This smoked roast beef po’ boy is made with a beef chuck roast that’s smoked first and then finished in the slow cooker… Super easy and delicious New Orleans style roast beef sandwich!
With the ease and convenience of making chuck roast in a Crock Pot, you might not ever want to cook a beef roast any other way. But what if you combine the smokiness of the pellet grill with the set-it-and-forget-it convenience of the slow cooker? And then what if you make an awesome sauce for your beef roast and turn your smoked roast beef into a sandwich?
Well, then you’ve got yourself a flavorful, delicious, New Orleans-style smoked roast beef po’ boy that you’ll swear came straight from the bayou!
And if you’re still not convinced to give this smoked beef sandwich a try, then I’ll tell you this… My wife ate the whole thing, bread and all! So you know it’s good!
*By the way, if you’re looking for more ideas for cooking a roast on the smoker, then check out this post: Smoked Pot Roast on the Grill!
What is a New Orleans Style Po-Boy?
If you’ve never been to Louisiana to experience the local po’ boy sandwiches yourself, then you may be wondering what all of the hype is about… But let me tell you, them Cajuns can cook!
Think of the po’ boy as Louisiana’s version of a sub sandwich or a hoagie sandwich… just don’t call it that when you’re visiting the bayou. The basic premise of a New Orleans style po-boy sandwich is your choice of meat (like roast beef, fried shrimp, or fried oysters) piled on a special type of French bread and topped with shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise or a sauce of some sort.
But good luck making an exact replica of the New Orleans style po’ boy if you live out of state… You’ll have a hard time finding the special bread used for these sandwiches anywhere but in New Orleans. The long bread may look like a French bread loaf, but the outside is delicately flaky and slightly crispy (definitely not crusty) with a light and tender inside. It really is everything you want in a sandwich bread!
Originally invented in the late 1920’s as a filling and inexpensive sandwich, the po-boy has stood the test of time and now the popular sandwich even has an entire festival devoted to it each year.
Smoked Roast Beef Po-Boy Ingredients
Let me start by saying that when I was making this recipe, I consulted a good friend of mine who knows his way around the kitchen and happens to live right in the heart of the Louisiana bayou. He’s definitely cooked and eaten his fair share of roast beef po boy sandwiches, and he gave me all the secrets for this New Orleans style sandwich.
I did make one adjustment to his basic recipe, because I felt like the sandwich turned out pretty salty on my first attempt. But after this second try, I felt like I could throw my name in the hat for any Cajun po’ boy competition.
Here are the ingredients needed for this smoked roast beef po’ boy recipe:
For the Smoked Beef Chuck Roast and Gravy:
For this recipe, you’ll be smoking your whole chuck roast first and then transferring it to a Crock Pot to finish cooking in a beefy, onion-y thin sauce. You will need:
- beef chuck roast
- freshly cracked black pepper
- all-purpose seasoning of your choice (like a garlic powder, salt, and pepper mix) – I used the Pit Boss Chicago BBQ Rub… Choose a seasoning that is not too salty, because the Crock Pot sauce for the roast beef po boy has a higher salt content.
- one medium onion
- four cloves of garlic
- low-sodium beef stock
- one pouch of Lipton onion soup mix
- Cajun seasoning
- Worcestershire sauce
- cornstarch – You’ll use this to thicken up the Crock Pot sauce when the beef chuck roast is done cooking.
For the Po’ Boy Sandwiches:
Once your smoked chuck roast is done, it’s all about building the perfect po boy sandwich. These ingredients are typical for a New Orleans style roast beef po boy:
- sub roll or hoagie roll – You want a softer type of bread that will still hold up to the moisture from the meat. I used a Publix sub roll from the deli department (it was called “Sub Roll” on the package)… Definitely stay away from the crustier types of bread like French bread.
- shredded lettuce
- sliced tomato
- dill pickles
How to Make Smoked Beef Chuck Roast Po Boy Sandwiches
Be forewarned, these awesome smoked roast beef po’ boy sandwiches do take a while to cook, but most of that time is “passive” time when the meat is on the smoker and in the Crock Pot… Just don’t start making these beef po’ boys in the afternoon and expect them to be ready for an early dinner.
That being said, these New Orleans style roast beef po boy sandwiches are worth the wait, and they’re super easy to make!
Step 1: Start the smoker and season your beef chuck roast.
First, you need to get your smoker dialed into about 300 degrees F. Then season your chuck roast with a good all-purpose seasoning like a simple garlic, salt, and pepper blend. For my smoked beef chuck roast, I used freshly cracked black pepper and the Pit Boss Chicago BBQ Rub, which is a nice milder flavored seasoning with a blend of spices, garlic, and sea salt.
Don’t go too heavy on the seasoning, because the gravy that you’ll be making later is super flavorful. Here’s what my chuck roast looked like before going on the Pit Boss Navigator pellet grill:
And if you don’t have a smoker, then don’t worry! You can still make this awesome smoked chuck roast on your charcoal grill.
