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Chuck a bust - ideas?

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  • Hugh
    Club Member
    • Jun 2017
    • 357
    • My setup:
      Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
      GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
      Anova Sous Vide
      22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
      Thermapen Mk4
      iGrill2 with 4 probes

    Chuck a bust - ideas?

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    The results: fell apart (was looking to slice it), dry, sawdust texture. I was trying to re-create a brisket experience with well done juiciness.

    How I cooked it: sous vide at 155 for 30 hours. I checked it at 24 hours with a pinch test and it didn't feel soft. I could feel the difference at 30 hours. I put it in an ice bath and then into the fridge over night after saving the purge and re-applying a salt and pepper rub. Put it on the gasser today with some smoke at 225. Brought the internal temp up to 145.

    FORGOT to let it rest. Was too anxious to cut it open and see if it was juicy.

    Soooo where did I go wrong? The meat seemed over cooked (dry) as well as cooked too long (fall apart sawdust texture).

    I thought I had a good strategy. Serious eats recommended 155 degrees for 36 hours for a 4-5 pound roast. Most folks here thought 24 hours sufficient with a pinch test. 30 hours seemed reasonable.

    Would the fact that it was only a 2 pound roast call for a significantly shorter cooking period?

    I'm hesitant to start making adjustments to my next cook without a better handle on what went wrong.

    Insights appreciated.

    H
  • 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)
      Pit Boss 820 (Retired)
      GMG Jim Bowie WiFi (In-Service Date April 2017)
      Maverick ET-733
      Fireboard
      Home-brewer

    #2
    Not tried SVQ chuck yet. I don't have a good answer on this.

    Comment

    • BloomHybrid
      Club Member
      • Mar 2016
      • 102
      • Phoenix
      • Big Joe, Weber Genesis S-330, Thermapin

      #3
      I don't know anything about sous vide, but when smoking all the way i usually you take a Chick over 200, it seems strange to me you would only cook it to 155

      Comment


      • binarypaladin
        binarypaladin commented
        Editing a comment
        Breaking down connective tissues and such is a combination of time and temperature. When doing barbecue, you have to go much higher because you have less time.
    • binarypaladin
      Club Member
      • May 2017
      • 261
      • Weber Original Kettle Premium 22 (black)
        Weber Smokey Mountain 18
        Weber Jumbo Joe
        Adrenaline Barbecue Company Slow 'N Sear (original)
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        Cajun Bandit Smokey Mountain Upgrade Kit
        Gateway Drum Smoker Rib Hanger Kit
        Thermoworks Smoke
        Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo (red)
        Flame Boss 300

      #4
      If you're using the Serious Eats recipe I think, here are some ideas:

      What grade was the meat? A lot of people in the comments seemed to think that the recipe had issues with anything short of prime.

      A lot of people mentioned letting the meat chill in the bag. I haven't done side-by-side tests at all, but until I do, I've chilled in the bags.

      I have found that really long cooks in sous-vide are only really necessary when cooking at temps below 145ºF. The last (and first) chuck roast I did was 165ºF for only 14 hours. I did two roasts and one of them came out a little dry. It was both smaller and less fatty.

      If I was doing something in the 36-48 hour window, I would likely be cooking around 144ºF. (I just did this with short ribs actually and it worked pretty well.)

      So, in short:
      • Reduce the time or temperature of the sous-vide processes.
      • Make sure the meat has plenty of fat.
      • Double the size of the roast (no one will be sad).
      • Chill in the bag.
      Try one or all, but I can tell you the above works in my own experience.

      Comment


      • Hugh
        Hugh commented
        Editing a comment
        The chuck is one grade below prime (our system is different in Canada, I think that would be like your choice?).

        Will try lower temp and shorter cook.

