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Unread 03-03-2013, 11:24 PM   #1
ColdFyre
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Default Frustrated noob.(Chukie on a OTG)

So I tied up a nice 3.7 lb chuck roast I got from Stater Bros this morning and then gave it a good coat of Bovine Bold.
Then set up the OTG for some minion, Kigsford blue off to one side in the Weber charcoal basket. Couple of chunks of applewood buried here and there. Lit up 8 or 9 coals, covered and waited for the temp to come up to 225 or so. Took a long time for the thick white smoke to calm down to a thinner blue.
Anyhow, got the meat probed up and on the grate. After 4+hours of 250ish the internal temp never got past 150. I wanted to get it to 160 then wrap it with a little broth and then let it come to 200 so I can pull it.
I was frustrated by lack of progress so I pulled it from the weber, put it in my drip tray with a little broth, a few slices of onion and a few diced up cloves of garlic. I put it in the oven, coverd, at 330 and waited till it hit 200. Pulled it out of the oven, felt rock hard. No buttah proben' to be had. Let it rest for 20 and came back. It was so damned dry I almost cried. Even the smoke ring seemed a little weak. Flavor was lacking as well. Last time I used Bovine Bold on some short ribs I used too much and was a bit salty. This time I used a little less and I could barely taste it.

I will take ANY suggestions or theories on why it may have come out so dry?

I do appreciate anything!
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Unread 03-04-2013, 12:23 AM   #2
code3rrt
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You didn't cook it long enough........like lots of what we Q "It's done when it's done". you should have continued the cokk til it "probed like buttah", then rested, it would have redistributed all those delicious juices. Cooking at 225 you were looking at a long cook anyway. I'm sure others will chime in with add'l advice.

Keep at it tho, trial and error is a pretty good teacher.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #3
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I'm no expert, but I agree you just didn't give 'er enough time. Beef can be a little tricky compared to pork. I've had some chucks go probe tender at 190, others 205. The numbers are kind of just a reference point. The main thing is that you give it it's needed time. Even if you're at your target temp(which to me that term really only applies when cooking chicken for safety reasons) it still might need more time for all the connective tissues to break down. One thing I've learned is if you dry it out you can save it by slicing very thin and adding broth. I know it can be frustrating though, esp. with the cost of beef!
Keep at it, you'll get it right.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 11:00 AM   #4
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I think much of your troubles are Fire related. Give that KBB to your BIL and go buy some lump, all that waiting for the smoke to clear will vanish it burns hotter, longer & cleaner. I would get rid of them baskets to and just build your fire on one side. Cover the remaining area of the coal grate with HD foil so it forms a seal at the kettle edge. this will allow you to have complete control over the fire: fire is a bottom feeder it sucks air in at the bottom and releases its energy out the top in the form of heat & smoke. You control the air you control the fire.

I cook hotter than most 275 -325. Chuck roast need s to go higher than 200 it to reach that magic place, more like 210. A chuck Roast is almost like cooking a Brisket flat they have allot in common. Tight grain structure lack of surface fat and lean( not much marbling) Cuts like this do better at higher temps to prevent drying out. Once the surface dries out the rest will be close behind. I typically go 3 hrs and either set up a braise in a hot tub or wrap in BP and go to probe tender. I'm a S&P rub on beef believer as it lets the beef flavor shine.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #5
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The first one I did was OK..nothing special, 2nd and 3rd were disasters trying to cook it with bell peppers ect. Sat I did a 3 lb chuckie simple style. S&P, Garlic smoked on 250-275 till it hit 150. Wrapped in foil with it's own juice and a little beer and put in oven till It 195. Part of it was still tough. Put it back in oven on 325 for 1/2 hour then rested. It took that little extra time from AFTER it hit 195 to truly become "pulled" tender. Finally I had a chuckie I was proud of and made some wicked sammiches. Like the wise one's on here say it will be ready WHEN it get's ready.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 12:31 PM   #6
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You pulled it off when the stall was occurring.


Don't give up on chucks. Be patient and let it get much closer to 200. It WILL probe tender and be delicious.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
GMDGeek
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I struggled with this when I first started - the good old STALL ... that is when you have your PIT at temp and the meat seams to take FOREVER to get past a temp to the one you want. I basically learned after 2 pork shoulders, 1 brisket, and a tri-tip - It's Done When It's Done.

Each piece of meat is different, more or less fat, leaner, tighter, however you want to describe it. And usually they take about the same amount of time but there are those pieces of meat that are just, well stubborn! Just got to be patient and wait it out.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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You're doing it wrong.

First off, I would cook a chuck at 275F minimum. They take too long other wise. I prefer a simpler rub, but, the Plowboy's Bovine Bold is an excellent rub, I find it a tad salty, but, it works great (and I am on a lower salt diet). That was not the problem.

My process (if smoke ring matters) is to start the cook off when the UDS or kettle hits 225F, then keep the vents open until it hits 275F, shut the bottom vents to where I think it will coast up to around 300F and hold there. Run the cook time from there. A 3 pound chuck, I am looking at 4 hours, no peeky. At four hours, I will probe and see what I have. If it is tight, then 2 more hours at 300F, if it is close, then 30 minutes and check again. At 300F, you should reach the pulling stage in 4 to 6 hours. Never pull it before it probes tender, chuckies need to be cooked to completion either straight through, or panned, they have to be pulling tender on the pit.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 11:15 PM   #9
ColdFyre
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Thanks for the words of advice folks... I was pretty P.O.'d at myself for this one but I am now inspired to give it another go! now to go get a fire brick or 2
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Unread 03-05-2013, 12:37 AM   #10
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Had the same problem with 2 four pounders I did over the weekend pepper stout style. My time was up at about 6 hours, my temp was up at about 206 in the chuckies, but they just were not ready. The meat was still a bit tight and it wasnt going to pull easy. Put it back in for what turned out to be another hour and a half, but when I pulled it, it was tender juicy and tasty. Just gotta give it the time it needs to break down.
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