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    Failure

    So standing in the grocery store staring wide eyed at the price of beef today but with a tingle running up my back dreaming of getting home and firing up the PBC (you know the feeling, that mouth watering dreamy lightness that follows you into the store and right up to the meat department) I noticed that pound for pound, chuck roasts seemed to be a great deal. Having never done anything more than put one in a crockpot, I whipped out my trusty phone and zipped right over to AR for some help. I wasn't even sure if you could smoke a beef roast (go ahead and chuckle old timers!). I found a reference to PBC cooking times for beef chuck roast, including a wrap at 160 and taking her on up to 205ish, then a nice long rest. This told me I wasn't the first to head down the path of the affordable roast.
    I hurried home with a 3.2 pounder. Trimmed off the extra fat, split it in two cause it was gonna come apart on the hook for sure at the fat line, and seasoned her down. Fired up the PBC and hung both hunks with a probe in the smaller piece. The pit ran at about 255-260 throughout most of the cook. I was at 140 at about an hour and a half in and made a decision to go ahead and wrap cause I had to go get the kids from school. So wrap i did, then plopped the chunks down on the grill grate and closed the lid. The PBC just did its thing and about an hour later, I was at 203.
    Now, being the genius that I am, I preheated the oven to 170, so as to have a warm spot to rest the family dinner. As soon as I put the roast in the oven, still in the foil, I turned the oven off and she sat in there for about an hour and a half while I finished the rest of the meal (sautéed asparagus and mashed potatoes).
    So I stuck my chest out while the family gathered round for more of Dad's awesome cue and I unwrapped my beautiful roast to find a flavorful dry hunk of tough meat just barely edible.
    Good golly. Jees man. It was not good.
    What did I do wrong? Was it the oven? Should I have let it rest on the kitchen counter instead of a preheated (but turned off) oven? Too long of a rest?
    I appreciate any wise advice and counsel. I really hate to see a shrink over this, but it may come to that 😁.

    #2
    My wild amateur guess is that it should have been treated like a tri-tip, and only cooked to your desired doneness, 135F maybe ? I don't think a chuck roast has enough fat to be treated like a brisket or pork butt.

    I could be wrong...

    Comment


    • Papa Bob
      Papa Bob commented
      Editing a comment
      I do think it should be treated like a tri tip not a lot of collagen to break down to gelatin so I think if your not going to treat it like a pot roast i.e.: braised with some flavorful liquid. med rare to rare reverse sear and rest in a ice chest like a tri tip would be the way to go also thanks for the failure I thought maybe I was the only one that screwed up Q

    #3
    Sounds like it was done to the right temp, I assume you didn't check tenderness? Chuck generally does have plenty of fat. I have only done one and it was fine. Did you wrap with any liquid? I wrapped mine with a quarter cup of liquid and I only faux cambro, never put in the oven (bit me on my hammy pork butt). I had a brisket recently that was still surprisingly tough until almost 220, so it could have very well been the cut of meat, please always check tenderness (which is usually easy if you test with a non-leave-in probe).

    Edit: Let me also say thanks for posting, a lot of people find it hard to post failures, even though we all do it. You almost always fail at least once at something, I prefer to learn from others mistakes rather than my own, so thanks.
    Last edited by _John_; December 10, 2014, 09:02 PM.

    Comment


    • Spinaker
      Spinaker commented
      Editing a comment
      Well said my friend. I've done it myself.

    #4
    Did you open the foil and let it cool for a bit before putting into the oven? Jerod gave me that tip a while back with a brisket. If you have it foiled on the cooker and it comes to temp you should open it up and let it cool to stop the cooking process quicker. Then wrap it up again and put it in the oven. Like John said, make sure there's liquid in the package.

    Comment


      #5
      The problem is that the fat in chuck is very, very tough and gristly while the meat is tender and easily overcooked. Chuck should either be sliced into steaks and marinated in a tenderizing solution for at LEAST 12 hours or slow cooked very low and slow with lots of moisture (braised).

