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Another chuckie and a cautionary tale

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Later today, I'll be smoking a 2 1/2 lbs. boneless chuck roast.

I rubbed it down with salt, black pepper, white sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and paprika.

It will be served in burritos with onions caramelized in butter and chipotles sliced thin. Green salsa and sour cream will be on the side.

I have taken note of the advice given by the members of this forum. Smoke until it hits 165 F, then foil-braise until it is super tender. My last chuckie prepared in this manner was spectacular - on par with good brisket.


The cautionary tale: I figured that hardwood charcoal would work quite well as the smoke medium for my terra-cotta smoker. I placed 2 grates in the bottom of it, then loaded a mass of almost ashy hardwood charcoal into it. I shot a hair dryer on the mass to raise the heat and make the coals glow. After I put on the lid, the bottom developed a large fissure along the side. I am an imbecile! mad.gif
post #2 of 8
Sounds like your right on track to have some really good chuckie for burritos. But it would be a whole lot better if I had som Q to look at.
post #3 of 8
YES, pics would be great. Are you saying you are using a terra cotta chiminea, or 2 large terra cotta pots like a clamshell? or something else? And the bottom one cracked from the heat?
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I am using one large, 16 inch in height, terra-cotta tree pot for the base and a 12 inch terra-cotta pot for the lid.

I have used an electric hot-plate for years with success. When looking at a sack of hardwood charcoal in the store, I got the bright idea to use this as the heat/smoke source for my smoker. The heat from hot coals cracked the base of my smoker.
post #5 of 8
Sounds like you tried to turn it into a blacksmith forge, LOL, I think your big mistake was using the hair drier to add a lot more Oxygen to the coals.

When doing this it greatly increases the temperature of the coals much like when a blacksmith uses a bellows to increase the heat in his forge...

It also might be you were using way too much charcoal...
post #6 of 8
I thinking that a grate that would keep coals from direct contact with terra cotta might have helped-can't beat that set up for a home ade smoker though.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yes. I have been doing the "hair dryer" trick for years. Whenever I grill, I use it to expedite the process of ashing the coals over quickly.

To make "Pittsburgh rare" steak (black on the outside and blue on the inside), I can get the coals literally white-hot and the grate glowing red.
post #8 of 8
black on the outside and blue on the inside?

tell me more
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