Chuck roast - rub vs pellicle

Discussion in 'Beef' started by turick, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Hi all!  Just bought about 6 pounds of chuck roast and plan on throwing it on the smoker tomorrow.  I intended to rub it with SPOG, perhaps with a little addition of paprika and cayenne pepper.  However, being pretty new to smoking, I'm not sure if all meats need to form pellicle or if putting the rub on the night before effects the formation of the pellicle? 

    Just confused if I should rub tonight, wrap in saran rap and throw it back in the fridge, taking it out right before I put it in the smoker tomorrow, or, if I should let a fan blow on it for an hour or 2 in the morning, then apply the rub, then put it in the smoker... OR, do I rub tonight and leave it sit out a bit tomorrow before it goes in the smoker?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    No need for the pellicle. Chuck roast is great to smoke. One of my favorite cuts. I always wrap mine when they stall, preferring it pulled/sauced or loaded with veggies and treated like a smoked pot roast.

    Completely up to you if you want to rub the night before or just before loading the smoker. I SPOG mine just before loading it on the smoker, but once again, a personal preference.

    Chuck roasts work at a variety of smoking temps too. Just take it to a minimum of 190F IT then start the probe test. 200F works best for me most times, but sometimes it goes to 205F IT to be tender.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  3. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Thanks for the info!  What temp do you aim for in the smoker?  Maybe start out at 200 and bump to 225 after a couple of hours?
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd run the smoker 250-265. You want to take the roast to a finished IT of at least 185, and as high as maybe 205. Take a fork to it and when it starts to spread easily you are done.

    Good wood to use is Cherry or a 50/50 mix of cherry and pecan.

    I use SPOG, and like to add chipotle powder or paprika.

    Do yourself a favor and put a drip pan below the roast. In that pan put onion, garlic, celery, carrots, taters, two good beers (we use Porter), a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, a couple cups of beefbroth. Now you have Smokey Au Jus in the making. Nothing better! You can thicken the Au Jus if you like gravy better.
  5. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Thanks for info on the temp.  I think I'll start out at 250 then.

    Ooh the vegetables in the drip tray sound amazing!  I will do just that!

    Unfortunately I currently only have hickory and alder pellets for my AMNPS, so I'm going to have to go straight hickory. 
  6. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Dirtsailor, do you put put all of the veggies in the drip tray right away?  I would think they would become over-soggy if I did.

    Does chuck roast stall like a boston butt?  Can I expect a long day of the meat in the smoker?  At what point do you put the veggies in?
  7. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll let DS answer the first question. 

    Depending how much smoke I want on a chuckie will determine my chamber temp.  225F works for more smoke.  250F is great too.

    Will a chuckie stall?  Yes.  Like I said above that's when I wrap mine.  I either wrap with just HD aluminum foil and a little liquid, salsa, etc, or I put my veggies in a 9x13 disposable aluminum roaster, add the smoked and stalled meat, some liquid, cover tightly then cook until my desired IT.  Once it is wrapped you can crank the temp up to 300-325F and no need for any more smoke. 

    As far as time, it isn't unusual for a 3 lb chuck roast to take 6 hours if kept at 250F the entire time.    

    A popular and easy recipe for chuckies is "Pepper Stout Beef." 

    Pepper Stout Beef

    4-6 lbs chuck roast
    Kosher Salt and black pepper
    Onion and Garlic powders
    3 bell peppers. (I used Red, Green and Yellow)
    3 Jalapeños ( Can use fewer for less heat)
    1 lg red onion
    6 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)
    1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
    12 oz bottle of Guinness Extra Stout


    1. Fire up the smoker to a medium level smoke 250-275°F.

    2. Cover the chuck roast with SPOG.

    3. Smoke the roast for about 3 hours with hickory wood or until the internal temp hits 165°F.

    4. When the roast is nearing the first target temperature cut up the peppers, onions, jalapeños and garlic.  Add to an aluminum pan along with the Worcestershire Sauce and Guinness. Mix em up and let them wait for the meat.