      Comment


        #6
        When it comes to chuck roast, I and my family LOVE Larry Wolfe's Pepper Stout Beef:

        http://wolfepit.blogspot.com/2009/10...tout-beef.html

        I use a WSM (I have a Mini-Joe Gold, a 14.5" and a 18.5" Weber Smoky Mountain) for PSB but have done it successfully on my Weber One Touch Gold grill using a two stage fire - searing then braising as per the recipe).

        I presume it's alright to refer to other recipes? If not, the moderator will let me know, I suspect.

        Keep on smokin'
        Dale53

        Comment


          #7
          Awesome guys. I knew there would be some helpful insights here. I really appreciate it. I too wonder about treating it like a tri tip.
          Oh well, back to the drawing board!
          Ain't this fun!

          Comment


          #8
          I agree with the others, thanks for posting a failure so we all learn. I think you've gotten good advice already, here's a summary with my thoughts chipped in:
          1. the temps are fine in my opinion, but also check for done-ness by wiggling your temp probe.
          2. Skip the oven altogether. I always rest it in alu-foil and an old bath towel. It doesn't drop temp more than a few degrees (3-5°) in 1 hour. I leave my temp probe in when resting, so I can tell.
          3. If wrapping on the grill, open the foil for 5-10 minutes like the others say to stop the overshooting of temp that comes from residual heat. Save the juice though. I think this, together with the oven, is what wrecked it for you.
          4. Add some fluid (the previously saved juice, or apple juice, or what you prefer), wrap in alu foil and a towel, and wait.

          Comment


            #9
            Good advice has been given so far. Henrik did a good job of summarizing. I'd add you should also make sure your foil is double wrapped tightly. A loose single foil wrapping can ruin the meat as well by letting too much heat and liquid escape.

            Also, read up on what we call the "faux cambro".

            Comment


              #10
              Amazing ribs is amazing! Thanks again guys. As I read these posts, I think I agree that I overshot the temp by not opening the foil for a moment when it came off the grill and by placing it in a warmed oven, it probably ended up pushing past that point of desired tenderness. When I opened the foil at dinner time, the foil was full of beautiful juices, but the meat was very dry when I cut into it. Seemed over cooked to me.

              Comment


                #11
                I did a chuck roast on my PBC last week and other than the mesquite smoke being way too strong, it ended up nice and tender.

                At 155-160 I wrapped it (w/o adding any liquid) and when done @ 195-200 there was a ton of natural liquid in the foil wrap.

                I put mine in a 170 oven to keep warm, still wrapped in the natural juice for about 45 mins to keep warm and it came out slicing (and looking) like a brisket.

                Maybe it was beginner's luck on the execution (other than mesquite over smoking)- but, I too was scared off by brisket prices. If I had over-smoked a $50-60 piece of equivalent brisket in lieu of a $18 chuck roast I would have been super POed; but thankfully we both ruined a cheap cut in the learning process.

                Comment


                  #12
                  I smoke chuck roast in the PBC often. I usually take it to 160 when it is barked up real nice then wrap with some sort of liquid to 205-210 ish depending on the roast. I then foil and towel in a faux cambro for an hour or so. I then pull it for pulled beef sandwiches. It doesn't pull as easily as a pork butt will but it is definitely doable. There should a post to one or two of my chuck roast cooks in the PBC section. Hope this helps

                  Comment


                    #13
                    I haven't done a chuck roast, but I've done top sirloin by following a Cook's Illustrated recipe. 125 for medium rare, 130 for medium-well. Roast turned out very good following their process.

                    I know this doesn't contribute to the chuck roast info, but let me know if you are interested in how CI rates various cuts for grill-roasting.

                    --Ed

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Thanks HC, Deuce (even though I'm a University of Tennessee grad 😁), and Medusa.

                      Comment

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