chuck roasts

I was cleaning out my deep freezer earlier this week and found two chuck roasts left over from the side of beef we got last fall from Bichelmeyer’s Meats, and I thought to myself, “I haven’t made pulled beef in a while, so now’s a great time to make some!”  So, I tossed the two roasts in my catering fridge and let them thaw out in preparation for smoking them yesterday.  And here’s how it went…

Roasts & Rub….

A little yeller’ mustard…

Smooth it around and apply some Oakridge BBQ Competition Beef & Pork rub…

chuck roasts
chuck roasts
chuck roasts

After the meat’s rubbed on all sides, I went out and started getting my 22½” Weber Smokey Mountain ready to go.  Note, there are two charcoal grates in the bottom; the original one that came with the WSM on the bottom and a second one from my 22½” kettle grill set inside the fire ring and oriented 90º from the one below it.  This helps keep the lump charcoal from falling through the grates…

Here’s how I build my fire…  First, I set a few fist-sized hunks of hickory around on the fire grate.  These hunks are dry, I NEVER soak my cooking wood…

Next, in goes the unlit lump.  I make sure to leave a hollowed out spot right next one of the intake vents and I also make sure one of my hunks of hickory is situated there as well.  There’s about 10-12 lbs of unlit lump in the ring…

Now, it’s time to light a half-chimney of lump.  If you don’t have one of these, and you use propane for anything around the house, you should really think about getting one.  It’s a “Light My Fire” brand ferro rod and striker set, otherwise know as a firesteel.


When the lump is going good, dump it into the little hollow you built.

There is a very specific reason I’ve built the fire this way…  Lump burns hotter than briquettes and it’s prone to lighting all at once instead of lighting slowly and burning across (Minion method) which causes your pit temps to soar out of control.  The way I’ve found to combat that problem and still use lump charcoal (because I hate briquettes and refuse to use them) is to build your fire like above.  The lit lump gets dumped into the unlit right in front of an intake vent.  You leave that vent slightly open and then completely shut the other two.  This will only allow oxygen to be fed into the lit spot and helps prevent the rest of the lump from igniting all at once.  Using this method, I was able to maintain a steady 235º top grate temp for over 6 hours.

I use sand in my water pan, so I needed to replace the foil cover before I put my WSM together the rest of the way…

The grill has been assembled, vents set and now it’s keeping a steady temp.  Time to put the meat on…

The rub has setup nicely, time to put them on the grill…

chuck roasts

Here’s a shot at the one hour mark, starting to look juicy…

chuck roasts

I think this was about 3½ hours in, I just flipped them over…

chuck roasts

Bark is starting to form nicely…

chuck roasts

‘Bout another hour and they hit 165º internal and I wrapped them in foil and continued cooking them until they hit about 190º.  I let them rest a while then they were pulled.  Gonna’ make some damn fine sandwiches….

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