Smokey Pulled Beef
So you’ve probably heard of pulled pork, but have you heard of, or tried pulled beef?
This has the same exquisite juicy fall apart texture, but has the real meaty beefy
flavours that you only get from smoking beef. Unlike Texas style brisket we take the
internal temperature higher to 205f get that pulled consistency instead of slices at
around 195f for brisket. For a simple, easy, and low maintenance dish that will wow
give this a go, it will take all day though on a smoker, or put on overnight.
Chuck is great for pulled beef, and any decent butcher will have it, they usually dice it
as stewing beef in the UK. If you’re struggling brisket will work too. You want a
single piece with good marbling through it, and a small amount of a fat cap on one
side. I’m going to use a dry rub, but marinades and wet rubs will also work well and
provide a slightly less crispy ‘bark’ on the exterior when done. Adding maple syrup
and a little Worcestershire sauce to the dry rub recipe below adds a bit of a glaze on
So you’ll need:
Beef chuck, the piece I’ve used is just over a kilo that should feed 2-4
depending on your eat portion size preference! For more people get a bigger
For the rub:
o Pepper (black only or black and white is good)
o Garlic (2 cloves or to your preference)
o Brown sugar (whatever your preference)
o Smoked/Sweet Paprika (regular paprika is ok too)
o Cayenne chilli powder (to your preference or not a massive issue if you
o Onion salt/powder (optional)
You will want about a tablespoon of each, and a little more paprika. Mix together in a
bowl or if you have one a rub shaker. Allow the beef to come up to room temperature.
Get your smoker ready and at a temperature between 225-250f. Shake/put the rub
onto the beef and rub into the exterior. I like to use a mix of mesquite and cherry
wood on beef. I find mesquite adds a great smoky flavour, so I like to use chips
straight on, a good handful to add some real intense flavour, and then have a couple of
cherry chunks on too to give a bit of a longer, but less intense hit of smoke throughout
Put your beef on the smoker at this point, fat cap side up, the mesquite chips should
smoke for around half an hour quite intensely and then die down allowing the cherry
to take over.
About 4-5 hours in you will want to wrap the beef in foil, at this point it will be as
smoky as it will really get and by wrapping you will avoid having to wait out ‘the
stall’ and you will be adding moisture back into the meat. If you want to add a small
of moisture into the bottom of the foil feel free, Dr Pepper or orange juice work well,
but equally a little water will work well, or just leave as it is, with enough marbling
and fat cap it will be great either way.
This will then take between another 4-6 hours, but the temperature is much more
important for this, so use a thermometer to ensure the internal temperature hits 205f.
You then need to keep it wrapped and leave to rest for at least 3an hour. If you’re
ready early wrap in another layer of foil or in a towel and put the meat into a cool box
or your (turned off) oven and it can rest for much longer if you need.
Once rested, unwrap (careful will be hot) and pull apart using two forks or if you have
them bear paws or insulated food gloves, add to your preferred sides/accompaniments
and sauce and enjoy!