Pulled beef from the Dutch oven

Pulled beef has been on the Dutch dining tables for a long time, we call it draadjesvlees or strings of meat. Every grandma in the Netherlands has a recipe for draadjesvlees.

But we are now making it on the barbecue. Pulled beef is made from meat with a good amount of intramuscular fat. We use a chuck roast. Because of the amount of fat and the melting connective tissue, it becomes very tender and tasty.

We already had a recipe for pulled beef, but it didn’t have the same result for everyone. This new recipe always works because it is made in the Dutch oven. If you do not have a Dutch oven but another kind of cast-iron pan, you can finish this pulled beef in the kitchen after smoking.

2 pounds of chuck roast with all the ingredients for chuck roastIn addition to a lot of intermuscular fat, a chuck roast also has enough connective tissue that, after a low and slow preparation, is converted into delicious gelatin.

chuck roast basted with a layer of mustardThe dry-rub that we are going to apply should ensure a beautiful bark or crust. We use a layer of mustard to ensure that the dry-rub stays in place to let the bark form. Do not be afraid that you will taste the mustard. Just a little of the taste remains.

chuck roast with selfmade dryrubWe made a dry-rub with the basic flavors. You are free to experiment with it yourself. Half-half salt and pepper should be enough.

chuck roast after 2 hours of smokingWe will smoke the chuck roast for 2 hours at a temperature of around 120°C (250F). The goal is to ensure a sweet, smoky taste and a good bark. The core temperature is not yet relevant.

orange juice for pulled porkThe Dutch oven will be filled with about half a liter (2 cups) of moisture. With us, that is half a liter of chicken broth. Why not beef broth? Because we think chicken broth tastes better in the leftover sauce.

In addition to the chicken broth, we throw a whole onion, 400 grams (14 oz) of tomato pulp, and a large glass (10 oz) of orange juice. With its acid, the orange juice ensures that the connective tissue softens faster so that the meat falls apart nicely.

You could also use apple cider vinegar for this, but we think the orange juice leaves a better taste.

smoked chuck roast with onion tomatoe chickenbroth and orange juiceAdd the chuck roast and then put the lid on and put the dutch oven in the barbecue. It is intended that the whole simmer takes place for 4 to 6 hours at a temperature of around 100 to 120°C (210-250F). After 4 hours, you can check just how tender the meat is.

the pulled beef is ready when you can easily pull it apartThe pulled beef is ready when you pull the meat apart very easily. You can decide for yourself how soft you want it to be. The longer you let it stand, the softer the meat becomes.

Remove the meat from the dutch oven and let the moisture thicken a little. Be careful not to let the dutch oven boil dry.

pulled beef torn with 2 forksWith 2 forks, you can easily pull the meat apart. You could also do it with your hands, but the meat is still quite hot.

pulled beefNow throw the pulled beef back in the dutch oven and mix the meat with the thickened sauce. You can eat this pulled beef over a fresh plate of fries or on a sandwich with some coleslaw. It also tastes great with red cabbage.


  • 1.2 kilo chuck roast (2.65 lbs)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp paprika powder
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 large white onion
  • 500 ml chicken broth (17 fl. oz)
  • 400 gr diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 250 ml orange juice (9 fl. oz)


  1. Provide a barbecue with a boiler temperature of approximately 120°C (250F) and an indirect preparation.
  2. Coat the meat with a layer of mustard.
  3. Mix the brown sugar, paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, salt, and black pepper and sprinkle this on the chuck roast.
  4. Throw a block of smoke wood on the coals and place the chuck roast on the barbecue. Close the lid and let the meat smoke for 2 hours.
  5. After 2 hours, you fill the dutch oven with the broth, tomato, onion, and orange juice and put the smoked chuck roast on top.
  6. Put the dutch oven back on the barbecue and let the meat simmer for 4 to 6 hours until the meat can be pulled apart easily.
  7. Take the beef out of the pan and pull it while the moisture in the pan thickens. Then throw the meat back in the sauce and mix it.

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