Hearty, comforting and absolutely packed with flavour, this easy to make Traeger Smoked Mississippi Pot Roast is a family favourite. It’s savoury, smokey, a little spicy, tangy, meaty and perfect over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. Complete with a homemade Ranch Seasoning mix and real-deal gravy, you’ll never guess it was Whole30 and Paleo-friendly.
What is Mississippi Pot Roast?
Mississippi Pot Roast is a savoury, succulent and slow-cooked dish usually made with beef chuck roast, Ranch seasoning, au jus gravy mix, pickled pepperoncini peppers and butter. The roast is usually braised in a slow-cooker or Dutch oven over low heat along with the other ingredients until the meat is juicy and fall-apart tender.
The recipe was first developed by Robin Chapman from Ripley, Mississippi, in the early 2000’s and has since become a household staple and internet sensation across the United States. Mississippi Pot Roast is super easy, requires little effort, makes use of affordable ingredients and feeds a crowd. And with just a few simple substitutions, you can make it Paleo and Whole30 without sacrificing any of the flavour.
What Makes this Recipe Different?
There are 2 things that set this recipe apart from the original version:
- I keep things Paleo and Whole30-friendly with some key substitutions.
- It packs even more flavour by first smoking the beef chuck roast on the Traeger Grill and then searing it in a Dutch oven before braising it until fork-tender.
Rather than using pre-packaged Dry Ranch Dressing Mix, I make a homemade, flavour-packed, dairy-free version. The main secret is to replace the buttermilk powder normally used in the packaged mix with nutritional yeast. The rest of the seasoning mix is made from easy-to-find spices and herbs, many of which you might already have on hand.
This recipe also calls for real beef bone broth instead of au jus gravy mix in the original recipe, which is made of artificial colours, refined sugars, stabilizers and thickeners. Using homemade broth is always best, but grabbing a carton of Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth can be an immense time saver. It’s made with all-natural, organic ingredients, grass-fed beef bones and is free of added sugar, stabilizers and fillers.
What You Need for Mississippi Pot Roast
- Chuck Roast: plan for about 1/2 pound of pre-cooked weight per serving. So, if feeding six people, get at least a 3-pound roast.
- Dry Ranch Dressing Mix: Make your own Whole30 and Paleo version by combining the herbs and spices listed in the recipe below.
- Beef Bone Broth: Skip the dry packet of au jus gravy mix and opt for real beef bone broth instead. As the pot roast slowly cooks, the broth will reduce down and form a gravy with the spices and rendered beef fat.
- Pepperoncini Peppers: these mild and juicy pickled peppers are part of what makes this recipe so good. They add tang, a bit of heat and acidity that helps cut through the richness of the beef.
- Unsalted Butter: I personally find this ingredient to be optional since chuck roast is already well-marbled with a good amount of fat. However, if you end up using a different, leaner cut of beef, such as sirloin tip or rump, the butter can be a welcome addition. If you want to keep the recipe entirely Whole30, substitute ghee or tallow for butter.
Make It On The Traeger!
Mississippi Pot Roast is one of my new favourite things to cook on the Traeger. Smoking the beef before braising imparts an incredible flavour and completely transforms the finished product. The taste is out of this world and it’s super easy to do!
First, I smoke the chuck roast for 2 hours at 225F to develop a smoke ring and infuse the roast with wood-fired flavour. Then the beef gets seared in a Dutch oven before being braised in a pot with beef broth, butter, spices and pepperoncini peppers.
I have the new Timberline XL with induction burner built directly into my outdoor kitchen so I’m able to cook the entire recipe outdoors. If you have any of the other Traeger models you can simply smoke the meat first, sear the meat on a stovetop and then return the pot back to the Traeger to finish braising.
Since the pot will be covered with a lid for the final braising process, you can also transfer it to a 350F oven if you don’t want to go back outside or use up your pellets. The important part is smoking the meat and then searing it first.
Unlike conventional gas grills, Traegers use indirect heat so there is little to no risk of scorching your Dutch oven or burning the food inside. If you try to cook this recipe on a gas or charcoal grill be sure to setup a two-zone heat and cook the Mississippi Pot Roast over the indirect heat side.
Just be sure to keep an eye on the liquid levels inside the pot and add more broth if it evaporates too quickly.
How to Make Smoked Mississipi Pot Roast
- Season the chuck roast with avocado oil, salt and pepper.
- Smoke the roast on your Traeger for 2 hours at 225F – use super smoke if you have it.
