Poor Man’s Brisket: Smoked Chuck Roast Recipe

This ‘Poor man’s brisket: Smoked Chuck Roast recipe’ is a post that talks about making the best-smoked beef using cheap ingredients and easy methods to make the food.

 Brisket is one of the best cuts of meat that you can find. I love cooking them in Pit Boss pellet grills or the Big Green Egg for more flavor unlike in ovens.

It has beautiful marbling, which means that it will not dry out too easily when you cook it, whether with high heat or low temperatures. 

However, it is also one of the most in-demand cuts of beef like pot roast.

You rarely get brisket in a butcher shop if you are late as it is one of the cuts sold or looked after by many customers.

That is why we have this recipe that uses another cut of meat instead of brisket.

What is a poor man’s brisket?

The chuck is one of the best substitutes you can cook if you run out of brisket from the market.

There are also other cuts of beef that you can buy, but nothing goes as well as the chuck.

It resembles the brisket in terms of texture, and you also get the same flavor with this cut of meat.

So we have come up with a recipe that you can cook at home if you do not have brisket.

Make sure to follow the smoked chuck roast recipe and even edit the recipe once you have mastered the basics of the recipe.


How to make the poor man’s brisket: Recipe



  • 5-pound Beef Chuck Roast
  • Butcher’s Twine
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Half teaspoon of chili powder


Step 1: Prepare The Chuck Roast

Wash and defrost the chuck roast by running it under cold water.

Make sure to wash it properly and make sure that you remove the small pieces of bones.

Dry the chuck roast with paper towels and then secure it with butcher’s twine.

Make a grid using the butcher’s twine using a piece on the circumference and then 3 to 4 around the chuck roast.


Step 2: Season The Chuck Roast

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and then whisk it to remove chunks. You can also use a dry rub for this like most dry rubs that you would use in other cuts of meat.

Dry rubs are harder to absorb but since you will be cooking it for a long time, it will be effective. Pot roast is also good as the liquid seasoning can enter better but pot roast might be too much.

Rub the mixture on the chuck roast and then use your hands to massage the seasoning into the meat. If you use pot roast, make sure to let the beef cut soak but not for too long.

Cover the seasoned chuck roast with plastic wrap and then let it rest for four hours in the refrigerator.

You can also go overnight when you have the time.


Step 3: Prepare The Smoker

Heat about half of the charcoals that you usually use when grilling with your Big Green Egg. You can also use the Pit Boss pellet grills or an electric smoker but I do not recommend it in ovens.

You can soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes before cooking, but this is only optional and more common for electric smokers. Pit Boss pellet grills do not usually need this but it can help slow the process down.

Place the wood chips on top of the charcoals and then set the temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the smoker preheat for 15 minutes with the lid closed to distribute heat evenly.


Step 4: Smoke The Chuck Roast

 Place the chuck roast in the center of the smoker or pellet grill and then palace a pan filled with water under it.

This will help the chuck roast stay moist during the long cooking process. 

Insert a meat probe into the thickest part of the chuck roast and then close the lid to let the smoke and heat cook it.

Put some more of the wood chips in the firebox if it needs more smoke.

Do not open the lid of the smoker to make the heat even.

This will take about 6 to 8 hours, so make sure you have enough wood chips to keep the smoke working inside. 

Once the meat probe reads about 190 degrees Fahrenheit to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for internal temperature, remove the smoked chuck roast from the smoker.

I suggest removing it 10 degrees before it hits that internal temperature.

Let the chuck roast rest from 30 minutes to an hour once it gets to the set internal temperature.

 By letting it rest, the meat will cook further, make the internal temperature rise, and let the juice return to the meat to become more tender and juicier.

Slice the chuck roast and then serve it on sandwiches or as it is.


How Do You Cook Poor Man’s Brisket?

If you are talking about the recipe itself, then we have it above.

The timing and the temperature are very important when cooking a poor man’s brisket to make it tender and juicy. 

Make sure that you cook it in a good smoker to get all the flavors you want and never in ovens.

There is no need to turn the chuck roast when cooking as the smoker should even have heat distribution. 

