I was first motivated to try a chuck roast after seeing forluvofsmoke smoke two chuck steaks.
I didn't look any further into how easy or difficult it might be by someone less experienced such as myself at the helm of the smoker
, until the morning before smoke day when I buy my meat.
Quite a few tough pieces being talked about due towhat I saw as variation in muscle types within the chuck itself.
I decided to go ahead and bought a lovely 4lb chunk of chuck with some good marbling as well as some good fat running through the chuck to keep it moist during the smoke.
I trimmed the joint as best I could, and found that 2 pieces fell away - one was about 1/8lb and the other about 2/3lb, so I treated them like the rest of the joint and seasoned them all with an overnight rub made from equal parts of sea salt crystals, coarse ground black pepper, and soft brown sugar.
I had the barbeque burning lumpwood charcoal, with small pieces of oak being added until foiling time.
I used a quart of water above a thermal mass of pea gravel, filling the waterpan, so I would have a wet-to-dry chamber for the cook process.
Here's the first image, having forgotten to add some bacon rashers:
Someone mentioned using bacon rashers to add a little fat that might help. I started eating the rashers as they cooked, as and when I got hungry. Let's just say they took on the oak smoke beautifully, and were all gone by foiling
As you see the temp probe looks quite nicely positioned in the thickest part of the joint....
You'd think so wouldn't you? .....read on..
I think it was 2hrs in when I ate the first bacon rasher, and then the little 1/8lb piece..........just to see how it was going,
and it tasted really good.
So I thought I had the IT probe well placed, but already through experience, when the reading showed 165F, I thought, lets just see what it's reading elsewhere. Wasn't long before I came to a part at the back of the joint in the above pic, that read 158F, so I give it another 1/2hr ish till it's all reading between 165 and 170F.
At this point, I take the main joint off and foil it, adding some beef stock and some cranberry/raspberry juice - in all about a small cup full. Back on the wsm.
Meanwhile, I take the 2/3lb piece off, and leave it 1/2hr in coolerbox, in foil with a bit of stock added, to let it rest.
While it's resting, I throw together a raspberry vinegar reduction, made with raspberry vinegar, beef stock and some brown sugar.
When ready, I slice the meat, which was easy but I still didn't know how tender the meat was...
I made some 'slaw, and spooned some of the reduction over the meat slices:
The slices pulled apart, and tasted delicious, both with the reduction, and also with the coleslaw! At this point, I had cracked it.
All I had to do now was get the main chuck up to somewhere in between 195 and 205F...
All quite straightforward, except checking the IT again in 3 or 4 areas to make sure I got it right. Sure enough, there was another significant lower temp difference, in the lower part of the joint. Once I had placed the probe there, the IT rose again to just over 200F, so I pulled the chuck off the smoker, drained of most of the juices from the foil, then added more foil, wrapped in towel, and into cooler bag for 2hrs to rest.
I then placed to sweet potatoes on the smoker:
Not massive potatoes, but after what I'd already eaten I didn't want too much...
In fact I couldn't believe how not hungry I was when it was time to slice(ideally) or pull the chuck...
I was so happy with what I achieved when I unfoiled the meat.
It was tender, and yet still easily slicable, so once I sliced a piece, you could easily pull it in half with your fingers
My best effort yet, with what I was expecting to be a challenging joint.
Sweet potatoes came out great too!
After 2 days, I've eaten most of this joint, and shared the rest with others who also said it was really good.
To leave this post on an interesting thought, I have now found that if I'm eating this kind of food, whether it's brisket, chuck, or even pulled pork, hot and with potatoes and vegetable, nothing goes better than an au jus made with stock and meat juices.
On the other hand, if I'm having the meat cold with salad or in sarnies, I prefer some king of vinegar finishing sauce.
Just wonder whether anyone else is finding this -
How do you like it hot?
How do you like it cold?
Have a great weekend
All the best