Smoked Beef Chuck Roast Tacos Recipe

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Learn how to smoke pulled beef and make chuck roast tacos that are tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor for a meal you'll remember.

Firing the Gateway Drum Smoker

To cook the chuck roasts, I'm using Chef's Select 100% hardwood charcoal briquettes. I filled the basket about 1/3 of the way (I'm guessing 8–10 pounds), and it was plenty to accommodate the time and temperature for this cook. My target temperature was 275 degrees F for the first phase of the cook, then 350 degrees for the second part.

Steps for Firing the Gateway

  • Add charcoal to the basket, nestle a couple of wax fire starters into the charcoal, and light them.
  • Leave the lid off and the vents fully open for about 30 minutes to give the charcoal a boost of air as it's lighting.
  • Add several chunks of smoking wood or a fistful of smoking wood pellets to the fire (optional).
  • Replace the diffuser place and cooking grates.
  • Close the lid and adjust the vents to about 25% open and adjust them as needed to fine-tune the temperature to 275 degrees F.

The Gateway drum smoker holds a steady temperature if you keep the lid shut. If you open the lid for more than a few minutes, the temperature can spike 50 degrees or even more. When this happens it will take a while for it to drop again, so it's a lot easier to work your way up than to lower the temperature.

Lighting the fire starters

Waiting for the charcoal to light

Diffuser plate in place

Reasons to Consider a Gateway Drum Smoker:

  • Basic design doesn't require electronics or a lot of moving parts.
  • It cooks large cuts of meat on one load of fuel.
  • It holds a steady temperature if you don't open the lid for too long.
  • It holds a bunch of meat for the space it takes, especially with a rib hanger rack.

Preparing the Meat

When shopping for meat, keep in mind that the best ones have marbling throughout the roast. I found some nice chuck roasts from Sam's Club and the ones I picked out were an average of about 2 pounds each.

Simply unwrap the meat and season the entire surface with your favorite beef seasoning. I used Lane's Brisket Rub.

Packs of two chuck roasts from Sam's Club

Gateway coming up to temperature

Beautiful roast

One of my favorite beef rubs

Seasoning the meat

Need barbecue supplies? Visit us at 140 W Main Street in New Holland, PA (store hours at the bottom of this page) for rubs, sauces, thermometers, gloves, gadgets, charcoal, pellets, and everything else you need to cook outdoors. You can also browse hundreds of products in our online catalog.

Smoking the Chuck Roasts

To make pulled beef from the chuck roasts, we're going to smoke them for a while, then finish them in a covered pan with beef broth to tenderize them the rest of the way.

Once the smoker is ready, set the meat on the grate and cook them at 275 degrees until they develop a nice color and reach at least 160 degrees. I moved these to a pan after a couple of hours in the smoke, then cooked them another 4 hours.

Roasts in the smoker

Closing the smoker

Cruising along

Beautiful color

Ready to wrap

A hand-held instant read thermometer is essential for cooking outdoors. We carry a full line of high quality thermometers from Thermoworks.

Braising the Chuck Roasts

Transfer the roasts to a pan and add a quart of beef broth, chopped onion (1 small onion), and chopped garlic (3 cloves). Cover the pan with foil, set the meat back in the smoker, and adjust the vents to raise the temperature to 350 degrees.

Broth and chopped garlic

Adding the broth to the pan
Ready to cover

Back on smoker

My sweet little drum smoker

Purring along

The smoker has two vents for bottom intake and a stack in the lid

Pulling the Beef

Once the beef is probe tender, it should be ready to pull (200 degrees internal temperature or higher).

Bears Paws make it easy to pull beef roasts. If you have a set of Bear Paws, I would recommend pulling it while it's still just a little bit "tight" in some parts to avoid drying out the meat. You can test it in the pan if you don't poke a hole into the pan. 

Mix the pulled beef with the juices and transfer it to a bowl for serving.

Getting close to ready

By the time it was ready to pull, I had already pulled some of it to see if it was tender.

Beautiful, tender, and juicy pulled beef

Pulling the beef with Bear Paws

The pulled beef was very juicy and tender!

Great for pulling beef, moving hot roasts, and more.

Making the Tacos

This is where it gets really personal. There are dozens of awesome ways to build beef tacos, so feel free to use whatever you like. Our family enjoys eating them with chopped lettuce and onion, diced tomato, shredded cheese, sour cream, and guacamole.

Tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor

Time to eat!

Tacos are fun because you can design them to fit your tastes.

What do you think?

Reasons to Consider a Gateway Drum Smoker:

  • Basic design doesn't require electronics or a lot of moving parts.
  • It cooks large cuts of meat on one load of fuel.
  • It holds a steady temperature if you don't open the lid for too long.
  • It holds a bunch of meat for the space it takes, especially with a rib hanger rack.

Chuck Roast Tacos

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course

Equipment

  • Gateway Drum Smoker
  • Bear Paws
  • Disposable Full Size Pan
  • Aluminum Foil

Ingredients
  

  • Chuck roasts 2-pound
  • Lane's Brisket Rub
  • 32 ounces beef broth
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic chopped

Instructions
 

  • Fire the smoker at 275 degrees.
  • Season the roasts with Lane's Brisket Rub.
  • Cook the roasts for 2 hours in the smoke.
  • Move the roasts to a full size pan with the broth, onion, and garlic.
  • Cover the pan and set it in the smoker.
  • Adjust the smoker to 350 degrees and cook the meat until it's ready to pull (additional 4 hours or more).
  • Mix the meat with the juices and build the taco of your dreams.

About the author: Lavern Gingerich is a writer and the digital marketing manager for Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply.

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