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Almost chucked this roast

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    Almost chucked this roast

    I was thoroughly inspired by the brisket-chuck roast the Attjack posted a few days ago. I couldn't resist giving it a shot this weekend, even though the selection at the local mart wasn't great. Sometimes ya win, sometimes ya don't. I'd love some feed back on what went wrong...

    It was a pretty lean 3lb cut, even for chuck roast. Someone posted a question a while back about grinding a chuck roast for burgers that turned out very dry - it was lean like that. Also, I was in a bit of a hurry, and didn't give it the time it deserved. Mind you, it was an impulse and I was hungry...

    Kosher salt approx an hour before going on the grill. A solid rub down with Big Bad Beef rub, and then into the Weber kettle. The cheap version of a slow-N-sear to keep it at 225-250F, with a solid handful of hickory chips at 20 min intervals for the first hour. Then hold...... till it hit the stall about 150. I noticed that my water tray had sprung a leak somewhere along the way, and it ran dry for maybe an hour? When it started to creep up to 155 (about 4.5 hrs in), I judged the stall complete and pulled off the grill. I wrapped in parchment, and shoved in the oven at 325F. It hit 200 about an hout later, and I took it out to let it rest for about 30 min before we sliced ​​​ it up. The smoke ring and flavor were great. But - wow, dry and not succulent or tender at all.

    Fortunately, the baked potatoes, grilled squash, and toast garlic bread were excellent, cuz the meat was a disappointment. The Pic below looks better than it was - dry and tough.

    Self diagnosis:
    1. Very lean meat. Shoulda picked a different cut. Not sure what I could have done different with this one.
    2. Too short on the dry brine. Yeah, I know... 24 hrs woulda been much better. Would it have helped with tenderness?
    3. Pulled off the grill too soon? Should I have left it on till it was clearly climbing out of the stall?
    4. Oven too hot? It was getting late, and I pushed the oven too hard at 325 - I think?
    5. Too short rest? I think it was already dry at this point, and resting further wouldn't have helped.

    Click image for larger version

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    Ouch. Sorry to hear that. But... chili.


    • Mr. Bones
      Mr. Bones commented
      Editing a comment

    It looks good. Because we eat with our eyes first it must be good.
    Dry you say. PBR to the rescue. Maybe a good mushroom gravy, or make it a smothered roast.
    Don't feel alone, I have enough not so good cooks, I mean learning experiences.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Last edited by bbqLuv; October 10, 2021, 07:25 PM.


    • Caffeine88
      Caffeine88 commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, that what stung so much - it looked great! It just wasn't.
      I cubed up a bunch of it today and pan sizzled it to make sandwiches. That was a reasonable redemption.

    I can't help with the "dry", but it's not tender 'till it's tender. That means a probe inserted in it feels like a knife going in room temp butter. Temp is just a guide.


      I did dry brine mine for 24 hours and it had some good marbling. I cooked it in a foil pan at 225, in a Kamado, with a water pan. After the stall, I poured the juice from the pan into the butcher paper when I wrapped. It wasn't much, probably a couple of tablespoons. I wrapped it very tightly then again with a second piece of butcher paper. I put it back on the Kamado at 250 until I realized it would not be done when I wanted so I cranked it to 300. I pulled it at about 190 and then held it for an hour before slicing.


        I would tend to guess, going off what you shared, it just didn’t get cooked all the way. Chuck is not a dry cut, with that being said, there are definitely chucks with a lot more fat marbling then others. I love a good chuck cook. It is also likely the cut that I take time to cook in a humid environment, it can take awhile to cook a chuck, and they can really shrink in size, I also boat this cut in a throw away tinfoil tray, and flip it close to half way through. I find it benefits really from cooking in it’s own juices, I also like to s-ritz this cut, I find the edges can get dry without. But that is just my way. I also have learned to cook this cut at 275. I treat it more like beef plate ribs. These are just considerations on what I’ve learned from this cook. I personally prefer this cut and cook over brisket.

        Click image for larger version

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        • Richard Chrz
          Richard Chrz commented
          Editing a comment
          So all the juice you see in that tray, came from the chuck roast. Since I now boat this cut, I no longer wrap it. When I hold it for resting, I will throw a sheet of foil over the top of the tray. (Edited to add, I did add a bit of red wine to this with an hour or so to go, so that is not all juice in the pan, but, likely at minimum 50 percent, from just the cook.
          Last edited by Richard Chrz; October 11, 2021, 10:14 AM.

        • Attjack
          Attjack commented
          Editing a comment
          Cooking chucks in a foil pan and wrapping in the pan with foil has been my typical technique. That last cook was an experiment and I liked the result.

        • Polarbear777
          Polarbear777 commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed. I always use a pan under and save all that stuff for braising it later.

        Don’t feel dejected, we all had to cook a bunch of Chuckies before We got them right!
        1. Next time look for the thickest roast you can find in your butchers meat case that has the most marbling.
        2. I am a little short on knowledge here but I believe the only way to tenderize is a dry brine of extended time.
        3. Don’t worry when the stall is, pull it off the grill when your bark is set. If you can gently scratch the surface and the bark stays put, you’re good. Also I don’t ever use parchment paper. Either red butcher paper or foil. You are looking to tenderize, breaking down the inter muscular tissue. You need to keep moisture inside the wrap. I usually use foil with a chuckie and add beef broth.
        4. Oven too hot, absolutely. This is likely why is was so dry. It should go in the oven @ that same 225 -250. I start checking for doneness somewhere around 200-203. I use a bamboo skewer checking the entire roast for doneness. Often they will go all the way to 210 before tender.
        5. Jeremy Yoder (Mad Scientist BBQ) talks about this often. Almost all amateur pit masters do not allow their cooks to rest long enough. I let a chuckie rest no less than 4 hrs. If you dig into the Aaron Franklin’s of the world, they all have their products rest for hours. Franklin starts pulling briskets at 2am and they don’t open until 11am!

