Smoked Chuck Roast vs Brisket – Differences Discussed
As a beef connoisseur, I am often asked to choose between the Chuck Roast and the brisket, both devoured greedily by most meat lovers. So I decided to try both and settle the debate once and for all.
In this text, I will go forth with an extensive explanation along with tips so that you may also try it for yourself.
Brisket Vs Chuck Roast: What are the Differences?
Buying The Right Cut :
For fair results, we need to find the best graded raw meat that is available. This is one of the most vital steps of the smoking process. Yes, believe me! Even the simplest of recipes can give you a mouthwatering taste if you have an excellent cut of meat.
With the brisket, I usually buy the flat cut as it contains less fat, but specifically for this evaluation, I bought a normal-sized point cut for added flavors. Next up is checking the marbling.
In the case of briskets, I do not worry about the marbling, as briskets are generally tougher but I check the cut to see if it contains enough intermuscular fat and to my delight, the point cut had plenty of it.
But for the chuck, the marbling is very important. I bought the chuck with visible layers of marbling.
The next step is seasoning. Although I prefer trimming the brisket fat cap before seasoning it, solely for this evaluation, I skipped the trimming to preserve the fat. It is because the fat adds flavors to the brisket, which in return combats the marbled chuck.
I kept the seasoning simple and followed the Texas-style, flavoring with only coarse salt and coarse black pepper. You may add a bit of garlic powder too, but I avoided it since my goal was to preserve the pure goodness of the brisket and the chuck.
First, I ground the black peppercorn, and afterward I added equal amounts of salt to it. Next, I sprinkled it on both sides of the brisket.
For the chuck, I similarly sprinkled the salt and pepper to all sides evenly. Next, I kept it there for 1 hour to let the salt and pepper soak in.
Smoking The Beef:
Now, setting up the smoker may take unnecessary time, so make sure you have everything you need beforehand.
For smoking, you might ponder over the wood selection, but, honestly, you should use the type of wood that is local. Be it hickory, pecan, beech, or oak, whichever is available should be applied. I have used Oakwood here.
After setting up the smoker, I placed the two chunks of meat on the indirect zone of the grill grates. After placing the lid on it, I set the temperature to 110°C (225°F).
Next, I just let the cuts smoke for about three and a half hours before checking on them. The chuck had a bright red juicy crust, which is just what I hoped for. Also, as expected, the brisket wasn’t as red as the chuck since briskets don’t have enough fat to gain that texture.
Check the difference between chuck steak and chuck roast here.
Wrapping And Smoking Again:
Wrapping may sound like an unnecessary step, but trust me, it does wonders.
I wrapped the brisket and the chuck separately and put them back on the grill. Then, I used butcher paper for the wrapping, but you may also use a foil paper. I prefer butcher paper because I think it really brings out the tenderness of the meat better than the foil paper.
Later putting the lid back on, I cooked it until the temperature reached 92°C. It took about four and a half hours to bring them to the desired temperature. Checking the temperature is crucial as you don’t want to overcook the meat.
I let the beef sit for about thirty minutes before unwrapping.
Before unwrapping, you must let the beef rest for at least thirty minutes. Do not rush the unwrapping process because it is essential for the beef to rest a little to bring out that tender goodness.
Besides you can make the brisket sauce in the meantime. Briskets are amazing on their own, but you can’t go wrong in dipping them in some spicy red sauce.
Even the unwrapping is a test if you aren’t careful. I unwrapped the chuck particularly slowly to make sure the juice doesn’t fall over.
First Look Of The Beef:
Having both unwrapped and unsliced, the brisket turned out juicy, but a lot leaner and looked like it came straight out of a painting. But the tenderness of the chuck was overbearing. There was a lot of fat in it, and you could see that on its juicy tender crust. The chuck also had a darker smoked red coat than the brisket.
To check on them, you can squeeze the brisket and the chuck, and if you’ve done everything as I have, you will notice the brisket is tougher than the chuck.
Therefore, my first look points went to the chuck.
Slicing into the brisket, it looked perfect. The fat made the insides of the meat perfectly juicy, giving it a very nice pull.
Moreover, the chuck, in contrast, with all its marbled fat was juicier, but I just couldn’t get in a clean slice due to the hardened fat.
This point went to the brisket.
Now it all came down to the taste.
Moment of Truth!
The chuck roast was the winner in terms of sheer taste and flavor, but with all that fat in the meat, you can’t eat a whole lot of it. On the other hand, the brisket was very beefy, and you can gobble it down to your heart’s content.
Which one of the two is the better-smoked meal? Well, the one that meets your cravings, of course. If you fancy small bites of flavorsome delicious bites, then go for the chuck roast. Conversely, if you crave a fulfilling heavy meal, then the brisket is your answer.
Any confusion about the differences of smoked chuck roast vs brisket? Comment below.