Chuck Roast Smoked Using Texas Crutch = Fail

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svick

Newbie
Original poster
Dec 31, 2015
8
11
Hi,

I smoked a chuck roast using a recipe that called for the texas crutch - 2 hours unwrapped followed by the last hour wrapped. It was a fail. The final temp was 190, but the meat was not pull apart tender. It was tougher than I expected it to be.

My WSM was fine and I maintained a good temp, around 240.

What did I do wrong? Is it perhaps the recipe? I made chuck before but using the traditional all day low and slow method - no wrapping - so that's the recipe is the only thing I can point to, unless it was the cut of meat, which I purchased at Costco.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
 
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Reactions: JLeonard
Hi,

I smoked a chuck roast using a recipe that called for the texas crutch - 2 hours unwrapped followed by the last hour wrapped. It was a fail. The final temp was 190, but the meat was not pull apart tender. It was tougher than I expected it to be.

My WSM was fine and I maintained a good temp, around 240.

What did I do wrong? Is it perhaps the recipe? I made chuck before but using the traditional all day low and slow method - no wrapping - so that's the recipe is the only thing I can point to, unless it was the cut of meat, which I purchased at Costco.

Thoughts?

Thanks.
You answered your own question:  all day, low and slow.  Not really a substitute.
 
Don't know how big the roast was but a 5 pounder takes 3 hours at 325 sealed in a Dutch oven. Sounds like the recipe was bad. At 240 I would plan on 1.5 per pound with all the time after the IT hits 150-160 in foil. For 5 pounds that around 4 hours in smoke and 3 or so in foil...JJ
 
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So wait your smoker was at 240, but you got an IT of of 190 in three hours?

Ain't adding up.

Are you using the WSM's therm tommeasure pit temp?

Have you checked therm you are using to check the meat temp?

The stock therms on the WSM's and most smokers are not accurate. Mine reads 20-30 degrees low than actual pit temp at lower cook temps. So if your therm
Was 240, you may have been 260-280 at cooking grate.

I don't wrap, and used to cook my chucks in a 250 pit. It would take 8-10 hours. Pulling the roast at an internal temp of 200-205. Foil rest 45 min-1 hour. Shred.

Been doing some higher temp smokes, 285-325. Pull at the same internal temp. Same rest. Same results.
 
Sounds like I need to check the thermometer.
 
I just smoked a 3lb chuck roast on Saturday.
Chamber temp around 220 degrees.
I used Bear's step by step for a chuck roast. 9 hrs to get to 205 IT. The recipe calls for wrapping in foil at 160 degrees then bring to about 190 degrees then coast to 205 degrees.
I use a ThermoPro dual probe thermometer.

Just my latest experience if it helps.

r2
 
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Great advice on getting your temps right, that's a must. 

Also note, chuck can come from the neck, upper arm, or shoulder, you notice when you see a chuck roast, they can look very different. 

Need to pay attention to the marbling. For the the chuck to retain it's juiciness over these long cooks, it's much easier with a well marbled piece of meat, with a lot of connective tissue that will break down into that gelatinous goodness that we all love in a chuck.

I'm actually planning to cook one tomorrow morning, making a smoked pot roast! 
 
I do the same with chucks I want to pull as I do pork butts. On the smoker until it is 165 or so. Then in a uncovered pan with 8 ounces of dark beer for beef or hard apple ale for pork in the bottom of the pan. May have to add more as you go but the juices coming from the meat is usually enough to make sure your pan doesn't go dry. Most of your juices are released after the 165 internal temp has been reached.

Leave in the smoker until it is 205. Remove from smoker and cover the pan with foil and into the cambro (or cooler) for a minimum of 2 hours. 

Often times I will leave in the cambro overnight and pull the next day. Never failed me. The beer and hard apple ale add a excellent flavor enhancer.
 
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Trying a 3lb chuck for the first time today. Put it on the smoker between 170-210 around 10am (using a water pan beneath) smoked for 3 hours, at which point the IT was about 145, then i wrapped with foil and a little dr.pepper (and placed halved onions on the grate) and let that smoke for another 2 hours around 170-210. Now It's in a pan in the oven with its juices and the onions around 250-300, about 2 hours in so far. IT got up to about 200 in the center, currently trying to keep it there until its probe tender. Fingers crossed, will update with photos
 
I smoked a couple 5# chuck roasts over the weekend. Temp was 225. I left them unwrapped until I was happy that the bark had set (165F at 4 hours), and then wrapped them. They were probe tender at 204, and 7.25 hours, total. Rest period was another hour.
 
This is the only photo i got of mine. The flavor was all there, but still a little tough. Sliced it super thin with a deli slicer for some killer lunchmeat. Next time I plan to smoke a bit hotter for the first four hours and not wrap it until I'm totally happy with the bark, then wrap it and drop the temp for a few more hours.

20210830_164936.jpg
 
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