Need advice smoking a small chuck roast

Bought a chuck roast today with the intention of smoking it with hickory wood chunks for tomorrow’s dinner. (I just put it in a vinegar and olive oil marinade to sit overnight.)

The roast is 2.61lbs. It’s much thicker on one side than the other–about 2 and a quarter inches x 1 and a quarter inches. I’ll be using our standard size Weber Charcoal Grill, and want to use two zone heat for the roast.

  1. Can this work?
  2. Will this work?
  3. How much smoke time do I need to get a fall apart roast?

It will work! The thinner side will cook much faster than the thick side though, so you may want to cut it into two pieces so you can give the thicker piece a head start, or tie it into a more uniform shape if that’s an option. Time will depend on the thickness of the meat and the temperature you maintain on your grill, which will be much less predictable than a dedicated smoker. You’ll need to get it up to an internal temperature of 195-200 to get it to fall apart. If I were you, I’d probably give it a couple of hours of smoke on the grill, then wrap it in foil and bring it inside and finish it in a low oven - you have a lot more control that way, and you don’t have to babysit the coals. Give yourself at least 8 hours, maybe more like 10 to give it adequate resting time.


Thank you for your guidance. I think I’m going to use a small base of lump charcoal as a fire starter. Seems lump charcoal gets much hotter than briquettes and should provide a kick start to the hickory chunks.

The roast has been in the Weber for three hours now, and it looks gorgeous. A bit of shrinkage so far, but tolerable. Have the cover vent open all the way, the kettle vents at about 1 / 2.

Much smoke so far which is thrilling me.

Very good! If I were you I would stop adding wood chips at this point - meat can only take so much smoke, and with a small piece like that you don’t want to risk it tasting like an ashtray. I typically give pork ribs three hours of smoke and a full pork shoulder (8-9 lbs) about 5-6 hours of smoke tops.

I think you just saved the day. (and the roast). Thank you.

1 Like

The roast was terrific!
Three hours smoked in the Weber, three hours in the oven at 225 degrees. Sliced like a dream, and very tasty.

Step one complete–out of the Weber:

The bark was amazing at the conclusion of oven cooking.

1 Like

YUM! That looks amazing.

1 Like