    5. At 165 degrees, its time to add the meat to the veg.  Seal tightly with a double layer of HD aluminum foil.

    6. Crank up the smoker, grill, or oven to 325°F and let go for about 3 hours.

    7. After about 3 hours the meat should be fork tender and the veggies will be soft and juicy.  Go ahead and shred the beef into the veggies and mix it up.

    8. Once the meat and veggies are all mixed up, its time to put everything back uncovered in the 325°F smoker/grill/oven for about 30 minutes until the juice reduces by half.  Or you can put it all in a Dutch Oven on the stove and reduce there, which is what I do.

    9. After 30 minutes grab a ciabatta, tortilla, french roll or just a fork and go to town.
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes the veggies can get to the mushy stage. Just the way my ex-vegetarian wife likes them... I myself like my veggies with a bit of a bite! You can add the veggies later if you want, or pull the veggies out of the pan. Give them a prod with a fork to test them. At 250 it takes them longer than roasting in an oven at 350.
  9. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Noboundaries: that looks amazing!  I think it might be a little too far down the rabbit hole for me today though.  I think I want to get the feel for a basic chuck roast, then I'll graduate to the fancy stuff.  But it looks great and I'll definitely give that a go in the future!

    Dirt: Ya I like a bit of bite too.  I think I'll just wait a bit before I put them on.  I would imagine that like Noboundaries recipe, it would require a nice porter or stout, which I don't have either on hand at the moment.  I may try substituting some cabernet sauvignon... OR... I'm making 9 hour burgandy mushrooms today as well, using some regular store bought mushrooms and some wild mushrooms I gathered a couple weeks ago.  I bet the broth from that would work outstanding as well.

    So was it your bbq that converted your wife from her vegetarian ways???
  10. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Bad things have happened.... 

    I put a light dusting of SPOG on the two 3 lbs roasts this morning before putting them in the smoker at 225:

    I had to leave this afternoon.  My wife was home and I had her put the MES40 thermometer in one of the roasts around the 5 hour mark.  It read 177.  Then climbed to 195.  Then climbed to 217!  Holy crap!

    I had her pull them and wrap them for a rest of about 2 hours.  When I got home, I made sure my 9 hour burgandy mushrooms were done and made a batch of roasted rosemary potatoes.  As the potatoes neared completion, I grabbed the roasts and unfoiled them to start pulling.  This picture is a little blurry, but it was really juicy and looked and smelled good.  The outside was pretty dark, as if it had a nice bark, however it didn't seem that there was really a thick bark on it like there is when I do a pork shoulder.  Maybe because I used way less rub?  Doesn't bother me much, just made me think I would probably have much better smoke in the meat.  This picture is a little blurry and I had a ton of light so it looks less dark than it really was, but here it is:

    Grabbed my forks and started pulling!  But it wouldn't pull.  It was really firm and ripping the two forks apart exposed red, uncooked meat!  Looks like the MES thermometer has let me down again :(

    I just put them back in, wrapped, with the smoker set to 275.  The initial IT was around 110 and as of now, it's climbed back up to around 150.  I have no idea how this will affect the final product... hopefully it will still be ok.  I'll be watching it until it hits 205.  I'm assuming it will need another rest after this before I pull?  I guess dinner for tonight is off!  DOH.
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd let them rest again. The joys of smoking! Always have a back up plan!
  12. Not drive this thread off track, but would care to share the 9 hour mushroom process/recipe? I've never heard of them.
  13. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    That's actually great life advice as well :)

    I'm thinking maybe the ambient temp of the smoker got confused with the meat probe?  Either way, it is now the reason why I am going to order a new thermometer.  Just need to do a little research.  If I remember correctly, there is one specific dual probe digital deal that everybody seems to like...