        Hope this helps, like I said, Everybody I know cooked several before they get it right! Like rickgregory said……chili.


        • Caffeine88
          Caffeine88 commented
          Editing a comment
          Awesome - thanks for that. I was trying to speed it up...won't do that again! I definitely haven't rested any of my brisket this long, and didn't expect the chuck to benefit as much as it apparently does.

        • Bob's BBQ
          Bob's BBQ commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree with Caffeine88 - I always use foil and some braising liquid (usually beer) and mine come out nice and moist.

        + 1 on the bamboo skewers, I buy them a hundred at a time. They are long enough to probe through most anything. When they slide easily through you’re there.


        • Caffeine88
          Caffeine88 commented
          Editing a comment
          Good tip. Never crossed my mind, and I've got a couple bags in a drawer.

        In my experience, the marbling in the chuck roast is the most important thing. I’ve smoked lean chuckies and they’ve been dry. You need to find a well marbled chuck roast and cook to probe tender, maybe a bit below probe tender for slicing.


          I've done my fair share of DRY chuck roasts that's for sure but like some others have said, panning works best....at least for me. I've had success making a big bed of onions and peppers in a foil pan, set roast inside and add 8-10 oz's of beef broth then smoke uncovered for 2-3 hours at 225-250. Then cover the pan with foil and let it ride until it reaches the desired temp you want. For me I like either 195 for slices or 205-210 for pulled. Now with all that said you want to get a nice marbled roast, not one with a ton of fat in big globs...look for some nice specks of fat throughout the entire roast which means you'll be looking for something Choice or Prime.
          If I want a pretty much fail safe method of creating a super tender & moist roast, and have the time, I do the QVQ method using a Sous Vide, but that's just me.


            Next time sous vide it.


              A couple of weeks ago I smoked a bone-in chuck roast and for the first time I finished it off in a pan with beef broth instead of my usual wrapping it in foil till probe tender. It wasn't by my choice, due to the bone I couldn't wrap it in foil without poking a hole through it . I can say it was very tender and moist and pulled easily. I will start boating my chucks in the future. Even though it's difficult, patience is helpful for tender and moist pulls, like everyone says it's done when it's done.


              • Tax Man
                Tax Man commented
                Editing a comment
                When a pull a chuckie off the PBC, I pour a bottle of beer over it and let it rest in a covered foil pan in the oven. Samuel Adams is what I usually have in the house so that's what goes on the roast. The roast likes the beer as much as i do!

              Wondering if injecting a dry cut like this with stock and beef tallow or even butter would help. Never done it, but wonderin’.


              • Richard Chrz
                Richard Chrz commented
                Editing a comment
                It’s already filled with it, you just have to render it in the cook.

              • Texas Larry
                Texas Larry commented
                Editing a comment
                Richard Chrz that’s how all my chuckies have been. Thought maybe this one was different.🤷‍♂️

              • Polarbear777
                Polarbear777 commented
                Editing a comment
                I wouldn’t inject but I have been known to add tallow or bacon fat mixed in if I pull shred it and it’s too dry.

              I know it's not a brisket, but what I had on hand was a 5 lb bottom-round roast so I smoked that. In December, we're hosting a holiday open house for the family and I thought a brisket would be a good choice to feed a crowd and thought this roast could be a test run of sorts.

              Yeah, I completely messed it up by being impatient and pushing the temperature on my pellet grill.

              225 until the temperature reached 145, then wrapped it and back onto the grill. Started to get impatient after 90 minutes and cranked the heat up to 350. More impatience and it was 400. Pulled it off the grill at 200 and let it rest for 30 minutes.

              Yes, I'm aware of all of my errors. What I'd like to know is there anything that I can do with this dry/tough but kinda tasty chunk of beef?

              (First post so forgive me if I don't find my way back promptly because I'm over 30 and technology takes some getting used to.)


              • Jim White
                Jim White commented
                Editing a comment
                Putting it into some chili will re-moisten it and you can simmer it until it gets tender.

                Edited to add: Welcome! We all have bad cooks now and then and there are no dumb questions around here.
                Last edited by Jim White; November 11, 2021, 07:13 AM.

              • Draznnl
                Draznnl commented
                Editing a comment
                Welcome to the Pit from the Gulf Coast of Florida.

                You can always chop the roast up and throw it in with baked beans. Or make chili with it.

              • jfmorris
                jfmorris commented
                Editing a comment
                Ouch! Bottom round is a very LEAN cut and should have been cooked to no more than about 135 to 140F, i.e. its a cut you would use for making roast beef, sliced thin for tenderness. Taking it to 200F like you would a brisket or chuck would make for an extremely dry piece of meat. Chop it up and make chili with it is all I can suggest at this point.

              Thank you for the kind welcome. Chili sounds like a great idea! The wx here in Connecticut is getting chilly.)



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