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What Am I Doing Wrong?

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    What Am I Doing Wrong?

    We love smoked meats and one of our favorites is pulled pork. That being said I've tried to do a smoked pulled beef twice. Both times I was really disappointed with the results. The first smoke was with a heavily marbled bottom round roast. Seemed dry and tough. Next time I used a chuck roast, about three inches thick. As before the meat looked awesome with nice bark. But, again, the meat was tough. To prep for the smoke, I'll lightly coat the meat with olive oil and use a dry rub. The meat is wrapped with clear wrap and placed in the fridge over night. Next day I'll pull the meat and let it sit while the smoker heats up. I'm smoking at 250 on a Yoder YS-640. When ready I'll inject the roast with some beef broth. I pull the meat at 195 or so. It'll sit for maybe 20 minutes to cool a bit and then I start pulling. The meat pulls well and tastes yummy. But it just seems to be tough.

    I'm open to suggestions and thank you for your comments.

    #2
    I always take chuck to 203 - 205 internal then faux cambro for an hour... turns out great. If I wrap it is 160-170 Internal.

    Comment


      #3
      I'm with smarkley - Have you tried wrapping with foil at 160 with a cup of broth and taking it the rest of the way from there?

      Comment


      • jragle
        jragle commented
        Editing a comment
        No I haven't. I don't foil very often. Maybe a brisket to help getting through the stall, but that's about it.

      #4
      Originally posted by jragle View Post
      The first smoke was with a heavily marbled bottom round roast.
      The almighty Cook's Illustrated informed me that bottom round was an acceptable substitute for Tri-Tip. It was good, but tough. Won't do that again.

      I would venture that Chuck would be your best bet if you are going to pull it. All the recipes that I have for beef roasts call for thin slicing, though.

      I wonder if wet-brining with a salt solution ( similar to doing a brisket ) would help it to tenderize and maintain juiciness?

      Wish I could be of more help.

      --Ed

      Comment


      • jragle
        jragle commented
        Editing a comment
        I've done numerous top or bottom round beef roasts over the years. We'll slice it thin (like it's for the in-laws) and pile slices high on buns with favorite toppings. I was going for something using a fattier cut of beef so choices aren't limited at the meat counter.

      #5


      I'm open to suggestions and thank you for your comments.[/QUOTE]

      Like others have said, I would take that meat up too at least 202 F. The Faux Cambro sit is something that I would defiantly do my friend. It will make a difference with out a doubt. It sounds to me like your pulling the meat just a little too early and not letting it Cambro long enough. If its dry, try using the crutch with beef broth or maybe a slightly saltier rub to help retain moisture. You also may have just been unlucky and bought poor quality meat. Its a shame having a beautiful cooker like the YS-640 and not getting the results that you want. Hope this and words of others help to solve your problem.
      Good Luck

      -John

      Comment


        #6
        jargle, here's the way that I do my beef chuck roast. I dry brine the roast for 24 hrs. After 24 hrs I take it out and put the rub on it (minus salt) and back in the fridge for 12 hrs. The next morning I get the smoker up to temp and take the roast out of fridge straight to smoker. When it reaches 160-170 I add about a half cup of warm beef broth double wrap in aluminum foil till it reaches 203-205. Take it out put in cambro for 1-2 hrs. Then I pull it and enjoy.
        Last edited by DWCowles; February 18, 2015, 02:16 PM.

        Comment


        • Medusa
          Medusa commented
          Editing a comment
          DW, this sounds really good. I'm gonna hafta try it!

        • Guy
          Guy commented
          Editing a comment
          Me too DW what are you external temp averages and how long are the cooks?

        #7
        Under cooked. There was a whole thread on here from Pit Boss who says to take a chucky to 205 or above. Fzxdoc followed that advice and said the results were awesome.

        DEW

        Comment


          #8
          Different smokers different results

          Comment


          • Dewesq55
            Dewesq55 commented
            Editing a comment
            I didn't mean yours was undercooked, DW. The one in the original post that got pulled at 195 was undercooked IMO.

            DEW

          • DWCowles
            DWCowles commented
            Editing a comment
            I know that Dew, I was just saying that all smokers don't cook the same. I also follow PB directions on the beef chuck and it was fantastic. The key is getting to the right temp and letting it set in a cambro.