I’ve got an awesome step-by-step guide for how to set up your charcoal grill like a smoker here! In fact, I’ve only had a smoker for about 6 months, and all of the other smoked meats that I’ve cooked have been done on a Weber kettle grill.
Step 2: Smoke the beef roast for about 3 hours.
When your beef is seasoned, just set it on the smoker and cook it for about 3 hours at 300 degrees F. You don’t need to baste the meat or even cook it to a certain internal temperature because you’ll be adding it to the Crock Pot to finish cooking. You’re just wanting to infuse the meat with that smoke flavor.
Here’s what my smoked beef chuck roast looked like after 3 hours:
Step 3: Make the roast beef po’ boy gravy in the Crock Pot, and add the smoked chuck roast.
When you’re nearing the 3 hour mark on your smoker, go ahead and prep your Crock Pot so it’s ready. Add the sliced onion, garlic cloves, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and Lipton onion soup mix to the pot and stir everything together.
Then when the beef chuck roast is done smoking, just set it in the slow cooker and put the lid on. It should look something like this:
Cook the smoked beef chuck roast and the gravy in the slow cooker for about 6 hours on high, or until the meat is fall apart tender.
Step 4: Thicken sauce and shred the smoked roast beef.
When the chuck roast is done cooking, transfer the meat to a cutting board or platter and shred it.
See all of those beautiful bright pink bits in the smoked chuck roast? That’s all of that smoked flavor that’s going to really set your roast beef po’ boys over the top!
When you take the meat out of the slow cooker, you’ll be left with a delicious beef and onion gravy… That saucy goodness will be used for the gravy on your roast beef po’boy sandwiches, but you’ll probably want to thicken it up a bit.
In a small separate bowl, add about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water and mix together to make a slurry. Then, slowly add the cornstarch slurry to the warm liquid in the Crock Pot and stir. You may not need to use the full amount of slurry… It’s up to you how thick you want the gravy for your sandwiches. But remember, the slurry won’t come to its full thickening power until the sauce is heated again.
When you have the Crock Pot gravy done to your desired consistency, spoon about 1/2 cup at a time over the shredded smoked chuck roast and mix it together with the meat. Continue to add as much of the gravy as you like… I used about 2 cups total.
Then you’re ready to build your smoked roast beef po-boy sandwich!
Step 5: Make your smoked roast beef po’ boy sandwiches.
To make the po-boys, slice your bread about 3/4 of the way through and open it up. Add a good bit of mayonnaise to the bread, and then pile on your smoked roast beef. Top with shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and other fixin’s of your choice and your New Orleans style roast beef po’ boy is done!
These sandwiches were absolutely fantastic! Even though I couldn’t get the po’ boy bread, I would definitely make these beefy delicious roast beef sandwiches again!
If you give them a try, be sure to come back and leave me a comment to let me know what you think!
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Smoked Roast Beef Po’ Boy Sandwich Recipe
Want to print this recipe out to add it to your list of smoker recipes to try? Just use the recipe card down below:
Smoked Roast Beef Po’ Boy Sandwiches
- 2 ½ pound beef chuck roast
- fresh cracked black pepper
- all-purpose seasoning like salt, pepper, garlic blend
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 packet Lipton onion soup mix dry mix only
- 1/2 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 sub rolls
- shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, dill pickles or your favorite sandwich toppings
- Start the smoker, pellet grill, or charcoal grill and get it set at 300 degrees F.
- Season all sides of the beef chuck roast with a moderate amount of black pepper and seasoning of your choice. Place the seasoned roast on the smoker or grill and smoke for about 3 hours at 300 degrees F.
- When meat is almost done smoking, add garlic cloves, sliced onions, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Cajun seasoning, and one pouch of onion soup mix to a 6 quart slow cooker. Stir together.
- Transfer the smoked beef chuck roast to the slow cooker, on top of the beef broth and onion mixture. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook the beef on high for about 6 hours, or until fork tender.
- When chuck roast is fork tender, remove it from the slow cooker leaving the sauce in the slow cooker, and shred the meat. Transfer shredded meat to a separate bowl.
- Make a cornstarch slurry by combining 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of cold water to a small bowl and mix to combine. Slowly mix the slurry in to the warm leftover sauce in the slow cooker to thicken it to a loose gravy consistency. You may not need to add the full amount of slurry. Thicken the gravy sauce to your desired consistency.
- Add about 1/2 cup of gravy at a time to the shredded roast beef and stir. Continue to add gravy until the roast beef is done to your liking. We added about 1 ½ – 2 cups total of gravy.
- Warm the sub rolls or soft French bread in the oven, then slice the bread about ¾ of the way through. Add a generous amount of mayonnaise to the warm bread. Pile on the smoked beef chuck roast. Top with shredded lettuce, tomato, and other po' boy sandwich toppings of your choice. Serve warm.
- To season the chuck roast before smoking it, I used the Pit Boss Chicago BBQ Rub and freshly cracked black pepper. Don’t over-season the roast and be sure that the seasoning you select is not too salty.