        Thanks

      • binarypaladin
        binarypaladin commented
        Editing a comment
        I get whole animals so my roasts weren't graded at all. Just make sure you've got a decent amount of fat.
    • HouseHomey
      Club Member
      • May 2016
      • 4577
      • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
      • Equipment
        Primo Oval xl

        Slow n Sear (two)
        Drip n Griddle
        22" Weber Kettle
        26" Weber Kettle one touch
        Blackstone 36” Pro Series
        Sous vide machine
        Kitchen Aid
        Meat grinder
        sausage stuffer
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        Too cast iron pans,
        Dutch ovens
        Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732 and various pocket instareads.
        The help and preferences
        1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
        KBB
        FOGO
        A 7 year old princess foster child
        Patience and old patio furniture
        "Baby Girl" The cat

        Erik S.

      #5
      I just did a chuck and 170°8 hours. It's was fine though it was smaller. I rolled it yesterday with cheese and fried it 90 minutes ago.pulled beautifully but my SV broke.
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      Last edited by HouseHomey; August 26th, 2017, 08:29 PM.

      Comment


      • binarypaladin
        binarypaladin commented
        Editing a comment
        These look ridiculously delicious. They look like something I would have to positively destroy overnight, lol.
    • Hugh
      Club Member
      • Jun 2017
      • 357
      • My setup:
        Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
        GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
        Anova Sous Vide
        22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
        Thermapen Mk4
        iGrill2 with 4 probes

      #6
      What are those HouseHomey? They look very good.

      Ok, I'm definitely cooking it too long. I'll shorten up the cook. I would think that will eliminate the sawdust texture. I'm going for 18 hours this time instead of 30. I've got a bit larger piece in the bath right now, weighs in at whopping 2.8 pounds. I'm guessing the small roast is what is messing up my times.

      I'm torn over the temp. I'm shooting for a brisket experience, maybe that isn't realistic. I could lower the temp and bring in some pink and juices, but you have gone the other way HouseHomey all the way to 170. I'm going to try 150.

      I feel like a mad scientist.

      Comment


      • EdF
        EdF commented
        Editing a comment
        Sawdust texture is definitely a sign of too high a temp and/or too long. Usually it's the latter.
    • JCGrill
      Club Member
      • Mar 2017
      • 1436
      • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
      • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
        Gas - Saber
        Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
        Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

      #7
      I recommend a lower temperature in the SV, say 135. The time does the work here, not the temperature. Potkettleblack does SV chuckie some, he may have some ideas.

      Comment

      • Hugh
        Club Member
        • Jun 2017
        • 357
        • My setup:
          Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
          GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
          Anova Sous Vide
          22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
          Thermapen Mk4
          iGrill2 with 4 probes

        #8
        Yah, I would welcome Potkettleblack's experience. My challenge is my family prefers well done meat so I can't cook it at 135.

        I fear something fundamental in my thinking is flawed. If we take brisket to 203 smoking and get a well done juicy piece of meat, can't we get a well done juicy chuck roast with sous vide?

        Comment


        • JCGrill
          JCGrill commented
          Editing a comment
          You can cook it hotter on the grill, just don't take it there in the SV.

        • binarypaladin
          binarypaladin commented
          Editing a comment
          And another thing, if your family prefers well done, you can sous-vide hotter for shorter periods (so long as you don't care about a smoke ring). Sous-vide at lower temperatures only really matters if you never plan on surpassing those temperatures.
      • binarypaladin
        Club Member
        • May 2017
        • 261
        • Weber Original Kettle Premium 22 (black)
          Weber Smokey Mountain 18
          Weber Jumbo Joe
          Adrenaline Barbecue Company Slow 'N Sear (original)
          Adrenaline Barbecue Company Charcoal Basket
          Adrenaline Barbecue Company Drip 'N Griddle Pan
          Cajun Bandit Smokey Mountain Upgrade Kit
          Gateway Drum Smoker Rib Hanger Kit
          Thermoworks Smoke
          Lavatools Javelin Pro Duo (red)
          Flame Boss 300

        #9
        Keep in mind you can take it over the sous-vide temperature in the smoker. One of the reasons I like to hit the 155 range is because you can avoid the stall.

        Your second cook is about smoke and bark primarily. You've done most or all of the work in terms of breaking things down and tenderizing in sous-vide already. You're probably better off going slightly under in sous-vide because the smoker cook will break things down as well.

        If you sous-vide at too high a temperature, you can't get a smoke ring. This doesn't affect the taste but some people really want that ring.

