Smoked Beef Chuck Eye

Beef chuck eye is a unique cut, Nate says. We have all eaten it, possibly as a chuck eye steak or in a pot roast. Industry standard is to split a beef forequarter between the fifth and sixth ribs, which yields the chuck primal and rib primal. These then will be broken down into subprimals and ultimately into individual muscles. The chuck eye is on the top part of the chuck primal and is the continuation of the same muscles as the rib subprimal (ribeye). You could cut two steaks on the rib end of the chuck eye, and they will eat very well. As this group of muscles move toward the neck, they do a little more work and will have a little more intramuscular connective tissue. This gives us an advantage: flavor. Working muscles have more flavor. The downside to this is we have to break this connective tissue down for a better eating experience. We usually do this by braising. With proper cooking techniques, we can accomplish this through slow roasting or smoking and still achieve a finished temperature of medium rare. This roast—especially if smoked—will challenge most prime ribs.

Serves 8–10

  • 1 beef chuck eye roast tied (maximum size of this roast is 5–6 pounds. Do not go under 2 pounds)
  • ¼ cup pure olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Pat roast dry with a disposable towel. Coat with oil. Combine salt and pepper to make a spice blend. Season with as much seasoning blend as the roast will hold. Transfer to a plate or sheet pan, and rest in refrigerator for one day. Preheat smoker or standard oven to 170°. The maximum temperature should not rise above 200°. A low slow heat breaks down connective tissue. Transfer roast to the smoker or oven. Cook to an internal temperature of 125° for medium rare and 135° for medium. This ideally will take at least two hours. Let rest for about 30 minutes before slicing.