Cross rib roast question and mixing sauces/rubs

Discussion in 'Beef' started by chef jay, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    I got a good deal on a cross rib roast today. My experiences with cross rib roasts in the past have been great but I've only done them in the oven. I'd like to smoke it for hours, pull it and then mix it with a nice tangy bbq sauce (homemade of course) for bbq beef on a bun. The marbling is great and there are good chunks of fat. Does anyone have any experience with doing cross rib? The guy at the store told me no problem but I'm not sure he understood my questions.

    I'm also going to do ribs for that night, friends from out of town are coming by. Can I get away with one rub and one sauce? I'm fairly sure I can. I'm thinking of a coffee based rub for the beef with a cider/coffee porter mop so I'd like to like to keep it simple as they say and only have to make one...
  2. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    Sorry, I'm also thinking of using Cherry and Maple, I've got some great chunks to burn off. I'm open to suggestions on wood as well.
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I am not familiar with a cross rib roast but if it is beef and has some marbling then I would say it would pull good. I normally go simple with the  beef rub with some sea salt, pepper, garlic & onion power and anything else you like. Hopefully someone will be around soon that knows more about that cut.
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hi Jay,

    smoked a few cross rib chucks here...very good choice for pulled beef, as the marbeling helps the muscle groups loosen up and stay moist towards the end when temps get close to the 200* mark.

    As Ross mentioned, you can go pretty simple and basic with beef for seasonings, as the meat's natural flavor will carry itself very well. I have used some fairly complicated dry rubs on beef, and then on occasion, I've gone the KISS method with garlic, salt & pepper. For the pulled beef sammies, if you can put a drip pan under the chuckie, but still keep the meat elevated off the pan with a roast rack, or, put a pan under the cooking grate, then add some chopped onion, minced garlic, cracked black pepepr and water to the pan, you'll catch all those great natural drippings from the meat. You can defat the liquids while the chuckie rests before pulling and build yourself a gret au jus...better than any sauce you'd want to use, and alot easier to bring it all together. Just toss some instant coffee into the defated juices, mix, heat, then toss the pulled beef in and enjoy!

    For smoke, a bit of sharpness from hickory is good for beef along with cherry/pecan. Cherry is a heavier fruit flavor and aroma, while pecan has more of a mild pungent aroma with a slightly nutty, sweet background flavor. I've never had the opportunity to use maple, but I imagine the flavor and aroma would be nice as well....I'm thinking about maple smoked bacon right now...damn good stuff!

    I don't mop, baste, or spritz very often myself, but if you have a horizontal smoker and no way to use a water pan, then, it may be a good thing to do. I've also read that the application of cold liquid increases the cooking time quite a bit, along with loss of chamber temp from opening the smoker up, so, it's sixes, IMHO. Oh, if a no-foil smoke is your game for the ribs and/or chuckie, the mop should help with final moisture content, also.

    Have a great smoke!

  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Sounds like Eric has you covered!
  6. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  7. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    As always, thanks for the feedback. I'll work on pictures.
  8. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  9. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    I'll take a picture then next time of me thinking of my questions.
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The Boys above have you pretty much covered. If it were me, for the Beef...I would combine 1/4C ea Salt, Blk Pepper, Granulated Garlic and Gran Onion. Take HALF this mix and ADD...2T Paprika, 2T Cayenne, 2T Mustard Pwder, 1tsp Dry Thyme and 4T Sugar in the Raw...Rub this on the Ribs.  Same Sauce for Both.

    This is 2 different Rubs...No extra work!...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  11. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    Excellent idea, I will do that.
  12. LOL

  13. LOL---[​IMG]
  14. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    So I did that...

    As indicated, here is me thinking...


    And then, Eureka! I have my idea.


