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Chuck Roast on the Pit Barrel Cooker

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    What a perfect shot of the PBC in action, HawkerXP . Enjoy that cook!



      Welp, I gave this a try! It turned out good and I'm happy with it, but it definitely could be better.

      I picked up what I think were chuck roasts; however they were labeled as USDA Select Chuck Shoulder Roasts. I picked up two of them, about 2 lbs each. They seemed a little on the lean side, which may explain why I didn't end up being able to pull it.

      Fired up the PBC (this is cook number four for me on it). Every cook I do I get better at controlling and anticipating temperatures. Brisk north wind had it running hotter than normal. Opted to plug some of the holes with foil when it got above 325.

      I dry brined for 12 hours before applying BBBR (wow that is a tasty rub!) rather heavily. I tied the roasts together with butcher's twine and used two serially placed hooks for each one.

      With my temps at 280 it stalled out at 164. I then wrapped both roasts in foil and placed them on the grate. At 205 I checked them. One was quite tender, the other and slightly larger one wasn't quite as tender. I pulled the smaller roast and let the larger one go a bit more (to 209 I think).

      I then rested both still wrapped in their foil in a towel in a cooler for 20 minutes.

      They weren't pullable, unfortunately....except for this one small portion of the most tender roast. They sliced well, however. The flavor is delicious! I like pepper and the BBBR certainly gave me that.

      In addition to not being pulled, they were a bit dry. Still quite good and I am really happy with how my first smoked chuck roasts turned out.

      I am wondering is going to 207/209 was too much. I don't think so as several people in this thread report they have to go higher on chuck roasts than the traditional 203 for brisket. Did I just have too lean a roast? Maybe there just wasn't enough internal fat to support pulled chuck roast.

      Definitely going to do this one again. Fantastic flavor....just wish it was moister and pullable.

      Here they are at 164 right before I wrapped.

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      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        Not seeing the uncooked meat, my guess is you had the results you did due to the use of select, which is the lowest consumer grade of beef, usually with the least marbling. I can vouch for angus choice chuck pulling well at those temperatures. I also wrap around the 160’s.

      Chuck roasts need to be well marbled. My grocery store sells some with no marbling and some with fantastic marbling. Don’t buy any that aren’t well marbled. Here’s a pic of a perfect one for smoking.
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      • jfmorris
        jfmorris commented
        Editing a comment
        That’s a good looking chuck roast!

      Mine most certainly did not look like that! Mine were quite lean. Interesting. That is what I was afraid of.


        Been there, done that, got the tee shirt. I think we all make this mistake at least once.


          Fat is flavor. pbc, pbc, pbc Fat is our friend. You did a nice job tying up. Bark looks great! I wrap in foil pan whit liguid of choice after the stall and put in the oven. That still looks pbc, pbc, pbc..good to me, that's why BBQ sauce was invented. pbc, pbc, pbc
          Last edited by HawkerXP; December 22, 2019, 07:25 PM.


            I thought about putting a little beef broth in when I wrapped them; however, I wanted to see how much moisture I actually would get without it. It was probably about half a tablespoon or so per roast. In other words, not a lot. If I had added some broth, it would have helped braise the roasts more. (But I don't want to lose any of the bark...hmm...)

            I did have the oven at the reason, just in case my PBC temps started to get away from me again. (Which they did, but reapplying the foil plugs to the holes worked.)


              If you use the right chuckie you don’t need to wrap at all. I’ve found the PBC is such a humid environment that wrapping is unnecessary. I’ve only had my PBC a few months but haven’t wrapped anything yet. On my kettle I have to wrap or the bark is way too hard. Here’s a couple chuckies I did on the PBC without wrapping. They pulled easily and were not dry at all.
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                Interesting. I was actually surprised how moist the bark was on my roasts before I wrapped them. Still solid, but not the rock-hard meteoritic bark that I got on a pork butt I did on my kettle a few months ago. Next time, if I have the time, I'll try not wrapping.

                My roasts stalled out of me at 164 degrees, but it was really just a major slowdown, not a stop. It was still creeping up in temp. I was actually surprised how quickly the temp rose in the roasts after wrapping.

                (And you gave me an awesome idea. I never thought to loop my ambient temp probe around the rebar to help keep it in place!)


                  Originally posted by Michael_in_TX View Post
                  I never thought to loop my ambient temp probe around the rebar to help keep it in place!)
                  Or ... note the use of an extra hook and the a pot clip (no Colorado jokes, please) just to the left of the duck:

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                    Michael_in_TX I’m also wondering if you should have let it sit longer in the faux chambro. I’ve done chuck roast three times. The first time was a fail because of the quality of the chuck. The last two times were relatively successful but I let them sit for at least an hour in the Cambro wrapped in towels.


                    • Michael_in_TX
                      Michael_in_TX commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I think you're right. The meat appeared very juicy when I took it out of the cooler, but ended up a bit dry. It and the juices that ran out were all quite hot. As you suggest, it hadn't calmed down enough. I'll do an hour next time.

                    • Bobmcgahan
                      Bobmcgahan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      They still looked pretty good in any event.


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