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Chuck Roast Sous Vide Experiment

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  • smiliepolarbear
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 29
    • Fairfield County, CT

    Chuck Roast Sous Vide Experiment

    So I decided to run a sous vide experiment using two chuck roasts. Both roasts were around 5 pounds, injected (badly) with Meathead's recipe, smoked and then sous vided. The first roast was smoked to about 150 then sous vided at 155 for 24+ hours. This length is similar to ChefSteps and SeriousEats (though both do smoke afterward). Following my successful pastrami experiment using ABCBBQ Dave's method, I smoked the second for two hours longer, refrigerated it overnight and then sous vided at 195 for four hours the next day. I tried to get it past the stall to 170 but chuck is a lot thicker than brisket and that wasn't happening.

    This is what they looked like finished:

    24+ hour SV at 155:

    Click image for larger version

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    4 hour SV at 195:

    Click image for larger version

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    Both were good but the one smoked longer and sous vided at 195 for 4 hours was the unanimous winner both at home and at work. It was smokier, juicier and had a better texture. It lost a lot less juice than the one cooked at 155.

    This will be my go to method for cooking chuck roasts from now one. For me, sous viding at the end is more flexible and more consistant than wrapping or finishing in the crock pot.

    Also I am now a fan of smoking before sous viding. The bark stayed nicely with a strong but mellow flavor and no chance of over cooking. Plus, look at those smoke rings!
  • smiliepolarbear
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 29
    • Fairfield County, CT

    #2
    Bumping

    Comment

    • kmhfive
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 3003
      • Northern Illinois
      • Weber Kettle -- 22.5" (In-Service Date June 2015)
        Slow-n-Sear/Drip-n-Griddle/Grill Grates (In-Service Date March 2016)
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      #3
      I wish I had more than a Redneck Sous Vide...can't really fit a whole roast in mine.

      Comment

      • jgreen
        Charter Member
        • Oct 2014
        • 2552
        • Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
        • Cookers:
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          and, maybe some other toys as well

        #4
        Have not got a SV machine yet, but that sure looks tempting.

        Comment

        • JCGrill
          Club Member
          • Mar 2017
          • 1451
          • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
          • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
            Gas - Saber
            Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
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          #5
          So I'm confused. The second one was juicier, but it had less juice?

          Comment


          • smiliepolarbear
            smiliepolarbear commented
            Editing a comment
            The first one (155) lost more juice and was smaller while the second one (195) was juicer and kept more of it's size. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

          • JCGrill
            JCGrill commented
            Editing a comment
            That makes sense. It probably was clear, but I read it early in the morning, and the fog hadn't lifted yet.
        • T-bone
          Club Member
          • Dec 2016
          • 329
          • Northern Virginia
            • Traeger Texas 075 (circa 2007)
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            • Anova WiFi Sous Vide
            • Tappecue WiFi Temperature Monitoring System
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            • Operation BBQ Relief Volunteer
            You can take the boy out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the boy.

          #6
          Thanks for sharing your comparison of the different techniques. How was the tenderness on the 195* chuckie?

          I have a chuckie in SV right now. I would have tried the smoke then SV method based on yours and others recent posts, but I had already dry brined, vac sealed and froze it when I found it on sale weeks ago. So into a 135* bath it went and I'm shooting for 36hrs (ala Potkettleblack chuckie-steak method). Now the dilemma will be if I have the patience for the shock-chill-smoke or go for the unbag-pat dry-sear method. Decisions, decisions.

          Comment


          • Potkettleblack
            Potkettleblack commented
            Editing a comment
            The 135* will be steak like, unless you smoke it beyond, to like 160 and on. If you smoke it, it's like Cantwell's big chill, reverse sear with smoke.

          • smiliepolarbear
            smiliepolarbear commented
            Editing a comment
            The 195 was definitely more tender and pullable. I cannot imagine pulling at 155.
        • fzxdoc
          Founding Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 4524
          • My toys:
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          #7
          smiliepolarbear , thanks for the great writeup and the thoughtful comparison. Looks like your second method of smoking longer and sous viding at higher temp is the winner by far. I'm going to give this a try. So far I've only sous vided and seared a chuckie, which was good, but I'm interested in smoking/sous viding a chuckie now.

          Question: Was either chuck tender enough to make into pulled beef? Or did you slice all the way?

          Kathryn

          Comment


          • smiliepolarbear
            smiliepolarbear commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi Kathryn - The one smoked longer and SV at 195 was tender enough to pull with some effort (bear claws would definitely work). I didn't try to fully pull it but it broke into pieces. The 155 was definitely not tender enough to pull. It had to be sliced.

          • fzxdoc
            fzxdoc commented
            Editing a comment
            Good to know, smiliepolarbear . Thanks!

            K.
        • Potkettleblack
          Club Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 1835
          • Chicago, IL
          • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330
            Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
            For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
            Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi
            Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something)

          #8
          I would suggest that 24h at 155 is too long... I'd think 8 or 12x155 is about right for that.
          But for pulling, I might go 131x48 or longer, shock, chill, smoke to bark.

          Comment

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