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Chuck Roast on the Pit Barrel Cooker

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    #46
    I forgot to mention, there were two big chunks in there, hickory and apple. Honestly, aside from not having to refuel, I've had better results with the Weber and the Smokenator. And I really want to like this thing.

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      #47
      Jordan it sounds like you just need a little more practice. and I think your Pit temps may have run a little too hot. Keep on smokin!

      Comment


        #48
        That's the thing. After trying to settle above 300, I foiled the holes and ran it around 245 until I wrapped it. I really don't get it. Similarly, the pork shoulder I did a couple of weeks ago didn't have much smoke flavor either.
        I dry-brined both of them, and I noticed after the brining that the exterior of this roast had become a little hard in spots. I know you dry-brined yours for several days. Did this happen to you? I know I over-salted the pork shoulder, and I'm wondering if this has had some effect on the surface of the meat that makes it less likely to take on smoke.
        And, back to temp issues, I run chicken really hot and still can't get crisp skin. I even stuck the last one under the broiler after it came out of the pit, but had to take it out when the rub started burning.
        So, while I don't mind practicing anything, this is about as simple as a machine gets. So, unless it's my prep, I'm kind of at a loss.

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          #49
          Jordan, when you hang the meat in the PBC, has it come directly from the refrigerator? You probably know this, but cold meat absorbs smoke better according to Dr. Blonder.

          When I smoked that (most recent) 10lbs of chuck roasts on my PBC, I also dry brined for almost 5 days, without a single dry or hard spot showing on the 4 roasts before adding the olive oil/rub to them just before putting on the smoker. Like Dave, I couldn't smoke them when I had planned, and since I knew he had gone as long as 5 days dry brining, I figured I had a proven acceptable window of time. I wrap the dry-brined meat well in a plastic bag or in a covered tray/pan while in the fridge doing its dry brining thing (Except for chicken whose skin I let dry out in the fridge as the bird sits, uncovered, for 24 hours or so if possible).

          Also, my PBC rarely settles in at 300+ degrees. I have to babysit it a lot to get it to run that hot for a long time.

          Kathryn
          Last edited by fzxdoc; February 8, 2015, 01:22 PM.

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          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            No special software, Guy. I write up a summary of each cook (with photos if I took any) in Microsoft Word. I also keep a cooking log in real time during the cook. I clip the log and my summary together and file by type of meat. It beats trying to keep all that info in my head! It also helps when I want to refine a technique for a future cook.

            Have fun cooking that chuckie today! Let us know how it turns out.

            Kathryn

          • Guy
            Guy commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you ma'am will do. Going to be a good day here in NWFlorida. Yesterday morning temp was 26 deg F. Today is supposed to be close to 70 deg F. What a jump. Not complaining though.

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            Guy, we too jumped 40 degrees. We have a forecast high of 24 above today. Might just swap out my heavy coat for my lighter coat. Woo hoo! 16 now, yesterday this time was -22.

          #50
          Thanks, Katherine. I generally go from the fridge to the smoker. There may be a couple of minutes lag time if I'm having trouble getting my act together, but, no, I'm not a bring it to room temp. first kind of guy.

          Next time I'll wrap it while brining. I do this with pork butt, so I'll make a point with all roast-type meats from now on. I'm sure this will help with the spots that appeared dried out. The smoke flavor, not surprisingly, was more pronounced in the leftovers I used in tacos last night. Does anyone know what accounts for this phenomenon?

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          • Kariandscott
            Kariandscott commented
            Editing a comment
            I have a theory on this because I have experienced the same thing. Honestly, I think that when we are smoking meat all day long we are smelling and tasting smoke all day, and we just get desensitized to the flavor. When you eat leftovers your senses are back to normal.

          • grampa
            grampa commented
            Editing a comment
            When dry-brining in the fridge, I always wrap pork and beef in a plastic bag to avoid drying, and leave chicken unwrapped to get crispier skin.

          #51
          Dunno the answer to that, Jordan, but it's good you got that smoky flavor going for you!

          When I'm busy cooking, I seldom can appreciate the flavors of the meal when I sit down to it, especially when entertaining. I think there is too much whirring in my brain at the time. For that reason, I love leftovers, especially those from PBC cooks!

          Kathryn

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            #52
            Great cook, description and pictures, Boss

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              #53
              Thank you Sir.

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                #54
                Boss, what was your external temp in the PBC. Looks like you just lit all of the coals and let it go. Nothing low and slow? I am cooking in the morning so now I am wondering what kind of fire to build in my WSM?

