Smoked Chuck Tender Roast Recipe [And What I Would Do Different!]

Smoked Chuck Tender Roast

A “Chuck Tender Roast” is an extremely different cut of beef than a “Chuck Roast” .  While the cooking style is similar for both cuts you are going to end up with different results when you cook a Tender Roast.

Let me show you how I smoked a Chuck Tender Roast and what I would do differently next time.

Smoked Chuck Tender Roast


Smoked Chuck Tender Roast Recipe

Let’s start by looking at this cut so we can set expectations up in advance.  The “Chuck Tender Roast” does come from the Chuck Primal but is very different from a standard “Chuck Roast”.

A Chuck Tender Roast contains multiple muscles, high a high degree on marbling and a ton of collagen filled connective tissue.  As you can see from the picture below, a Tender Roast is a single muscle with very little fat and almost no collagen.  There is no way that a “Tender Roast” can ever be as juicy or succulent as a “Chuck Roast”.

Chuck Tender Roast
This Roast Isn’t Tender!

This is a beautiful cut of beef with an incredibly awful name. 

The name for this cut apparently comes from the fact that it comes from the chuck primal and looks like a beef tenderloin.  Clever, no?  In reality there is nothing tender about this cut; think of it as a tougher version of an eye of round roast.  It is a flavorful but TOUGH piece of meat that has to be cooked low and slow or gently braised in an oven for hours.

General Process for Smoking a Chuck Tender Roast

  • Apply the Dry Rub
  • Smoke at 250F with hickory
  • After three hours wrap in aluminum foil and continue smoking.
  • Pull from pit at an internal temperature of 201F
  • Rest for two hours in a cooler.

For this cook I went with a kicked up salt and pepper rub but if you want something fancy then check out this brisket rub recipe that comes from five BBQ Grand Champions.

I let the salt work into the roast for about an hour and then put it on my at 250F using hickory for smoke.

This roast weighed about two pounds and it cooked up similar to a small brisket flat.  After about three hours at 250F the roast “hit the stall” with an internal temperature of 160F.

To push through the stall, and get some more flavor going, the roast then got wrapped in foil with 1/2 cup of Three Little Pigs Spicy Chipotle Bbq Sauce , was put back on the smoker and cooked another two hours until it reached an internal temperature of 201F.

Dry Rubbed Tender Roast on SmokerOnce the roast hit 201F I took it off the pit, wrapped in in a towel and let it rest in a cooler for two hours.

I sliced this guy up, spooned over the reserved juices from the foil and dug in.  To be honest I was a bit under whelmed.  The beef took almost as long to cook as a brisket but the reward was not worth the effort.

The roast was Angus Choice and while the beef did have some pretty surface marbling there really wasn’t that much fat or collagen in the cut. 

The end product tasted like a smoked chuck roast but didn’t have that glorious melt in your mouth feel that you get from the melted collagen in a standard chuck roast.  This cut cost me over five bucks a pound and I can’t see it ever being as good as the much cheaper options of chuck roast or beef brisket.

If I end up cooking one of these roasts again then I will definitely enhance it with an injection (see my Beef Brisket Injections post for recipes) and will take it up to a higher final temperature (205-210F) to make shredded beef.

Smoked Chuck Tender Roast

Smoked Chuck Tender Roast

A Chuck Tender Roast is seasoned with a simple dry rub and smoked at 250F with hickory.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 375 kcal


  • 1 Chuck tender roast about two pounds
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt Dry Rub
  • 2 tbsp black pepper Dry Rub
  • 1 tsp chili powder Dry Rub
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika Dry Rub
  • 1 tsp turbinado sugar Dry Rub
  • 1/2 cup Spicy BBQ Sauce


  • Combine the dry rub ingredients and mix well
  • Season the roast with the dry rub and allow the meat to rest for at least one hour.
  • Set your smoker to 250F and use hickory or pecan for smoke.
  • Place the chuck tender roast on the smoker and cook for three hours or until the internal temperature reaches 160F.
  • Once the roast hits 160F, wrap it in aluminum foil with the barbecue sauce and continue cooking at 250F.
  • Cook for two more hours or until the internal temperature reaches 205F.
  • Remove the roast from the smoker and let rest in the foil for an hour before slicing thinly across the grain.


I strongly recommend using a brisket injection to get some salt into the center of the roast.  The injection will improve the tenderness and flavor of this cut of beef.
Keyword Smoked chuck tender roast