        203ºF isn't a magic number. It's kind of a max. Keep in mind with briskets and pork butts, people will often faux cambro after hitting that temperature. That holds the temperature so the connective tissues and such can continue to break down. It's kinda like sous-vide in a sense. When you put sous-vide in the mix, you're doing the breakdown at first. If you were to hold at something like 135ºF for 24-48 hours, you're going to get some decent breakdown. The meat is still in the medium rare to medium range, but you still have another cook. Take it up to 155ºF in the grill and it's well done.

        If you were to sous-vide a brisket at something like 175ºF for 10-12 hours, then chill, then reheat in the smoker to like 185ºF and then cambro, that's going to come out pretty "traditional" (sans a smoke ring).

        Juiciness and tenderness in well-done meat are a result of broken down connective tissues and fats. If you take a super lean piece of meat like a round steak... it's pretty hard to get well done + tender and juicy. (With that said, a rump roast at 24 hours @ 131ºF followed by a quick smoke @ 225ºF back up to about 135ºF was a thing of beauty. It had some of the most perfect medium-rare texture I have ever had. Add in the pepper rub and lordy lord!)
        Last edited by binarypaladin; August 26th, 2017, 09:55 PM.

        Comment


        • Hugh
          Hugh commented
          Editing a comment
          I am going to go to Costco and get some more chuck and try some of your ideas. I will be freezing enough chuck to have lunches for a month! I will try 155 SV shorter as well as the 131 all finished with a smoke. I will try a third experiment where I take it up to 185 internal on the grill.
      • TheCountofQ
        Former Member
        • Apr 2015
        • 503
        • Tulsa, Oklahoma

        #10
        And just a thought, salting before the bath can cause a bit of a dryer cured type texture. I've experienced it with beef shank at several days. Hasn't been a problem, for me, on the really short steak cooks though.

        As far as what to do with it, now that it's dry?? Use in spaghetti sauce, SOS, tamale casserole. Anywhere you might use ground beef, and still add some moisture or "glide factor" in another way.

        Comment


        • binarypaladin
          binarypaladin commented
          Editing a comment
          Another good point. For the record, I basically always sous-vide nekkid.
      • Hugh
        Club Member
        • Jun 2017
        • 357
        • My setup:
          Gas Grill - Weber Genesis II 310
          GrillGrates (2 flipped over for searing)
          Anova Sous Vide
          22" Kettle with SnS and Drip/Griddle
          Thermapen Mk4
          iGrill2 with 4 probes

        #11
        Thanks for all the input guys. I'm still trying to figure this out. I have done a grand total of 1 low and slow sous vide cooks so bear with me....

        Lets ignore the exterior and the finish for a moment. Assume I'm only going to sous vide this piece of meat and eat it right out of the bag (I know it looks ugly).

        Normal BBQ we take a tough cut to over 190 up to maybe 210 to melt the fat and connective tissues. You get a well done juicy hunk of meat.

        Now when it comes to a tough cut and sous vide, I am confused.

        I thought there was two parts to a sous vide tough cut cook.
        1) You can get the internal temperature to how well you want it done in a few hours. Lets assume you want 155 - well done.
        2) You hold it for a long period of time at that temperature to melt the fat and connective tissues. Say 24-36 hours.

        You get tender and juicy. Or not.

        I understand that you get juicier meat by cooking it medium rare vs well done. But that doesn't explain the juices in a well cooked brisket. Why can't I get a well done juicy chuck at 155 internal if I've done a long sous vide cook and melted the connective tissues and fats?

        I don't understand why you would take the meat to a higher internal temp on the grill after the sous vide. I thought we had accomplished the low and slow goals of melting fat and connective tissue with the 24 hour bath.

        Maybe that is what you guys are trying to tell me? That if I want a brisket experience, take it to a certain temp in the sous vide to get through the stall and then finish on the smoker to get the internal above say 190?

        Comment

        • TheCountofQ
          Former Member
          • Apr 2015
          • 503
          • Tulsa, Oklahoma

          #12
          Hugh Don't take what I say as gospel by any means, as I started learning sous vide, I am guessing, six months ago... and due to an extreme work schedule, stopped cooking entirely shortly thereafter. I don't really "know" for sure what I am talking about.