          #9
          Going to do that this weekend, following the Boss tread on Chuck.

          Comment


            #10
            Yessir. Anything pulled needs time time time. And temp. A long faux cambro hold for pulled beef or pork will be your best trick. Pit Boss recently had taken his up to 207 (I believe) then did a cambro hold.

            Bottom round? Pass on that, unless you want to take it to 135 medium rare and slice thin. Or eye of round. Great flavor but yes it will be tough. But there isn't enough fat & marbling for pulled beef in those.

            If you can find this, I also recommend using a flat iron roast (where the flat iron steak, or petite steak comes from.). My store calls it a "petite roast." It is excellent as pulled beef. When you see one you'll know, it has massive marbling (for a roast) where the striations are a combo of neatly parallel lightning bolts. I shall dub it the lightning roast.

            Here's a pic of what they look like. If you see it, snag one up and try it! Otherwise chucks are your best bet.

            Click image for larger version

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            Comment


            • Medusa
              Medusa commented
              Editing a comment
              Beautiful cut. I've never seen a flat iron roast, but have a flat iron steak in the freeze. I assume this is a much thicker, wider cut. Correct?

              Below is a list of roasts that come from the #1 Chuck Cut. I'm going to look closely to see if I can find anything that matches your picture. I guess part of the "fun" is that different stores / recipes refer to the same cut by different names.

              Chuck Arm Roast
              Chuck Shoulder Pot Roast
              Chuck 7-Bone Pot Roast
              Cross Rib Roast
              English Roast
              Chuck-Eye Roast

              --Ed
              Last edited by Medusa; February 18, 2015, 03:58 PM.

            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Medusa, sorry for the delay answering. This cut sort of comes from the chuck, but it's actually the shoulder blade muscle, you may also find it referred to as top blade roast, petite roast, or flat iron roast. I'm not sure how anatomy-wise you are but in case you care it's the infraspinatus muscle of the steer. On the scapula (shoulder blade) on the top or dorsal side of it, are two muscles, one above the 'spine' (ridge) on the scapula, and one below. The one above is the "chuck tender" roast (supraspinatus) and the one below the ridge is this one.

            • Medusa
              Medusa commented
              Editing a comment
              Thanks Huskee! - got it (name wise). All I need to do is substitute "roast" for "steak" and I have this cut listed on the grocery list.

              I believe I've used blade "steaks" for Cook's Ultimate Chili.

            #11
            I'll echo many of these comments. I did 2 chucks a couple of weeks ago (total of 5 lbs). Rubbed them with BBBR (with salt) and ended up sitting in fridge uncovered for 2 days. Temp on my kettle/vortex ranged from 225-260. Wrapped them at 170. No liquid. Took them to 207 and then sat in the 170 oven (instead of a faux cambro) for an hour. It was delicious then and it's just as good after being vacuum sealed with the FoodSaver and microwaved. Makes a yummy sandwich with provolone cheese.

            Comment


            • Medusa
              Medusa commented
              Editing a comment
              Amen to FoodSavers, Brother!

            #12
            I think you are making several mistakes. Use chuck which is much fattier and will therefore be more moist. Do a dry brine first the day before. NO OIL. That gets the salt down deep and salt holds onto water. Use a no-salt rub since you dry brined. Try my Big Bad Beef Rub. No need to apply the spices that far in advance, they don't penetrate more than 1/8 " USE A WATER PAN to keep the humidity up. Wait til the smoker is up to temp before putting the meat in. While it is heating up it is belching dirty smoke. Put cold meat into the machine. Cold wet surfaces attract smoke. Cook until it hits 203, not 195.

            Comment


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Spinaker the oil is useless when dry brining, unless you're dry brining with a full salted rub.

            • Spinaker
              Spinaker commented
              Editing a comment
              Makes sense. Thanks Huskee

            • Medusa
              Medusa commented
              Editing a comment
              I don't put any oil on the meat until I'm ready to rub it down with a spice rub. I just let salt sit and penetrate.

            #13
            Thanks to all. I'll giver 'er another go and post results.

            Comment

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