    I looked at some cookbooks and I used 'Extreme Barbecue' by Dan Huntley and Lisa Grace Lednicer. There's a recipe for Reg's Rub, which intrigued me since there's not salt or sugar. I've used that as a base but tweeked it. Also, as suggested, I made a base and changed one of the rubs so I had two different rubs (awesome and easy). Here's what I did:


    3 Tbsp Granulated onion

    3 Tbsp Granulated garlic

    1 Tbsp White pepper

    2 Tbsp Black pepper

    3 Tbsp Chili powder

    3 Tbsp Instant coffee

    3 Tbsp Paprika

    I took that, split into two bowls. In the other bowl, I added:

    1 Tbsp Dried thyme

    1 Tbsp Cocoa

    1 Tsp Cinnamon

    1 Tsp Ground coriander

    1/4 tsp ground clove

    4 Cardamom pods, ground

    The second rub was for the ribs. I don't know how it will turn out tomorrow, it's just going to be what it is:



    More updates tomorrow...
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Jay, now you got the idea!...Research, see what trips your trigger, and go for it!  I will caution you on one point. Unless you or your guests have Hypertension issues or Diabetes, you will want to add some Salt and Sugar to your mix. Your nose will catch the Spice flavors but your Tongue tastes Salty, Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Hot. With out these in the mix, your meat will be FLAT and your brains will tell everyone, "Something's Missing!" Salt paves the way for the other taste receptors so some needs to be there for even the others like the bitterness of Coffee and Cocoa to shine. Sugar acts in a similar matter to enhance Sour.   The BEST meat can stand on its own, with any sauce there as a compliment...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
  16. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Im with Chef Jimmy J you got to have salt,no if no but no maybe salt.
  17. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Potassium Chloride/Sodium Chloride mix works well as a substitute!
  18. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    Thanks for the feedback on salt. I did consider that when making and tasting the rub. Since my intent is to bathe the meat in bbq sauce, which will contain salt and sugar, I think I'll be ok. I started the smoker this morning and the beef is on. The ribs will be done on the charcoal, indirect, so I have a while before I need to put them on. In addition to beef and ribs, we'll have coleslaw (with my new garlic dills from this year), baked beans and possibly corn if I find good ones.
  19. chef jay

    chef jay Fire Starter

    So sorry for the delay on posting this, but there's not much to post, there were the friends from out of time and we had a lot of beer to drink catching up to do... Here's the picture of everything going, beef, ribs and beans. People ask me why I need 3 bbq's, this is the reason:


    Beans are on the gas, ribs on the charcoal and beef on the offset (the bag is chunks of cherry, the green container is my mop, the bag of charcoal are old floor boards). Beans were great, I use canned plain navy beans to avoid the overnight process and then do them as you normally would. I use my drippings from previous smokes that I've frozen in ice cube trays and the trimmings from my pork for extra flavour, I learned this from a bbq joint in Florida.

    The ribs, well the ribs. I forgot about them, left it wide open and had a nice sample of blackened ribs if there is such a thing. They were not served. The beef too I was not impressed with. It didn't shred like pork like I was hoping it would so I sliced it thin and tossed it with a nice tangy bbq sauce. The lack of salt and sugar was not a factor for taste, the smoke and sauce balanced everything well even though I was disappointed with the beef (the guests were not).

    I had a lot of leftover beef (not because it was bad, there was a lot of beef). I actually rinsed off the sauce, cubed it and made chili:


    The chili recipe is from Chili Pepper magazine, I think around 2001 called Blue Devil Chili that over the years but I've tweaked time and time again to make it to my own taste. That day, I made the best chili I have ever made. The cross rib shredded nicely after cooking for another 2 hours and the smoky flavour topped it. Yes, there's beans in it, I like kidney beans but that's it (outside of onions but I have an onion tooth).

    I'm not giving up on the beef. The beef wasn't bad from a smoke standpoint but if I'm investing that time for what I got, I'll do brisket. My next experiment with beef will be a blade roast, I hope that will give me what I want. Either way, not a failed experiment

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