    Anyway, roast IT is up to 170.  In all honesty, I don't like my smoked products when they come off the smoker.  I always like them better the day after, and maybe even better the 2nd day after.  So if this doesn't get done until really late and I can't eat it until tomorrow, I won't be super disappointed.

    If that's what happens, should I wait until tomorrow to pull it?  Or does that matter?
  14. Check out the Maverick ET732 or ET733 thermometer set ups.
  15. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Alot of smoked food is better the next day,  I would pull off of the smoker.
  16. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    No worries... the mushroom recipe is something every smoker should know! It goes so good with beef and pork!  Here it goes:

    4 pounds white button mushrooms
    1 litre Burgundy wine (other dry red wines will work)
    2 cups water
    1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
    1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon dill seed
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    4 beef bouillon cubes
    4 chicken bouillon cubes
    4 cloves garlic, peeled

    Bring all of the ingredients to a boil over a medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and reduce heat to a low simmer, covered, for 6 hours.  After 6 hours, remove the lid for the last 3 hours.

    Like any recipe, it's all open to interpretation.  Some find this too salty, so they reduce the bullion.  I added a bottle of Heinz Home Style Beef Gravy and another bottle of their chicken gravy, and I use caberent sauvignon instead of burgundy.  The broth from this recipe is so amazing, nobody in my family (I have 5 kids) can stop taking spoonfuls and eating mushrooms out of it long before it's finished.  Pair this recipe with some roasted potatoes and you'll be in heaven.  Oh ya, and then there's the smoked meat :)

    Here are some pictures from my prime rib smoke with burgundy mushrooms and rosemary potatoes. This first close up is my absolute favorite.  You can see the dark outer color of the mushroom contrasted with the lighter color of the center with scattered rosemary leaves, and of course, the falling apart deliciousness of the smoked prime rib:

  17. Awesome! Thank you for sharing. I have a mushroom recipe for steaks that follows this but only a few minutes on the stove top in a cast iron pan.

    What do you cook this in? My gas stove never seems to go to a low enough setting for things like this. I'm thinking my small dutch oven could work for this. Or is that what you normally use?
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  18. I was just thinking too that I have a case of real dry red wine that I thought I liked at a wine festival over the summer.

    It sounds like that might work well here.
  19. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    I just do it right on my stove... as long as it's not boiling, it will be fine.  If you can't get your stove low enough, just use a crock pot!

    Note there are almost no mushrooms left... as I was trying to scalvage my chuck roast, everybody in the family was eating the mushrooms every time the walked through the kitchen!  My 6 year old, who always asks for candy or popcorn, asked if she could have mushrooms for a snack before she went to bed!

    I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with the rest of the broth, but rest assured, it will not be disposed.  This stuff is so amazing!  I'll do something with it!
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  20. turick

    turick Meat Mopper

    Well, I'm very disappointed.  After realizing that the chuckies weren't cooked all the way, I kept the roasts wrapped and bumped the MES40 up to 275.  It really didn't take very long to get the roasts internal temp to 205.  Once it did, I let them rest for about 2 hours.

    When I smoke pork shoulders, I shred them with 2 forks -- it's as easy as shredding butter.  I took 2 forks to these roasts and it was impossible.  It took me about 45 minutes of ripping and tearing with my hands to get it all shredded.  The final container full of meat looked good, but the meat seemed a bit tough, there wasn't a lot of flavor, and overall, disappointment.

    I ended up making a mixture of my leftover Heinz beef gravy, some of the broth from my burgundy mushrooms, and some extra salt and pepper mixed in a bowl.  I poured it all over the meat and it now has a much better flavor, but I feel like it's a crime that the flavors that seem appealing aren't coming from the actual smoking process!

    The meat is still OK.  It's not "bad".  However, this it's not good enough for me to even want to re-attempt doing a beef roast with the high prices of beef. 

    I might add that the past several smokes I've done (outside of my smoked salmon), I've been left disappointed with the lack of smoke on the final product.  I think from now one, with my pork and beef, I'm going to start lighting my AMNPS from both ends.

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014

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