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                  #55
                  Guy I never let my fire get that hot in my PBC. I usually throw the lit coals in and close the lid. I use the snake method going around the fire basket. I leave the middle open to dump my chimney coals into. I put the smoking wood on top of the charcoal snake and a big chunk in the middle where the lit coals go. I wish I could up load a picture of it. But it won't let me load anything.

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                  • Guy
                    Guy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Spinaker, thanks a lot. No need for a picture I know that method. Use it most all the time. Either that or the Soo donut.

                  #56
                  I have one small chucky on my WSM now. Started at 8:00 am. Time now is 1:40 pm. Internal temp is 162 deg. F external is 279 deg F. now. Has been around 240 - 255 deg F. most of the cook. I am assume I should wrap around 165 -170 deg F. Planning to take it to 200 plus.
                  Last edited by Guy; February 22, 2015, 01:43 PM.

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                  • fzxdoc
                    fzxdoc commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Guy, I let my chuckies stay in the (first) stall around 2 hours (it took an 1.5 hours or so to get to the stall, then I let them stay in the stall for 2 hours , and one of them still didn't get above 160. I figured by then I might be drying them out to much, so I wrapped. The temp range of those 4 chuckies was about 160-180 deg F before I wrapped. Just to let you know.

                    I'm always confused about exactly to let a hunk of meat stay in the stall, because after a while if it doesn't get to the temp you want (or more specifically to the bark you want), I would think that you're just pushing out too much moisture. So for now, I record the length of the stalls that I have for each cut of meat and try to correlate that to how juicy the final product is.

                    I hope to see photos of your chuckie when it is finished. You've got some good eating ahead!

                    Kathryn
                    Last edited by fzxdoc; February 22, 2015, 01:55 PM.

                  • Guy
                    Guy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    My stall seemed to be at 145 for an hour then move up to 156 for about 45 minutes now at 163 for 30 minutes. I may be drying it out like you said. Should I wrap them now?
                    Last edited by Guy; February 22, 2015, 02:08 PM.

                  • David Parrish
                    David Parrish commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I wouldn't worry too much about moisture loss. By definition, the stall is water evaporating from the meat, so if the meat is stalling you know you still have moisture reaching the surface of the meat and evaporating.

                    You're going to find the pulled chuck has a lot of "moisture" from the melted collagen. It'll have a little less water moisture, but will have plenty of moisture from the melted collagen (and it'll still have water moisture too).

                    If the chuck has a good color and bark, go ahead and wrap. Don't worry about the stall unless time isn't on your side. I personally like to cook through the stall if I have time because I like the bark.

                  #57
                  Guy you can push through the stall if you like and get them nice and barked up. Or you can wrap and skip the stall to save time. Win either way

                  Be prepared to keep them above 200 for a while. When the meat pulls you know its done.

                  If you'd rather chop it you don't have to cook quite as long.

                  Comment


                    #58
                    Boss I still have time so I am going to wait until the meat is at 170 it just jumped to 167. I thought I saw a tread where you and Meathead do not wrap but can't find it.

                    Comment


                      #59
                      I don't wrap pulled pork, but I do wrap brisket and chuck roast.

                      Once the meat hits 200F bring your pit temp down to low 200s if you can. That'll give the collagen time to melt and you can finish at a lower internal temp (IT). Ideally I like to finish in the 203F to 205F IT range but chuckies sometimes don't want to pull and you have to cook them to a higher internal temp. The hotter your pit, the higher your IT will be before the meat pulls.

                      Comment


                        #60
                        Thanks, Dave, for your insights. They make a lot of sense.

                        On my first briskets on the PBC, one went in to a 6+ hour stall and the other went in to a 10+ hour stall (!)which caused me to wonder when a stall becomes counterproductive.

                        I posed this exact question in another topic (When does the stall become counterproductive?) and Dr. Blonder responded:

                        If you wrap at 150F (and many competition winning pit masters foil at this point), the meat still contains around half the juice - see the graphs at the bottom of http://www.genuineideas.com/ArticlesIndex/fatcap.html Which is why the meat is swimming in jus in the texas crutch. So you braise the meat into tenderness. But wash off much of the smoke flavor and soften the bark. Turns out bark and smoke flavor doesn't win contests these days- some interesting comments here:

                        http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/...ool-pitmasters

                        I like clean smoke flavor and bite-through bark, so I place my brisket in a foil tray at 170F. But (depending on the meat and the alignment of the stars) you can tray the meat at 160F, throw a little water in the bottom of the tray to add humidity, and find a compromise that works for you.

                        And while I smoke through the winter, the days are short and so I will finish the meat (in the tray) in the oven when the wind is blowing and the sun below the horizon.



                        That's why I like to shoot for 160-170 deg F if I can get there.

                        Kathryn


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