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Chuck Roast on the Pit Barrel Cooker

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    Chuck Roast on the Pit Barrel Cooker

    Last week I just happened upon these two beauties while shopping at Costco. These are Angus Chuck Roasts that together weigh in at a little under 5 lbs. I brought them home and brined them in salt the next day. I'd planned to cook them over the weekend, but life happened and it was Monday before I could get to them. They ended up brining for 5 days. This is what they looked like after the brine. Click image for larger version

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    I made a fresh batch of my favorite beef rub( Big Bad Beef Rub) and added my own little riff... a 1/2 tsp of cumin. If you guys like Cumin you have GOT to try it in BBBR. Side note on BBBR: I've found it's important to use larger grind pepper or the rub can be too peppery. Click image for larger version

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    I let the charcoal heat up for a while in my Weber chimney, then threw it into the PBC at about the 15 minute point. While the charcoal was heating up in the PBC I applied the BBBR to the chuckies with a coating of EVOO to help the rub adhere. Click image for larger version

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    The charcoal was roaring hot after a few minutes (I apologize I didn't count). This is what it looked like right before I threw on the meat. Click image for larger version

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    I threw on a big chunk of ash wood (Thanks Huskee!) then hung the chuckies. I probed them and the pit with two Mavericks. It only took a few seconds for the ash chunk to flame up, so I hurried to get the lid closed. After 5 minutes the temp peaked at 424*F. Ideally I like my peak temp to be in the 380*F to 420*F range so this was just slightly high. I attribute the extra few degrees to the burning wood (Yep it really does make a difference). Click image for larger version

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    ​Continued in the next post...

    This pic was taken two hours into the cook. The meat is starting to develop a nice bark. Internal temps were at 142*F and 145*F when this pic was taken. Click image for larger version

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    At the two hour point I also took out the chunk of ash, figuring I had enough smoke flavor. In the pic below you can see the wood chunk barely burned at all, even though it was flaming high when I started the cook. The charcoal in the PBC does an excellent job of hogging all of the oxygen and forcing the wood to carbonize. This results in very clean smoke coming from the wood. Click image for larger version

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    At 4 hours into the cook and ITs in the 170*F range I foiled the chuck roasts. This pic shows them sitting on the PBC rack with a Maverick probe in each. Click image for larger version

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    Once the temp hit 203*F I checked them. They weren't ready. I continued letting them cook until they hit 207*F. I let them rest in the cambro for an hour then sliced/chopped them up for sandwiches. Total cook time was 7 hours. Here's a pic of the final result. The meat came apart easily and was very juicy and tender. I poured some of the drippings (fat and all that's how I roll) back onto the pan of chopped meat for extra flavor. Note the smoke ring is a bit on the thin side but very intense. I find that typical of a PBC cook and makes sense given the PBC starts at such high temps and gives off quite a bit of smoke. Click image for larger version

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    The DW sauteed onions and peppers to go with the chopped chuck roast. She then melted shredded sharp provolone on top. Basically she made Fancy Schmancy Philly Cheesesteaks without the buns (We're low carbing it). Click image for larger version

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    The overall result was amazing. Think about the most tender Philly Cheesesteak you ever ate, then kick it up a notch with smoke flavor and the complexities that come from BBBR. I'd recommend this recipe to anyone. Pit Boss Approved!
    Attached Files


    • (Bluecat)
      (Bluecat) commented
      Editing a comment
      David Parrish - newbie question. When you wrote "Once the temp hit 203*F I checked them. They weren't ready." How did you test them and what were you looking for?

    • David Parrish
      David Parrish commented
      Editing a comment
      If you want to slice/chop the meat you check the meat for probe tenderness. If it's probe tender you can chop or slice it. If you are wanting to pull it you can try to pull a little bit with two forks. If it pulls easily through most of the hunk of meat you're done.

    • Sweaty Paul
      Sweaty Paul commented
      Editing a comment
      Looks delicious. Envious. Great write up too! Will need to try.

    Dang man, I've yet to really go long on a chuck on the PBC. You got me REALLY wanting to now. Those are BIG chucks.

    Is that a hybrid probe on the right?


      It is indeed a hybrid probe. I got that with the latest Mav ET-732 purchase.

      You really should give chuck a try. You'll love it.


      • Ray
        Ray commented
        Editing a comment
        Hybrid probe?? What's that? How does it differ from an ordinary meat or pit probe?

      • David Parrish
        David Parrish commented
        Editing a comment
        It's nothing special really. It's just a "stick" type probe with a pointy end that you can use to measure the pit temp or the meat temp. The standard pit probe doesn't have a point end so you can't use it for meat.

      I did the same cook last weekend, took it to 210. It wasn't probe tender yet but I figured 210 was enough. It was good, but still a little too tough for anything but chopping for sandwiches.


        This one was super tender. The DW and I could not stop eating it while I was chopping it up. It might have been my best chuck roast ever.

        The meat was tender enough to pull, however DW likes it chopped, so that's how she got it!


          I've started quite a few enough get good and brown to go in the stove.


            I thought that was the case (as in I remembered you posting you'd cooked chuck). Yeah you really should let it go all the way in the PBC. Charcoal is already lit at that point. May as well use it.


            • Jerod Broussard
              Jerod Broussard commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeh, the last one was "cooked" with a turkey and a brisket.

            Nice post Boss!
            Do you believe any of the tenderness came from the extended brine time or just quality Chuck?


              Thanks! I think it was both Powersmoke. The brine helped the meat retain water for juiciness, and the quality marbling (fat) rendered down nicely to create awesome tenderness.


                Oh my! Perfecto! Piatto ricco, mi ci ficco.




                    Beautiful cook. Congrats, Dave! The photos and and information provided are golden. Thanks.

                    I'm scoring a couple of chuckys tomorrow to smoke this weekend at DH's special request. He loves smoked pulled chuck. Hey, what's not to like?



                      That looks indescribably delicious !

                      I haven't done much beef in the PBC, except a couple of tri-tips and small briskets. I really need to expand the cooking options, but I feel limited in that cooking anything large makes more product than the two of us can eat. By the third day, my wife is not so much interested in eating the "same thing AGAIN <heavy sigh>". Me, I'll eat it all week until it's gone

                      I think this chuck roast, and some beef ribs are my next two targets.


                      • David Parrish
                        David Parrish commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Bruce I find chuck roast and small prime ribs are excellent choices when "it's just the two of you." A nice 5 lb prime rib( with bones) makes a nice meal for two after trimming and you can smoke the ribs during a future cook... With a chuck roast! Win win I tell you

                        Pulled/chopped chuck reheats very well btw.

                      • Guy
                        Guy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Same here Bruce it is tough to smoke meat for two without getting too much. Best thing is to find someone to share it with. If you cook on a weekend they will be waiting at your door on Wednesday. LOL I am the same as you I can eat it until it is gone.

                      • RonB
                        RonB commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I suggest you portion some of it to whatever amount suites you and freeze it. That way you won't be eating it endlessly.

                      Thanks folks. This really was a cook to remember. One of those where after the first bite( while chopping away at the cutting board) you just smile cause you know you nailed it.



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