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This Smoked Arm Roast recipe is smoked to perfection with the infusion of beef broth and blend of seasonings creating a super flavorful, mouth-watering and fall apart tender roast. It really is next level! Just look at that smoke ring!
If you’re looking for a slow braised oven version, check out my Arm Pot Roast Recipe!
Why You’ll Love This Smoked Arm Roast Recipe
A smoked arm roast, sometimes referred to as “poor man’s brisket” is one of those special treats that comes with owning a smoker. If you have a smoker, you know it well. You’re always searching for that next thing to smoke, right? While a roast is great in the oven or slow cooker, smoking it takes it to the next level.
What is an Arm Roast?
Arm roast is a type of meat that comes from the shoulder area of the cow. Sometimes labeled with different names such as a chuck roast, shoulder roast or chuck arm roast, this cut of meat is so flavorful and fairly inexpensive. It may have shoulder or rib bones in it, or you can sometimes find a boneless chuck roast or arm roast. It’s kind of hit and miss at my local grocery store, but if you can find the bone-in, then I would recommend grabbing that one as it will yield much more flavor and you’ll get the nutritional benefits as well. I order beef from a local farmer and always make sure I have a few arm roasts included in my cuts. It has a rich beef flavor and is tender when cooked low and slow, making it the best option for pot roasts and slow cooking methods like braising, roasting or smoking! It also is awesome for shredding so it can be used in sandwiches, enchiladas or casseroles.
Arm Roast vs Chuck Roast
Beef arm roast and beef chuck roast are both technically an “arm roast” since they come from the primal cut of a cow’s shoulder area. The main difference between the two cuts of meat is arm roasts are generally a more tender cut of meat and more of a lean roast, while chuck roasts have a higher fat content with some fat marbling. Both cook really well at low temperature for longer cooking times. Preparing these cuts of beef in a crock pot/slow cooker, in a Dutch oven, as oven roasts or pot roasts, or even on the grill or smoker, will yield tender and flavorful meats.
Equipment + Ingredients Needed for this Arm Roast Smoker Recipe
- smoker– I used a pellet smoker.
- arm roast– Mine was a bone-in 3lb roast before trimmed of fat. A larger roast is fine- just know the smoking time will increase slightly.
- kosher salt, black pepper + garlic powder– for seasoning (onion powder would also be good).
- beef stock– used as a flavorful cooking liquid.
How to Smoke an Arm Roast
While the smoking process is long, the results of a properly smoked meat are unmatched and totally worth it for that smoky flavor with juicy results! Make sure you leave plenty of time for cooking your roast in the smoker (it’s kind of an all day endeavor!). For full recipe details, including ingredient measurements see the printable recipe card down below. Here are step by step directions for how to prep your roast and getting it into the smoker!
Preheat Your Smoker + Remove Roast Packaging
Preheat your smoker to 225° F. Since every smoker is different, you’ll want to follow the manufacturer instructions for startup. I use a pellet smoker – the Traeger Wood Fired Pellet Grill. Remove your arm roast from packaging and pat dry with paper towels.
Season the top and sides of the meat generously with salt, freshly cracked black pepper and garlic powder.
Place Arm Roast on Smoker and Smoke for Several Hours
Place arm roast directly on the smoker grate and insert your smoker’s temperature probe into the thickest part of the roast, being careful not to let it touch the bone. Smoke for 3-4 hours until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130° F.
Pro Tip: Most smokers will have a built-in thermometer probe or you can use a quick read digital thermometer.
Remove Roast, Add Beef Broth to Aluminum Pan, Replace Thermometer
Once the internal temperature of the meat has reached 130° F, place roast in an aluminum pan with beef broth. Reinsert the thermometer and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Next, Increase the Smoker Temperature + Continue Smoking
Increase the smoker temperature to 250° F and smoke for another 4-5 hours until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 203° F.
