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pulling a smoked chuck roast for pulled beef

Smoked Chuck Roast in an Electric Smoker

Chuck Roast rubbed with a savory rub smoked low and slow in an electric smoker and finished in a braising broth before pulling the beef to make deliciously smoked pot roast.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time 8 hrs
Resting Time 20 mins
Total Time 10 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Australian, BBQ, Chinese, Mexican, Smoked
Servings 8
Calories 400 kcal


  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Aluminum Foil Trays
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Smoking Wood chips
  • Large forks or a Pair of BBQ Bear Claws
  • Internal Meat Thermometer
  • Electric Smoker
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Fat separator
  • Spray Bottle (optional)


  • 3-4 lb Chuck Roast
  • Olive Oil or Yellow Mustard to apply rub with
  • 3 Tbsp of Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbsp of ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp of paprika
  • 1 Tbsp of garlic powder
  • ½ Tbsp of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of cayenne (optional, for spice)
  • 3 Cups Beef Broth or Stock 1 cup set aside for spraying (optional)
  • ½ Yellow Onion, peeled and sliced


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.
    raw chuck roast before smoking
  • In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. This includes the salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, onion powder and garlic powders. Mix it all to make the dry rub. Keep in mind you can always buy your own dry rub or use your own recipe. It’s up to you.
  • Cover your chuck roast with a thin layer of olive oil or yellow mustard, then generously apply your rub to coat the entire exterior of the meat.
    seasoning a chuck roast to smoke
  • Wrap your chuck roast in plastic wrap and place it back in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Set up the Electric Smoker

  • Plug in and turn on your electric smoker. Set the temperature to 225°F.
  • Fill your water pan. Make sure all your vents are open.
  • When the smoker has come up to temperature, place your chosen wood chips in the wood chip loader and insert it back into the smoker.
    adding wood chips to a masterbuilt electric smoker

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 top rack.
  • Place a disposable aluminum pan a rack below to catch any drips. Place your thermometer inside the roast making sure to not touch the bone.
    setting up elctric smoker with drip tray for chuck roast
  • Set the timer to 8 hours and close the door to the smoker. Every hour you can optionally spray the exterior of the meat with some beef broth for additional moisture and flavor, however this may add to the cooking time.
    smoked chuck roast in an electric smoker
  • Your meat will take on average 1.5-2 hours total to cook per pound. You can empty and refill more wood chips for the first 1-3 hours.

Braising the Chuck Roast for Smoked Pot Roast

  • When the internal temperature of the meat hits about 150-155°F, likely after about 3-4 hours, remove it from the smoker and place in an empty aluminum foil pan.
    smoked chuck roast braising in an electric smoker
  • Turn the electric smoker up to 250°F.
  • Pour 2-3 cups of the beef broth and the sliced onions into the pan with the chuck roast until the liquid comes up about an inch up the side of the roast.
    braising liquid around a smoked chuck roast
  • Replace the thermometer into the meat and then cover the whole pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place back in the smoker. There is no need to use additional wood chips after this point.
    covering chuck roast with aluminum foil
  • Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches between 197°-203°F. You can open up the pan and flip the roast over once after about 90 minutes then replace into the smoker.
  • Once the internal temperature hits 197°-203°F, remove the roast from the smoker and place in an empty aluminum pan. Let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

Resting and Pulling the Beef

  • While the roast is resting, skim out the onions and pour the braising liquid from the pan into a fat separator and let it cool.
  • Pull your smoked chuck roast using a pair or forks or bear claws. Discard any large pieces of fat and the bone.
    shredding smoked chuck roast
  • After you finish pulling the smoked pot roast, taste for saltiness and add a small amount of the braising liquid from the fat separator at a time, mixing and tasting as you add, until the smoked pot roast is as moist as you desire it to be. At that point, if it still needs more salt just add salt and pepper, not more liquid. Save any extra braising liquid for reheating leftovers the next day.
  • Serve immediately, with or without the onions, or incorporate into another recipe requiring smoked pulled or shredded beef.
    assembling pulled beef sandwiches from smoked chuck roast out of electric smoker



Video courtesy of How to BBQ Right.
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