If you want medium doneness on the chuck roast, the meat probe should read 160 degrees Fahrenheit. At 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat should be well-done.

Even if you can do it in ovens, you will not get the same flavors that you want.


How Do You Make Brisket Tender And Moist?

Cooking brisket for a long time will help in making it tender.

You need to understand that there are fibers in the meat called collagen that needs to melt to make the meat tender.

You can do this by cooking the meat for hours and using just the right heat to cook it through.

It is a more complicated process when it comes to making the brisket juicy.

To do this, you will need to make the cooking environment good for juicy finishes.

You can put a pan filled with water under the brisket to create steam that keeps the meat juicy.

You can also place the brisket fat side up when smoking it to let the fat melt and get the juices into the meat.

Letting the brisket rest is also an important step to make the brisket juicier.


How Do You Smoke Brisket So It Falls Apart?

A brisket that falls apart is not the easiest way to cook it.

I also do not recommend cooking brisket until it becomes too soft as the texture would be too off, and it will quickly dry out. 

However, if you want to make the brisket tender, you need to cook it the right way.

Let the brisket sit in its seasoning to start tenderizing it and then cooking it for a long time.

High temperature and fast cooking methods will not make the brisket tenderize.

It will only harden the crust and possibly leave the insides cold and raw when cooking.

 Smoking or slow and low cooking makes sure that the heat gets into the middle of the brisket without bringing it. Smoking the brisket for 6 to 8 hours will give you a very tender finish.


Which Cut Of Meat Can I Use Instead Of Brisket?

 Cooking brisket needs money not only for the cut of meat itself but also with the cooking process and the proper smoker you would use to cook the brisket properly.

While there are many ways to adjust your grill or smoker to make it perfect for cooking brisket, there are not many cuts of meat that you can use as a substitute for briskets. 

You can use chuck roast as a substitute for brisket.

This cut has almost the same texture and flavor as the thickness is close to the brisket and will give out the same toughness. 

Ribs are also a good cut of meat to substitute a brisket with because of the similarity in flavors.

They both give off meaty flavors that is enhanced by the seasonings you use with them.


Does Brisket Get More Tender The Longer You Cook It? 

One thing you need to remember is that there is a limit when it comes to cooking brisket.

The longer you cook it, it does get more tender but you need to know when to stop the process.

To get the most tender result, it takes about 6 to 8 hours to cook the brisket at 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are also other ways to make sure that the brisket is tender.

Letting it rest by wrapping it in foil can help make it more tender.

This keeps the heat in the brisket, cooks it further with the juices, and makes it even more tender afterward.


Do You Cook Brisket Fat Side Up Or Down?

This depends on the type of smoker that you use. Cooking with the proper orientation can prevent burnt ends as burnt ends are pretty common with chuck roast.

If you are using a vertical smoker, I recommend cooking the brisket fat side down to protect the meat from the heat.

When using an offset smoker, the fat side-up technique is a great way to cook the brisket.

It helps get the juices from the fat drip into the meat and make it juicier when cooked.

Smokers get even heat when cooking, so you do not have to flip the brisket. 

However, if you think that one side is burning up, you should flip the brisket over.


Should I Cut Fat Off Brisket Before Cooking? 

This depends on personal preferences, and you do not need to cut off the fat from the brisket. However, I do not recommend removing all the fats from the meat.

Trimming some of the fats is a more appropriate way to put it as the fats can help in preventing burnt ends and making the roast tender.

You would want to leave some of the fat caps in the meat to get a juicy finish on the brisket when cooked. 

This is especially true when smoking for cooking the meat for a long time as it tends to dry up. So make sure that you leave some fats on the meat before cooking it.


What If My Brisket Is Too Big For My Smoker?

The easiest solution for this is to cut the brisket into two so the two pieces can fit in the smoker.

You can put one cut under the other to still get that even heat throughout the meat.

 Never put one cut under a different tray as it will not receive the same amount of heat as the other.

You need to make sure that the brisket is cooked evenly and properly.

So palace the cuts side by side or place one on top of the other but never on a different rack level. 

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