beef Rub

  • 3 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cayenne optional for spice

Pot Roast Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Sliced Carrots
  • 2 Cups Pearl Onions thawed
  • 1 7.5 oz Can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Cup Red Wine or Sherry
  • 4 Cups Low Sodium Beef Broth or Stock
  • 2 Cups New Red Potatoes (Quartered with skin on)
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Minced Thyme

Instructions
 

Preparing the Chuck Roast

  • Trim any excess fat from the exterior of the chuck roast. Trim any fat cap down to 1/4" thickness. Score the fat cap with a meat knife in 2 directions perpendicular to each other.
    trimming the fat off a chuck roast

Apply the Beef Rub

  • In a bowl, mix all the dry beef rub ingredients. This includes the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, onion powder and garlic powders. Mix it all to make the dry rub.
    mixing beef rub ingredients together in a bowl
  • Cover your chuck roast with a thin layer of olive oil then generously apply your rub to coat the entire exterior of the meat.
    a seasoned chuck roast
  • Wrap your chuck roast in plastic wrap and place it back in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Start the Traeger Pellet Grill

  • Load the hopper of the Traeger with your chosen wood pellets.
    traeger ironwood 885 full hopper of wood pellets
  • Turn on the Traeger and move the dial to the "Smoke" setting.
  • Leave the lid open for 5-7 minutes until you start seeing white billowing smoke coming out of the grill. This means the initial pellets are igniting.
    traeger pellet grill making thick white start up smoke
  • Close the lid and turn the temperature dial to 225°F. Allow 10-15 minutes for the grill to come up to temperature.
    setting the traeger pellet grill to 225 degrees F

Smoke the Chuck Roast

  • Remove the chuck roast from the refrigerator and from the plastic wrap. Add some additional leftover rub if any came off, and when the smoker is producing smoke, place your meat directly on the grates.
  • Set a timer for 90 minutes and close the lid to the Traeger.
    a seasoned chuck roast smoking on a traeger pellet smoker

Prepare the Pot Roast Ingredients

  • While the pot roast is smoking on the Traeger, you can start chopping your vegetables and measuring out the other ingredients.
  • Chop and slice your potatoes, carrots, and thyme and have them ready to go.

Sear the Smoked Pot roast

  • Heat 4 Tbsp of cooking oil in the Dutch Oven over HIGH heat on a stovetop burner inside.
  • When the chuck roast has smoked on the Traeger for 90 minutes and the oil in the dutch oven is hot, take the hot Dutch oven with just the oil in it out to the Traeger and put it on the grill.
  • Switch the Tragere over to DIRECT heat at 275°F and position the Dutch oven with the oil in it over the direct heat.
  • Using a pair of Long-handled BBQ tongs put the smoked chuck roast into the hot Dutch Oven.
  • Let it sear on each side for about 4-5 minutes, with the lid off and the Tragere lid open, until it gets a nice dark and crusty exterior.
    searing a pot roast after smoking on a traeger

Adding Other Ingredients Braising the Smoked Pot Roast

  • Now remove your chuck roast from the Dutch Oven and place it next to the pot on the Traeger momentarily.
  • While the Dutch Oven is still hot, add your sliced carrots and onions and stir them in the meaty oil for about 5 minutes.
  • Then add your Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and Worchestire Sauce and stir for about 1 minute without letting them burn.
  • Next, pour your Red Wine or sherry into the Dutch Oven to deglaze everything and stir for about 1 minute, making sure to scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Remove the pot from the Direct Heat and switch your Traeger over to INDIRECT Heat, still at 275°F.
  • Put your smoked and seared chuck roast back into the pot and also add the beef stock, potatoes, rosemary, and thyme.
    a smoked pot roast in a dutch oven

Braising the Smoked Pot Roast on the Traeger

  • Now put the lid back on the Dutch Oven and close the lid to the Traeger and keep it pegged at 275°F with Indirect Heat (like and oven).
  • It will take about 2-3 more hours for your Traeger smoked pot roast to finish cooking, depending on the size of your roast.
  • Make sure to use a good temperature probe to keep track of your meat’s temperature while it is cooking.
  • Leave your pot roast in the Traeger until it hits 200°F internally when measured with a good temperature probe or instant thermometer.

Finishing the Smoked Pot Roast

  • Once your smoked pot roast reached 200°F as measured on an instant read thermometer, carefully remove the whole dutch oven from the Traeger and place it on a heat proof surface.
  • If there is a lot of fat floating at the top of the liquid, use a spoon to scoop out as much as you can. You can also remove the rosemary sprigs floating at the top.
  • Pull your smoked pot roast using a pair or forks or bear claws. Discard any large pieces of fat and the bone.
    shredding traeger smoked pot roast in a dutch oven
  • After you finish pulling the smoked pot roast, taste for saltiness At that point, if it still needs more salt just add salt and pepper, or more beef stock if it has gotten too dry.

Nutrition

Calories: 850kcal
Keyword bbq, bbq beef, Beef, Beef Rub, Pellet Grill Pot Roast, Pot Roast, smoked beef roast, Smoked Pot Roast, traeger, Traeger Pot Roast, Traeger Recipes, Traeger Smoked Beef Roast
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