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Cooked My First Chuck! Good, but looking for Pointers!

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    Cooked My First Chuck! Good, but looking for Pointers!

    So, I did my first Chuck roast yesterday. It turned out really well, especially for a my first real cook.

    I started with a Prime Chick Roast out of the meat counter. I dry-brined the night before and in the AM pulled it out, rubbed it, and put it on my traeger tailgater. I took it to 203°F internal temp before I pulled it off. I had an RTIC cooler pre-warmed as a Faux-Cambro. I pulled the Chuck off at about 4:30 wrapped it, stuck it in the cooler, and then the girlfriend and I had to be somewhere at 5. (It was a miserable experience) and got home about 6 for dinner. I was pretty surprised as there were virtually no drippings in the foil wrap. I sliced and served the chuck at 6:30.

    I say sliced. I had trouble slicing it because it was so tender. The bark was hard, like I wanted, but as soon as you cut through the bark, things started to go sideways, and not just proverbially. Because it was so tender, it was like the meat was trying to "Pull" at that point. I did notice the the pieces from around the edges were a little dry, but the center was still nice and moist. Is that normal for most of the chuck roasts. When I say dry, it was kinda like a brisket flat where you think "I just need a touch of sauce"... still pretty good.

    At first my traeger did pretty well. It's new to me (and a new model with a new type of controller) so I set temp at 190 and it rolled at 230 unitl about 10 AM without a problem. From there, no matter how low I had the controller set, it ran 250 -260 pretty well. At times, I saw it in the upper 260's. Traeger has already mailed a new RTD to me so we will see if that improves when it arrives.

    To keep the edges more moist, should I pull the chuck sooner? Say between 195 - 200?

    Would a water pan help?

    patcrail I saw in the other thread where you tagged me. Thanks for the advice and replys! I just didn't want to hijack that thread.

    BFlynn Thanks for answering all my questions via text. Couldn't have done it with out you!
    Attached Files

    I'm no expert, but have been doing chucks a lot the past few months. Your Chuck looks to be the longer and thinner type. With that size and Cooking time, you were headed for pulling not slicing. I cooked a 3# the other day to 195-198 for just about 7.5 hours and it was pretty probe tender. An hour or so rest and it sliced up nice. I will wrap at the stall, as I think this keeps it tender. My other recent Chuck went to 205-208, wrapped at the stall with beef broth and that one turned out great. Once you get it to over 200, that's prime pulling rather than slicing, as you found out. However, never cooked a Chuck that I didn't eat.


    • Duckman_OK
      Duckman_OK commented
      Editing a comment
      Tell me more about this wrapping and beef broth. Do you just dump some broth in the foil, wrap it up, and put it back on the grill like "Hobo-dinner" style? How does it affect the bark?

    • Rocinante
      Rocinante commented
      Editing a comment
      If I'm going to pull it, I will put it in an aluminum pan with about 6 ounces of beef broth with a tbl spoon or two of bbq sauce, optional, mix, foil and back into the smoker until probe tender around 203+-. Bark softens some, but still turns out good.

      For slicing, I will usually wrap with b-paper around the stall then throughout the remaining. I will add a little broth here at times too. Though, it can get messy if too much is added.

    • HawkerXP
      HawkerXP commented
      Editing a comment
      Like Rocinante said, its probe tender we are shooting for. Temperatures are a guide. Prime usually finishes earlier then Choice. I'll cook mine until it comes out of the stall, bark is usually good here. Put it in a foil pan with a dribble of beef broth and cover with foil. Back on the grill or in the oven until probe tender. I also use a drip pan to catch that delicious juice while it cooks.
      Last edited by HawkerXP; June 28, 2020, 09:24 AM.

    Oh man, cut, pulled don't matter pass the potato salad.


      It's not unusual for odd edges to dry out. If you pull it and mix the dry bits in with the rest, you probably won't know. If the re are some really dry bit, I eat them while I pull the meat apart. I don't want anyone else to suffer eating them.

      For slicing, you probably need to remove from the smoker at a lower temp. I just pull 'em and eat without a bun, or on a bun, or in a taco or burrito, or in chili or pot pies or just about anywhere else you use beef.


      • Bogy
        Bogy commented
        Editing a comment
        RonB, I salute you for your sacrifice in eating those "dry" bits so others don't have to!
        Duckman_OK, you're just going to have to keep cooking those Chuckies until you get it right. Main thing to remember is, you will almost always be more critical of what you have cooked than everyone else eating what you cooked. At least that's what my family keeps telling me.
        Last edited by Bogy; June 28, 2020, 11:35 AM.

      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        You beat me to it Bogy . I was going to call RonB a gentleman and a scholar for that rescue!

      It looks good to me, man!

      I wouldn't do a thing different.

      Excellent results! Especially with the technical difficulties. Hopefully Traeger gets you sorted out.
      Last edited by BFlynn; June 28, 2020, 06:58 AM.


        It looks great! I actually prefer pulled beef chuck to sliced. All the juices and bark get mixed in and it's darn delicious. Leftovers make great tacos, Philly cheese sandwiches, meat marinara sauce, chili, etc.

        Looks like good eating to me, especially those barky bites.



          I could eat that whole thing by myself,,,,,,
          U nailed it,,,,,,perfection on a plate


            Looks like a really delicious chuckie, to me!
            Ya got some great bark, juicy beef, an even a nice smoke ring, as a bonus!


              I think you did everything right. To minimize that dryness, you could try wrapping sooner and go with a bit less bark. Me personally, I think bark on smoked chuck roast is overrated, unlike brisket and other hunks of meat. This cut is already plenty flavorful throughout.


                Duckman_OK , looks like a successful first cook and a damned fine chuckie! The one I pulled the other day at 180 (Probe tender but not “jiggly) still had a VERY SLIGHT chew, but it sliced great and was juicy throughout! I think the next one I do with a long cook, I’m going to take it up around 195 and pull it there... it seems that over 200-203 is where most folks get that real “jiggle”, the point where it pulls rather than slices, so if that’s what you’re looking for (slicing), maybe pull it a little earlier, as long as it probes nice and tender.


                  Duckman_OK , here are a couple articles on wrapping, (aka Texas Crutch, or Crutching) and the stall:
                  I crutched mine at 160 since it had gorgeous bark, and had just started the stall. It will help speed up the cook by minimizing the stall, and because it works by sealing in the moisture to avoid the evaporative cooling that causes the stall, it may help prevent your dry edges.
                  GREAT COOK, though!


                    Oh man, That looks soooo good! I will have to try one myself. Thanks for the inspiration!



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