Grilled Beef Chuck Roast – Comfort Food on the Grill
A previous post, Beer Butt Chicken Stew, featured the birds smoking on the grill over a pan of vegetables and broth which allowed us to capture all the flavorful drippings from the birds in the stew below. Now that comfort food weather has arrived I thought the same process should be applied to beef chuck roast and all the fixins’. It’s essentially pot roast on the grill.
***Editor’s Note ~ This recipe was featured in this edition of Feast Magazine:
Years ago I prepared just the roast on the grill at the urging of my dear departed father-in-law Russ. He created a whiskey marinate that gave me heartburn for a couple of days so I needed a different, yet simple, approach for this method.
2 two lb beef chuck roasts
5 lbs. red potatoes sliced into equal sized chunks
2 lbs mini carrots
16 oz Italian dressing
8 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2-3 cans beef broth
2-3 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Pot roast on the grill sounds nuts at first, but look at the ingredients and I believe you can start seeing it happen, right?
One day prior to grilling, the roasts were placed into a plastic container with the Italian Dressing, Red Wine, Salt, and Pepper added:
The chuck roasts were returned to the icebox (I love that term!) to marinate overnight. Halfway into the marinating time the container was flipped over to insure both sides of the roasts are coated evenly with the mixture.
The next afternoon the veggies were washed and prepared along with the rest of the ingredients:
The old Char-Broil was set up for indirect grilling employing the flank method. I rearranged a few coals to be underneath the pan to get this mixture bubbling quickly however:
***Editor’s Note ~Notice how there are a few unlit coals placed around the ones that are ashed over? Adding some extra unlit coals will keep the temps up for a longer period of time and save you one lid opening to add more coals. The lid is already open right now as the grill is being prepped. This is particularly important with cold weather grilling as each and every time you open the lid all the heat is wicked away and it takes that much longer to grill because it takes longer for the heat to build back up in the chamber.***
Smoking wood chosen was apple but I also tossed in my last couple of chunks of pecan:
The chuck roasts were removed from the icebox and allowed to come to room temperature before grilling. Here’s a pic after soaking in the marinade overnight:
Once the coals are ready and properly spread the cooking grate will be left high to first sear the roast to seal the juices inside. The chuck roasts hit the grate to be grilled with the excess marinade wiped off but the residual kicks up a bit of smoke:
Here are the grilled chuck roasts turned after 5 minutes on one side:
Now a close up—are we really going after grill marks on grilled chuck roasts?!?
The roasts are seared and it’s time to place the rest of the pot roast on the grill ingredients into the pan and get them going. Here is the roasting pan and roast rack needed for the rest of the process:
By the way, that roasting rack can be flipped over and be used as a rib rack and hold six slabs of ribs making it very versatile. I found it at Bed, Bath and Beyond a few years ago, but they also sell it at Amazon.
First, 2 cans of beef broth and a cup of water followed by the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and finally the potatoes:
For the first half of the cooking time a roast rack (flipped over it’s a great rib rack too!) is employed to elevate the beef to absorb more of the smoke flavor and permit the juices to drip into the rest of the pot roast on the grill ingredients below:
A third can of beef broth is added (I bought 4 just in case) plus another cup of water and I now feel comfortable with the fluid mixture:
A couple large chunks of apple wood are added adjacent to the coals, the thermometer placed (heaven forbid I forget that gizmo!), and the lid closed once the grate containing the coals is dropped to its lowest point.
One hour in and it’s time to reload the coals, stir the veggies, and flip the grilled chuck roasts over — no one-sided grilling here! I brought out the insulated gloves to temporarily remove the roast rack to achieve easier access to the veggies:
The rack is place back into the pan, charcoal added, and a couple more chunks of wood applied.
Mother Nature is interfering with the process a bit now. The wind has kicked up and I’ve been the recipient of a few sprinkles of rain:
I’m hoping the wind doesn’t affect the drafty old grill very much. The fire has been stoked and I really need to see the liquid around the veggies bubbling but it hasn’t happened yet. I may have added too much liquid but time and taste will tell the story. This is my first attempt at this recipe and the family that will be arriving for dinner soon will be victims of this experiment. The Grillin’ Fools will show you our first effort as well as a perfected last effort. No practice runs to show you success always, just the same thing you would encounter when trying something new on your grill.
I took another peek after another 20 minutes and the broth is bubbling and progress is being made. I’m debating whether to drop the roasts into the pan for the last half of my estimated cooking time. After consulting with Mimi the decision is made and the roasts are dropped into the pot roast on the grill ingredients after 1.5 hours into the process:
The broth was bubbling gently but kicked up a bit when wood caught fire and shot flames under the pan—a couple of squirts of water cooled the wood down and I think we’re back to normal grilling. I took the opportunity to give the veggies another stir as some of the potatoes were browning on the edges from the heat and smoke.
Here’s an observation. I walked around to the front of the house and the aroma of Apple wood smoke seemed to follow. I’m filling the neighborhood with this wonderful fragrance! Given the inclement weather I must be the only one grilling today. I probably should canvass the neighborhood and hand out some Grillin’ Fools biz-cards.
Here’s a pic of a small flock of geese that have wandered in. I wonder if they were attracted by the aroma. If it were legal I’d like to have one of them on my grill:
Now it’s drizzling a bit harder so it is a good thing this event requires the lid to the firebox to be closed. My notepad is now dappled with rain drops. A Grillin’ Fool is not daunted by this situation.
It has been 45 minutes since the roasts were dropped into the mix and I’m going to turn them over and give the veggies another stir. The liquid is cooking down so another can of broth is added:
It’s really starting to look like pot roast on the grill.
I’m hopeful this effort will be complete in another 45 minutes but perhaps a taste of the veggies is in order. Scott, The Original Grillin’ Fool, is due to arrive soon so I’ll wait for that moment to taste test.
The grilled chuck roasts are flipped once again and I tasted the potatoes and carrots—I didn’t wait for the OGF—they were just super and full of flavor. I’m a little concerned about the beef so will allow it to continue to simmer. The thermometer is only showing 250 but the liquid is bubbling nicely:
Here’s a pic at 2 hours 45 minutes and the grilled chuck roasts appear to be done. Taste test coming up!
Here is the first roast sliced:
The juices and broth mixture is reserved to pour over the beef and vegetables. The roast is done, tender, and very flavorful. The great part of this effort is that the veggies picked up that sweet apple wood smoke flavor. The consensus of the dining guests, including the OGF Scott, was that this effort was a “home run” and worthy of a repeat performance. What a great dinner! Grilled comfort food all in one pan with fantastic flavor! Pot roast on the grill. Don’t let Old Man Winter get you down—give this a try and you’ll be rewarded with a tasty meal.
Many grocers feature Chuck Roast in their ads this time of year so you can have an economical meal as well. Oh, and it goes great with a spicy glass of red as do I:
If you have any questions about the comfort food recipe above, please feel free to comment below or send me an email.
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