          I do think that cooking at 155, for several days is considered a long, long time at that temp. I would think cooking at 131 (for the connective tissue breakdown) followed by the smoker/grill for maillard (spelling?) reaction (Bark) and finished cooking temp would be a better way to go on that chuckie.

          As I understand it, when cooking for long periods, in essentially direct contact with the water, even one degree in temp can make huge changes in outcome. I also understand that 131 is a good "standard" low and slow temp for those long baths, as it is just above the temp needed to kill the microbes/bacteria over the long timeframe (also a time & temp thing/like the connective tissue)... while putting less stress on the meat (as in causing them to constrict and squeeze out moisture).

          There are those here that are WAY more versed in que vide/ sous-b-que than myself, for sure. I've been highly impressed with Potkettleblack and the food he has turned out using the HTTM, alsoBreadhead has shown himself to be a more than accomplished master of the techniques involved. These two often approach the same cut with extremely different tactics, but both excel!! Hopefully they, or others more qualified than myself will chime in. No offense intended, not mentioning names of others well qualified. These two just seem to remain in my memory for some odd reason.

          Comment


          • JCGrill
            JCGrill commented
            Editing a comment
            I was thinking of Breadhead also, but that's no longer an option.

          • TheCountofQ
            TheCountofQ commented
            Editing a comment
            JCGrill Why is he no longer an option?? I hope he is ok. I remember a post where he had the bike accident, but thought he was recovering.

          • binarypaladin
            binarypaladin commented
            Editing a comment
            All I know is that his title is now "Banned." Noticed this a week or so ago.
        • 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)

          #13
          So, we've learned that 155x30h is too long.

          Try 8 next time.

          As to family that likes well done. There's a cure. 135x48. It's medium rare, but it's cooked wholly and thoroughly and doesn't have the mouth slip of rare meat.

          The really long cooks are made for really low temps. It's about collagen breakdown and texture transformation. Those things happen a lot faster at 155 than at 135.

          Also, SV nekked. When you get good at that, then maybe experiment with bag additions. ChefSteps likes stuff in the bag. Norm King doesn't. I trust both of them.

          Comment


          • binarypaladin
            binarypaladin commented
            Editing a comment
            +1 on nekkid. The other bonus is that you get a neutral purge. Just like salt, you can add flavorings, but you can't get rid of them. I think I'm going to have to reduce my higher temp times too, not that I've been doing a ton of it.
        • JCGrill
          Club Member
          • Mar 2017
          • 1436
          • Minneapolis / St Paul burbs
          • Charcoal - 22" Weber Kettle
            Gas - Saber
            Smoker - Green Mountain Daniel Boone
            Portable - Charbroil Tabletop Propane Grill

          #14
          For myself I would always finish on the grill for that great sear and grill flavor. But if you want to take it out of the bag and eat it, how about 131 for 30 hours and then 155 for an hour?

          Comment


          • Hugh
            Hugh commented
            Editing a comment
            Sorry for the confusion JCGrill. I was just trying to narrow the discussion to bath temp and time. For sure I will finish with a sear and smoke after. Even at 155 I got a nice black meteor looking thing with a couple hour smoke and not a bad crust.
        • TheCountofQ
          Former Member
          • Apr 2015
          • 503
          • Tulsa, Oklahoma

          #15
          Hugh When I was running experiments on time (typically chicken though), I would do several portions at the same time, and either add or remove different bags at varying time intervals. I might leave one bag in for 12 hours, another 24 hours, another for 36. It was a time saver. Also allowed for side by side A-B-C comparisons, rather than memory or notes.

          Comment


          • Hugh
            Hugh commented
            Editing a comment
            D'oh, why didn't I think of that?

          • Hugh
            Hugh commented
            Editing a comment
            D'oh, why didn't I think of that?

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        Finally, A Great Portable Pellet Smoker

        Green Mountain Davey Crockett Grill

        Green Mountain's portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it's also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.

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