- Sear the roast in a hot Dutch oven with avocado oil.
- Deglaze the pot with the bone broth.
- Sprinkle in the ranch dressing mix, butter, pepperoncini peppers and their brine.
- Cover the pot and return it to the Traeger, oven or slow cooker and cook until tender and it easily shreds with a fork.
- Shred the meat with two forks and mix it with the gravy.
- Serve the Mississippi Pot Roast over mashed potatoes with a side of green beans or steamed vegetables.
If you’re looking to switch things up or accommodate dietary restrictions, here are some substitution ideas for the key ingredients:
- Beef: While chuck roast is the most flavourful choice, you can use other cuts like beef brisket, rump or sirloin tip. You can even try using pork shoulder or leg of lamb if you’re not in the mood for beef.
- Seasoning Mixes: What makes this pot roast so different from anything else is the dry ranch dressing mix. It packs so much flavour and works so well with the beef.
- Pepperoncini Peppers: Feel free to substitute your favourite pickled hot peppers, such as banana peppers or even pickled jalapeños.
- Butter: To keep this recipe strictly Paleo and Whole30, you can omit the butter or substitute ghee or tallow instead.
- Beef Broth: I love the deep and rich flavour of beef bone broth, which is usually cooked for upwards of 24 hours. However, if you want a less beefy flavour you can use a regular beef broth.
Do You Have to Smoke the Beef First?
No, you don’t have to smoke the beef on the Traeger before braising it. This is just a twist on the original recipe. However, it will add an irresistible wood-fired flavour.
If you’re not going to take the extra step of smoking the beef first, I still recommend searing it in a pot to develop a flavourful crust and build some fond (brown bits on the bottom of the pot), and then deglazing the pot with the broth.
After the beef has been seared you can add the remaining ingredients to the same pot and finish cooking it in the oven or transfer everything to a slow cooker.
Can you Make Mississippi Pot Roast in the Instant Pot?
Absolutely! You can sear the beef in the Instant Pot using the Sauté function, add the remaining ingredients and then cook under high pressure for 45 to 60 minutes or until the beef is tender.
Note: because the Instant Pot traps almost all of the steam, you will likely have a lot of liquid after cooking. If you want to thicken the liquid, you can simply switch the Instant Pot back to Sauté mode and cook it down until it reduces to a thick gravy.
Is Mississippi Pot Roast Spicy?
I would say this recipe for Mississippi Pot Roast is more on the mild side but it does leave a little tickle on the tongue that might be too much for younger children.
If you want to reduce the spice level, use less pepperoncini peppers and brining liquid. You can always serve the roast with extra peppers for anyone that wants them afterwards.
Traeger Smoked Mississippi Pot Roast – Paleo, Whole30-compatible
- 3 pounds beef chuck roast AKA boneless blade, bottom round, blade roast
- Avocado oil
- Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried chives
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 16.9 ounce carton Kettle & Fire Beef Bone Broth
- 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter substitute ghee for Whole30 or omit for dairy-free
- 8 to 10 Pepperoncini peppers or 4 to 5 if you prefer mild, plus ½ cup of the brining liquid
- Preheat your Traeger Grill to 225F. Turn on the Super Smoke option, if available.
- Pat the beef dry with paper towel, drizzle it with 2 tablespoons of avocado oil and massage it evenly to coat. Generously season all sides with salt and pepper and transfer the beef to the top rack of the Traeger. Smoke the beef for 2 hours or until it develops a red colour.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the nutritional yeast, dried parsley, dried chives, dried dill, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, mustard powder, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Stir to combine and transfer to a mason jar. Can be stored for up to one month in the pantry.
- Preheat a Dutch oven over medium heat for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil and heat until shimmering. Carefully add the smoked beef to the pot and sear on all sides until golden brown, around 8 minutes total. Add the beef bone broth, butter, pepperoncini and brining liquid. Add 2/3 of the Ranch Seasoning, bring the liquid to a boil and cook, lifting any brown bits off the bottom of the pot, until reduced in volume by ¼.
- Cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to the Traeger. Raise the heat to 350F and cook, occasionally basting the beef with the gravy, until fall-apart tender, around 2.5 hours.
- Roughly shred the beef apart with two forks and stir it with the gravy. Taste for seasoning and adjust with the reserved Ranch Dressing Mix as desired. Serve the Mississippi Pot Roast with your favourite side dishes, such as Mashed Potatoes and Sautéed Green Beans.