Chuck Tender

Chuck Tender

Chuck Tender is a flavorful cut of beef from the shoulder. However, despite its name it is not tender, and needs a low ‘n slow cook on the grill. But when cooked properly, you are rewarded with great flavor. Here’s how.

Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Start the grill 30 minutes


  • 2.2 lbs chuck tender
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper


  • The night before: take the meat out from the package and pat it dry with a paper towel. Trim off any fat or membranes, it is usually a quick job. There is usually a silver membrane, about two inches wide, on one ‘side’ of the meat. Trim it off.
    Chuck Tender, trimmed

Step 1 – dry brine

  • Apply the salt evenly all over the meat. This amplifies the beef flavor. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
    Chuck Tender, with dry brine applied

Step 2 – smoke

  • Now sprinkle the meat with black pepper on all sides.
    Chuck Tender, with a black pepper rub
  • Time to cook: Fire up your grill, prepare it for indirect grilling. Have it running at 240° – 265° F. Use the snake method if you’re using a kettle grill.
  • Add some wood chunks for smoking if you like. I use 2-3 cherry wood chunks, but apple wood, oak wood or beech wood works just fine.
    Chuck Tender on the grill
  • Place the meat on the indirect side and close the lid. Wait until the inner temperature reaches 70° C / 160° F. It takes roughly 5 hours.

Step 3 – wrap

  • Now wrap the meat in two layers of aluminum foil and place it back on the grill. Keep cooking it until the inner temperature reaches 95° C / 203 ° F, or it becomes probe tender. Certain cuts of meat behave differently, so keep an eye on the thermometer and wiggle the probe every now and then to see if it's tender before it hits target temp.
  • Remove the meat from the grill, and while still wrapped in the foil, let it rest for 1 hour, wrapped in a thick towel or in a faux cambro.
  • Now all you have to do is to slice and serve. It’s that easy. Serve it with a nice red wine sauce.

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