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Chuck Roast lost flavor

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    Chuck Roast lost flavor

    I smoked my first chuck a few weeks ago, sorry no pics. I followed Meatheads brisket recipe shrunk down. It was a 3.5 lb er. I crutched at 160 and took it to 203 I put 1/2 cup of broth in at the crutch. I pulled and put in toaster oven at 170 used the maverick to make sure temp was correct. The meat temp only dropped 3-4 degrees over 3 hrs. The chuck was extremely tender and slightly moist but there was a lot of Au jus in the foil I tried to wrap the chuck extremely tight with good foil. My problem is that the jus had all the smoke flavor and most of the moisture. Any ideas on how to avoid the extraction of flavor into the jus and keeping more smoke and moisture in the meat. My thoughts are either used to much broth in the crutch , did not wrap tight enough, not use a oven in place of a cambro or am I supposed to remove meat from foil after crutch and then rewrap? Sorry if this is posted somewhere else I have not seen these in any of the threads I have read so far. Thanks

    I'm sure somebody with more experience with chucks will respond here, but I'd suggest lowering the temp of your toaster oven if you're using it in place of a cambro. I'd set it for 140. A Cambro doesn't add any heat, just lets the temp of the meat slowly reduce (it may actually increase at the start due to residual heat). I'd also add that jus right back in to the pulled meat too.


      First, Welcome! You don't talk about the crutch too much, but I think there is a 90% chance that is where you lost it. You can wash off both the rub and smoke, and crutching in foil basically steams it, you can't wrap tight enough to not have that moisture come out. I quit add liquid when I crutch meat with any kind of fat content because it doesn't do anything but hurt in my opinion. For example I did a brisket 2 weeks ago and foiled it, I had 10 oz of liquid I poured out of the foil, that was with a good trim and adding no wrapping liquid, putting another cup of something in there wouldn't help me.
      I'm still working with butcher paper, but that seems to be the answer for me, foil gets it a little more tender but to me too much of the rub and smoke is lost, the butcher paper allowed excess liquid to leave while keeping everything else in tact. The top of the butcher paper wasn't wet, just the bottom so I don't believe it steamed like the foil does (not that there wasn't steam, just that there wasn't as much as with foil).
      Try with butcher paper, if not that, try no wrapping liquid, and finally you can drain the excess before resting and let the fat separate, remove it and pour all the smokey goodness all over the meat.


        Great advice from John above, on no liquid in the foil. I too believe that is where much of your flavor gets kind of washed off, from the steaming/braising action that's going on.

        Also might I suggest not wrapping at 160. Sometimes the meat can get to the stall quite quickly, especially on a a smaller 3-4lber. I did 2 pork butts and a chuck roast yesterday, all about that size, and I chose to delay wrapping until the meat was in the 180 range. I find this gives better flavor, better crust and so on. Smoke is a surface treatment, and smoke will adhere as long as the meat is moist. Therefore wrapping at 160, if the meat is still moist, prevents any further smoke flavor once you wrap, that may otherwise have stuck on.

        Finally, for a chuck go ahead and take it higher than 203. Don't be afraid to go to 208 or 210, and try to hold it there for an hour. Chuckies really benefit from this kind of treatment. Not a necessity, but you'll notice a positive difference.

        So a delayed wrap, a dry tight wrap, and a higher initial IT held for an hour or so, would be a good bet for a chucky. This way you can skip the cambro altogether if you choose to. As always, find the best marbled piece you can to start with. Fat is flavor and moisture in the finished product.


        • Spinaker
          Spinaker commented
          Editing a comment
          You don't add any liquid when doing briskets? I haven't tried that. i had a brisket a few weeks ago that came out pretty good but not my best. It seemed to have more of a roast beef taste than others done in the past. So my question is, was it the broth that I put in the foil or just the particular Briz that I picked up. Your thoughts...

        • Huskee
          Huskee commented
          Editing a comment
          Spinaker I'm no brisket expert but I'm thinking yes, the liquid in the foil does that. Pot roast braises in the slow cooker or dutch oven or however you make it. I think when you do that to a chuck or a brisket or beef ribs it emulates that whole thing. But again, I'm nto an expert on that. I've done 3 or 4 briskets so far, and the very first one I ever did I added liquid. I don't remember it being pot-roasty but I didn't know what I was tasting for being my first one, so it may have been. The next ones I didn't add any liquid and they were great.

        +1 _John_ and Huskee - I wrap when I've got good bark, don't use liquid, I often hold in the oven at about 170, and I take my chucks to 205-208.


          Thank you all for the information I am going to put it to use tomorrow on the fourth. I am going to smoke another chuckie and a pork butt. I will definitely not add any liquid to the crutch and going to wrap later in the cook and then take it to a higher temperature. Also if I can find butcher paper I might try that as well this time. But not sure if I should change so many things at once.



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