Remove Arm Roast from Smoker and Let Rest
Remove roast from smoker when it has reached an internal temperature of 203° F (remember this should have taken between 4-5 hours since you added the broth and placed in a pan) and let the meat rest for 30 minutes. You’ll be able to tell if it’s super tender because the bone will be literally pushing itself out of the meat. SUCCESS!
Slice Against the Grain + Serve!
On a cutting board, slice beef into thin slices, against the grain with a sharp carving knife, or shred it using shredding claws or your hands. The easiest way I’ve found to any kind of roast is to use heat-resistant grilling gloves and just get in there with both hands. You could also use meat claws or even just a couple of forks.
You may find that part of this roast is more tender than the other. That’s where I will slice the tougher part to mimic a brisket type of cut and then the other part nearest the bone shreds really easily.
Serve roast meat warm with pan juices.
Pro Tip: If you want to thicken the pan juices into a gravy, you can whisk 1 TBSP of cornstarch for every 1 cup of liquid to make a nice gravy for your roast. You can also just spoon some of the juices over your meat if you don’t want to thicken it.
Pro Tip: I typically will shred the super tender parts of the roast and then slice the part that’s not quite falling apart to mimic a brisket.
Side Dishes to Serve with Smoked Roast Beef
The possibilities are endless! Here are my go to sides to serve:
- Mashed Potatoes (obviously)
- Roasted Root Vegetables
- Oven Roasted Potatoes
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Roasted Green Beans
- Homemade Whole Wheat Rolls
- No-Knead Crescent Rolls
Allow any leftover smoked roast to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container with the juices, in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Reheating: The best way to reheat and maintain the moisture and tenderness of the roast is to place in a baking dish with the remaining juices and bake at 325° F until just heated through. Don’t let it go too long or it’ll become dry and as tough as an old shoe. You could also warm through on the stove-top.
To Freeze: Store in an airtight container or freezer safe, airtight bag or container with some of the roast juices (to keep it moist). Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
FAQ About Smoked Arm Roast/ Smoked Chuck Roast
Beef roasts should be cooked until it is very tender. Using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature reading of 203° F is a good target. But the best test is when the meat is fork tender. You’ll easily be able to slide a fork into the meat and not feel much resistance.
Odds are if you have a tough roast it’s because you haven’t cooked it long enough. As the meat cooks, it gets tougher and tougher until it reaches its breaking point and lots of tough connective tissue and fat starts relaxing and melting away.
So if you think your meat is done but it’s still tough, give it a little more cook time. The longer you cook it, the more tender it should become. Keep at it!
You can whisk 1 TBSP of cornstarch for every 1 cup of liquid to make a nice gravy for your roast. You can also just spoon some of the juices over your meat if you don’t want to thicken it.
Alder, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Mesquite, Oak, Pecan are all great options for smoking beef- or try a combination of these!
More Smoked Meat Recipes to Try!
- Smoked Prime Rib Roast
- Smoked Beef Tenderloin
- Best Smoked Turkey
- Smoked Corned Beef (a seasoned + smoked brisket!)
- Smoked Pork Butt
I hope you enjoy this tasty smoked arm chuck roast recipe! This method yields a delicious beefy flavor and perfect for Sunday dinner. The printable recipe card is below. Have a great day, friends!
If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.
Smoked Arm Roast (Chuck Roast)
- 1 Smoker (I used a pellet smoker)
- Preheat your smoker to 225° F.
- Remove arm roast from packaging, rinse with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Season generously with salt, freshly cracked black pepper and garlic powder.
- Place arm roast directly on the smoker grate and insert your smoker’s thermometer probe. Smoke for 3-4 hours until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 130° F.
- Place arm roast in an aluminum pan with beef broth. Reinsert the thermometer and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Increase temperature to 250° F and smoke for another 4-5 hours until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 203° F.
- Remove from smoker and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Slice beef against the grain, or shred* and serve warm with pan juices.