I was at the store the other day and saw some nice chuck roasts and briskets. I couldn’t decide which would be better on my smoker so I bought one of each to do an official smoked chuck roast vs brisket comparison.
Both cuts of beef were just under four pounds with the brisket being comprised mostly of the flat with a little bit of point. This was an awesome “side by side” and I learned a lot!
I seasoned the chuck and brisket the same with my kicked up beef rub:
Kicked Up Beef Rub for Chuck and Brisket
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/2 teaspoon MSG
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
Both cuts went onto my kettle and were smoked at about 275F with a little bit of cherry wood for smoke.
The cook was pretty straight forward. The beef was smoked for four hours until it stalled out at 162F then wrapped tightly in foil and powered through for two more hours until it was probe tender at about 205F internal.
While the beef was smoking it got spritzed about every 45 minutes with a new mix I am working on. My beef spritz is primarily coffee with some hot sauce, cider vinegar and Worcestershire. No real recipe on it yet..still a work in progress.
Straight out of the smoker these two cuts couldn’t have looked more different. The lean brisket flat was respectable and unpretentious. The smoked chuck roast was oozing melted collagen and simultaneously looked luscious and a little drunk.
When I sliced them open a similar theme emerged. The smooth brisket slices were 100% prettier than the ragged fat strewn shreds of chuck.
But when I dug in for the taste test the tables turned.
While the brisket looked prettier the smoked chuck roast was out of this world delicious. After tasting slices of both the smoked chuck and brisket I was sold. I wrapped the smoked brisket flat in foil, threw it in the refrigerator and spent the rest of the afternoon devouring that luscious chuck!
I thought I had reached a pretty solid conclusion in the chuck roast vs brisket battle. The brisket was prettier but the chuck was better eating.
But then the next day happened.
…..and everything flipped!
I decided to try the leftovers side by side and couldn’t believe how much the flavor profiles had changed. The brisket was so dang good it made me week in the knees. The chuck was okay but nothing special.
I had a pack of drooling pups circling the kitchen counter at this point and they know I am a sucker for heads cocked to the side with begging dogie eyes.
I had to give them some snacks.
And I didn’t hesitate.
I tossed all those pups slices of the chuck and kept that amazing brisket all to myself!
Which is the Best?
I hate to chicken out but this battle is a tie.
Both of these cuts of beef are relatively inexpensive so there really isn’t much different in cost.
Both of these cuts were easy to smoke and took the exact same amount of time on the pit.
If you are looking for something that tastes amazing and don’t care about presentation then go with the chuck roast. I would suggest going ahead and turning the chuck into shredded or chopped beef, adding a touch of spicy hot sauce and serving as sandwiches.
If you are looking for something that taste great and looks beautiful then go with the brisket. If you are fortunate enough to have leftovers the next day then you will be glad you smoked a brisket!