I absolutely have no luck with a chusck roast. I've tried several methods, even marinading and it just doesn't turn out tender.
Kick, Don't give up on beef just yet. There is wisdom in Chad's advice. With beef especially low is key. That part in the brisket article about not boiling out the juice is paramount. 215 is my target for beef. I don't start cracking doors until 225, but aim for 215 and no higher.
Foil- use a strong flavored wood and foil a bit early if you want. Get the smoke on with strong wood and foil at 150.
Temp- Gotta take beef to 200 if you want pulled pork tender, maybe even a little higher. I did some reading that suggested removing beef @ 190-200 depending on the texture you wanted. I've pulled some briskets @ 192 or 3 or 4 and there's no comparison, 200 min.
Rest-The longer you can cooler or just leave it in the foil the better it gets.
Today I was hungry and impatient and put the heat up to 250 after foiling, didn't hurt a thing. Took me 6 hrs to get to 160 and only 90 mins to get to 200 from there. The chuck we ate was very good the one I just unwrapped to bag up and put in the fridge was absolutely shreddable.
For those that haven't tried chuck roast I suggest you give it a go. It's not brisket but it was $1.49 on sale and near zero waste like a trimmed flat @ $2.99. Another big plus to me was I lit my fire at 11:00am and had dinner at 7:30, can't do that with a packer. The rub spices mixed with the mop and beef juices makes an au jus that is to die for.
Phil, have you ever used chili specific spices for rubbing chuck you intend to use for chili? If so I'd be very interested to hear what you use. I can't wait to try this.