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Sara Hansen

How to Cook Pot Roast on a Grill: 8 Pro Tips

Usually, when you think of a beef pot roast, you think of one slow-cooking for hours in the oven or Crockpot. But, things don’t always have to be done the same way. This is one of those examples. Why not get some delicious wood smoke flavor on a roast? Your grill or smoker actually offers another great way to cook a delicious pot roast.

In this article, we’ve put together 8 tips on how to cook pot roast on a BBQ grill straight from Champion pitmasters:


Pick Out a Good Beef Roast to Start With

We’ve said it plenty of times before but it is so critical: your final result is only as good as the meat you start with. For a good roast cooked on the grill, your best options for the type of a cut are going to be a chuck roast, which is a very affordable and delicious option, or a rump roast. 

As far as the appearance of the meat, a good roast will be a deep red color with bright, white fat marbling running throughout the meat. It will also be dry to the touch and have a slightly sweet smell. Your best bet for the freshest roast is going to be from your local butcher shop.

In regards to the size of the roast you’ll need, a good rule of thumb is a half-pound of boneless meat per adult.


Tie Up Your Chuck Roast

If you decide to go with a chuck roast cut, before it goes on the grill, you should tie it up with butcher’s twine. By wrapping/tying the twine around the meat every couple of inches down the length of the roast, it will help keep it together while it is cooking.

prepping a pot roast | cooking pot roast on a grill | pot roast on the BBQ


Let It Sit at Room Temperature

Don’t be in a hurry to throw a refrigerator-cold roast onto the grill. For the best results, you want to let the roast sit out at room temperature for a little bit first. Taking the chill off of the meat will produce juicier and more evenly cooked meat. If you take the time to properly tie up the meat (if it’s a chuck roast) and season it with a dry rub (and marinade if you want) it will give it time to come closer to room temperature.

Just let the meat sit out of the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes covered with foil or butcher paper. Keep in mind that for safety reasons, meat should never sit out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours (1 hour on hot, summer days).

Bonus tip: After it has set out, make sure to also pat the roast dry before you season it.


Use a Two-Zone Cooking Setup

No matter if you are using a grill or smoker, to properly cook a pot roast on the grill, you need to make sure you have a two-zone cooking setup. You need one side that is direct high heat and one side that is indirect heat and a lower temperature. The direct side will enable you to sear it (see more on this below) and the indirect side will enable you to slow cook it until it is done.


Give It a Good Sear First

One of the best things about cooking meat on a grill is the delicious caramelization you can achieve on the exterior of it. So, before you start slow-cooking the roast, use the high heat side of the grill to get a good exterior crust on all sides of it first. This will not only impart some good wood-smoke flavor onto it but also help lock in the moisture inside the meat.

But, you only want to sear it long enough to get the exterior crust. Remember, you are NOT going to cook this roast over high heat the whole time.


chuck roast on the grill | cooking pot roast on a grill | pot roast on the BBQ
Source: Spruce Eats


Bonus tip: Hickory or pecan wood are going to be your best flavors/types of wood when it comes to grilling a beef roast.


Wrap It Up!

One of the things that makes pot roast so good is the fall-apart tenderness that comes from it slow cooking and braising in its own juices. To do this on the grill you need to wrap it up. 

So, after it has been seared, wrap it in a layer of aluminum foil and leave the top part open just slightly. Once it is wrapped, place it on the grates on the indirect heat side of the grill, as far away from the heat source as possible, and let it slowly roast. The ideal cooking temperature to slow-cook your roast will be about 300°F - 325°F. 

You want to let it cook until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145ºF. So, make sure you’ve got your digital meat thermometer on hand as well. For fall apart tenderness you want to cook it until it reaches 190°- 205°F internal temperature.


Let It Rest Before Serving

Once your roast is cooked to temperature, let it rest before you serve it. Letting it rest for about 10-15 minutes gives the interior juices time to be reabsorbed back into the meat’s fibers. This will give you a more tender and juicy final result.


Store Leftover Roast Beef Properly

If your delicious grilled roast doesn’t end up getting totally devoured when you first serve it, the leftovers can make great roast beef sandwiches. If you do have leftover roast beef, make sure you store it properly. When stored in an airtight container, it can safely last in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When vacuum sealed, it can be refrigerated for up to 7 days or frozen for up to 6 months.


storing grilled pot roast | cooking pot roast on a grill | pot roast on the BBQ
Source: Momsdish


Try a Pot Roast on the Grill Today!

Go ahead and add pot roast to one of the delicious but somewhat unusual options that you may not initially think to grill. Cooking a pot roast on the grill is easy to do and by following the tips we covered above, you can end up with a tasty, juicy, and fall apart roast that will have everyone’s mouths watering.

Pair your roast with some grilled potatoes and grilled vegetables (grilled tomato halves are perfect!) and you’ve got yourself a delicious and hearty outdoor-cooked meal. 

Have you cooked a pot roast on your BBQ grill? Going to try it soon? If so, leave a comment below. We want to hear all about it!


Do you want to elevate your smoking and grilling skills like never before? If so, join the Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters in the first-of-their-kind step-by-step virtual barbecue cooking classes here at BBQ Champs Academy! In these great classes, you’ll learn competition-level BBQ cooking methods, insider tips, and much more. Grab your All-Access pass today and start showing off your delicious barbecue cooking in no time!

Don’t miss any of the latest insider info and competition BBQ news straight from barbecue pros. Make sure to also subscribe to the BBQ Champs Academy YouTube channel today!


Sara Hansen

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