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Ribs and Brisket are two cuts of meat that are often associated with slow cooking. Today, we’re going to talk about the latter and its cousin that doesn’t get the love it should. In this comparison, we’re looking at smoked chuck roast vs brisket.
You will be surprised to know that chuck roast and brisket have a lot in common. Both these cuts are not just tough but incredibly flavorful.
They come from the front of the steer that accounts for a lot of fat and collagen. Because of this, both cuts need to cook for a long time in your smoker.
Now that you know what’s common between the two, let’s look at the main differences between chuck roast vs brisket.
Main Differences Between Chuck Roast and Brisket
The main differences between Chuck Roast and Brisket are:
- Chuck roast has a large amount of intramuscular fat, whereas brisket has more fat on the outside.
- Chuck roast is typically cut from several different muscles from the shoulder, whereas brisket is cut from a single muscle, typically of the chest.
- Chuck roast doesn’t have more meat because of the high intramuscular fat, whereas brisket has a good amount of meat.
- Chuck roast needs to be cooked using the slow-cooking method, whereas brisket can be cooked in many ways.
- Chuck roast is flavorful right away, whereas brisket gets tastier over time.
- Chuck roast is relatively cheaper, although brisket is expensive.
If you like to handle and cut the meat on your own, we have a guide on the best butcher tools and meat process equipment you should get.
Chuck Roast – The Basics
A chuck roast is the beef chuck taken from the shoulder of the cow. Since the shoulders get a regular workout, this is one of the toughest cuts of meat you can find in a cow. But the marbling on this cut is a sight to behold!
Because of the cut, beef chuck should be slow-cooked in your smoker for hours. Only then will you end up with a roast that’s juicy, tender, and full of flavor.
What Does a Smoked Chuck Roast Look Like?
A properly smoked chuck roast is one of the most appetizing things you’ll ever see if you’re into BBQ life. The marbling on the meat is beautiful as you cut through the roast. Because of more fat inside the meat than the outside, the exterior is not as dark.
What Does a Smoked Chuck Roast Taste Like?
I got a thick five pounds beef chuck from my local butcher. Then I took my good old Realcook Charcoal Smoker out for some slow-cooking action.
I won’t mince words. A smoked chuck roast is simply delicious. The shoulder indeed gets a lot of work during the cow’s life, but when you smoke the meat for 6 hours as I did, all the fat and connective tissue seep into the meat as they break down.
What you get is a rich, flavorful, juicy, and smokey chuck roast that will have you and your guests wanting more.
How Much Does a Smoked Chuck Roast Cost?
As mentioned earlier, chuck roast is a relatively affordable cut of meat. In most states, you can get beef chuck for $4 to $6 per pound.
So if you’re getting 5 lbs of beef chuck, that should cost you anywhere between $20 – $30. That’s quite affordable, considering you can host up to 10 people with 5 lbs of smoked chuck roast.
How do You Cook a Smoked Chuck Roast?
The first thing you’ll need to cook a delicious smoked chuck roast is a good smoker. I recommend going to the Realcook Charcoal Smoker as it’s one of the best smokers on the market.
If you’re looking for an electric option in which you can cook other cuts of meat together as well, then go for the Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker .
Now that we’ve got a smoker and our beef chuck, here’s how you can prepare a smoked chuck roast:
- Allow the beef chuck to get to room temperature. With a 5 lbs piece, it can take up to 90 minutes.
- Once warm, tie the chuck in a grid pattern using twines.
- Combine salt, freshly cracked pepper, and garlic granules along with herbs. Rub the seasoning thoroughly on both sides.
- Once seasoned, wrap the beef chuck in a plastic wrap and let it cure. While 4 to 5 hours should be enough, I would suggest letting it cure overnight so you get a more flavorful punch with your roast.
- Once the seasoning is done, prepare the smoker by bringing it to 250°F.
- Place the beef chuck in the smoker and let it slow-cook for about 7 to 8 hours. Periodically check the roast every hour and make sure the temperature remains consistent.
- Once you’ve reached the 7 to 8-hour mark, wrap the smoked chuck roast in foil and let it cook for another hour. At this point, you can increase the temperature to ensure that the connective tissue breaks down and gets tender.
- Use a meat thermometer like the NutriChef Smart Thermometer to check the temperature of the smoked chuck roast. If the temperature is above 160°F, you’re good to go!
- Let the smoked chuck roast rest for about 10 to 15 minutes then you’re ready to slice and serve!
Brisket – The Basics
Alright, let’s talk about the most popular of the two cousins. Brisket is a cut of meat that comes from a cow’s chest. It’s cut from just below the beef chuck. This is another muscular part of the cow’s body. So the slow-cooker will get the job done.
What Does a Brisket Look Like?
