epic fail Please help!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by matt r, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. I did a Beef Chuck Shoulder roast, about 6-8 pounds. Marinated it overnight, cooked at 250 to an IT of 195. Foiled , put in cooler with a blanket. Sat for about 3 hours.

    It was terrible. DRY as the Desert. What the heck happened? Im so Frustrated....[​IMG]
  2. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    Matt, are you saying that you left it exposed for the full cook time? 
  3. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Matt, so close.  195 can work, but not always.  I've read folks say 190F.  I shudder when I see that.  I tell people an IT of 200F before they should even start probing for tenderness.  I've had a chuck go to 207 IT before it was tender enough to slice. With tough cuts of meat, longer is better. 

    I'll share a story.  Back when I first started cooking pot roasts on the stove and in the oven, using chuck roasts, I basically gave up because I could never get them fork tender.  They always came out like a brick.  My wife went to a church event in Texas for a funeral and the pot roast (chuck) they served at a dinner for the family was tender and juicy.  My wife asked the little white haired lady her secret.  Under her breath she said "Honey, just cook the snot out of it."  After that I never had a pot roast that wasn't juicy and tender whether done on the stovetop, oven or the smoker.  I've only had one fail on my very first 2.5 lbs smoked chuck roast when I pulled it off the smoker after 6 hours and the IT was only 187 or so.  It was a brick.  I bumped the IT up and have smoked many, many chuckies since then, one of my favorite cuts to smoke.      

    Longer is always better with tough cuts.  Take that dry as a desert chuck roast, add a little water or beef broth to a roaster, cover it with HD alum foil and cook it in the oven at 350F until the IT is 205 or so.  You'll save the roast.  The collagen has to break down some more, and that's where tough cuts get their juiciness and tenderness.     
    crazymoon likes this.
  4. Yes, I did. I guess that was not right? Should I have foiled it while it cooked?
    Thanks very much, guys. I cant believe I undercooked that thing, but as we were eating it, I said to my wife "I bet its not cooked enough"...she laughed...Anyway, Should I have foiled the meat at about 160IT and then cooked it to 205-210 IT?
  5. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    You'll get different opinions on when to foil if at all.  Personally, I think the physical dimensions of a chuck call for the early foil.  How have traditional pot roasts been cooked for years?  Crock pot and oven bags. 
  6. I will cook collagen until its done in foil and spices, then take the meat out and finish it low and slow with a water pan steaming away. Depends on the cut for the collagen breakdown, but I just make sure its moist enough for that process, and follow up with whatever finish, bark or mop sauce the menu calls for.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014
  7. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    IMHO , I would wrap , juice and Braise to 165*F and Wrap , Juice and Braise till done.

    I normally don't wrap , however Chuck is leaner and common sense tells me it needs help if you leave it on the smoker.

    JMO [​IMG]
  8. Big difference in a chuck roast and a brisket, chuck is pretty lean and will dry out if not careful, good advice on wrapping 

  9. thesmokist

    thesmokist Meat Mopper

    I smoke chuck roasts for about 3 hours and then put them in a covered pan with some beer, a lil onion soup mix, potatoes, carrots and cook in the oven at 300 till fork tender and they come out killer!!
  10. that sounds good!
  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't feel bad, and keep at it!

    Chuckies and briskies can be challenging for many people.  (Don't ask me how I know!)

    You will get it!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  12. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Matt, I keep or create all my recipes in a cookbook software called "The Living Cookbook."  For chuck roasts I have smoker recipes for BBQ Chuck Roast, Pepper Stout Beef, Cuban Ropa Vieja, Korean BBQ Chuck Roast, Mexican Barbacoa, Smoked and Braised BBQ Pulled Beef, and Smoked Pot Roast.  You can get so creative with chuck roasts.  All involve wrapping the chuckie at about 3 hours or the first long stall.  I've let the meat go even longer just to get more smoke flavor before I wrap it. Once I wrap a chuckie with a little liquid I crank the temp up on the smoker because at that point it is no different than sticking it in the oven.

    Above I mentioned I've had one chuckie that was stubborn.  It was the first time I tried a Cuban Ropa Vieja recipe, a variation on the Pepper Stout Beef recipe, a popular one on SMF.  No problem, I finished it on the stove top the next day.  That was one stubborn choice cut of chuck roast.  Here is a note I wrote on that recipe:

    Tried this for the first time and it was FANTASTIC!  The chuck roast I used was a stubborn one.  Even after 4.25 hours at 250F then 4.25 hours at 350F, this baby wasn't ready to pull apart.  IT was 207F.  It wasn't until the next day when I simmered it on the stove for an hour that it reached a point that it would pull apart. 

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