As mentioned earlier, a brisket has many things in common with a smoked chuck roast. The main similarity is that both are heavy chunks of meat. The main difference here is that brisket has more fat on the outside and doesn’t have much fat marbling.
The thin layer of fat that it typically has on one side of the meat, which is a major point of debate. I like to keep the fat down but have heard and seen otherwise as well. What do you guys think is the proper placement of the brisket in a smoker?
What Does a Brisket Taste Like?
A brisket, when cooked properly, is one of the best meaty treats you can have. The combination of the crispy exterior and the juicy and tender inside that melts in your mouth is just magical.
The best part is that its flavor improves over time, so brisket is something you’d want to have the next day.
But you have to be very careful when you’re preparing a brisket. If you undercook a brisket, the meat is chewy and tough.
If you overcook it, the meat will become chewy and dry. So you’ll need to get some practice and proper guidance before you embark on your journey to slow-cook the perfect brisket.
How Much Does a Brisket Cost?
The price of brisket, just like beef chuck, will vary from state to state. That said, you can get a pound of brisket for just $3 to $5. But hang on, isn’t brisket supposed to be more expensive than smoked chuck roast?
Well, yes, but you have to consider that brisket is often sold in large portions, so on average, you will end up with 9 to 10 lbs. This is enough for you to not only host guests for a BBQ party but also have leftovers that develop more flavorful as the days go by!
How do You Cook a Brisket?
Brisket is a tough cut of meat, it is prepared similarly to smoked chuck roast. You’ll have to slow-cook it in a smoker like the options I mentioned above. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line option, the Oklahoma Joe’s Highland Smoker is a great option.
Now let’s get to the cooking part:
- Allow the brisket to get to room temperature. This is an important step for all cuts of roasts.
- Rub the brisket with oil and season with salt, freshly cracked pepper, and garlic granules liberally.
- Once the seasoning is done, prepare the smoker by bringing it up to 250°F.
- Depending on your preference, place the brisket either with the fat side up or down.
- Slow-cook the brisket for 5 hours, then take it out, wrap it in foil, and place it back in the smoker for around 2 more hours.
- Take out the brisket and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This will allow the flavor and juice to stay in the meat.
- Use the carving knife like the DALSTRONG Phantom Series Slicing & Carving Knife to make thin slices that are ready to serve!
Smoked Chuck Roast Vs Brisket – Alternatives
While the chuck roast and brisket are two delicious and flavorful cuts of meat, they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. Here are some alternatives you should try.
This roast has a triangle shape (hence the name) and is taken from the bottom of the sirloin. It can also be sold the steaks and has a rich flavor and tenderness, making it a great alternative to chuck roast or brisket.
This can be cut from a chuck, and once the bones are removed, you get a fatty roast that has beautiful marbling. Put this in your smoker, and you get juicy and tender meat perfection in less than half the time of a chuck roast or brisket.
New York Strip
This cut of meat is a little tougher than most cuts of steak, but not as much as chuck roast or brisket. You can put this in your smoker and get an evenly-cooked steak that’s chewy and full of flavor.
If you’re looking for more options, we have a comprehensive guide on the best beef cuts and varieties you can buy from your local butcher.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s check out some frequently asked questions about smoked chuck roast vs brisket.
Question: Are there other ways to cook these cuts of meat?
Answer: Yes, you can always prepare them in the oven or on a grill if you want to. But where’s the fun in that? These cuts taste best when infused with smoke, so it’s always better to slow-cook them in a smoker.
Question: Do I have to cook the chuck roast or brisket for that long?
Answer: I’m not going to say that ‘it depends.’ Yes, you have to slow-cook the roast chuck or brisket to truly get the maximum flavor, tenderness, and juice. The last thing you want is a chewy and dry roast after spending hours preparing it.
Question: How do I find the best smoker for cooking smoked chuck roast or brisket?
Answer: I’ve mentioned a few of my favorite smokers in this comparison, and we have also covered this extensively in our guide to buying the best smokers . Many factors, such as your budget, fuel options, and the area of your backyard, will determine which option is the best for you.
Smoked Chuck Roast vs Brisket – Which One Should You Choose?
This is not an easy choice because both of these cuts are incredibly tasty. However, my personal preference is brisket because I like the fact that it’s crispy on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. The fact that it’s a little easier to make than smoked chuck roast also does it for me.
Slow-cooking these cuts in a smoker is a learning curve but one you’ll have fun with. Once you get the hang of cooking smoked chuck roast, it’s one of the juiciest cuts you can enjoy and serve to your friends and family.
At the end of the day, it all depends on your personal preferences. I hope this comparison helps you understand the differences between smoked chuck roast and brisket. There are many more reviews, comparisons, and guides for you to check out on Meat n Marrow!