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My Chuck Roast Turned into a Rock.

Smokeduck

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Hello everyone,

So my Chuck Roasts lately have been literately transforming into rocks. So here's the story, I live in Saudi Arabia, my local butcher brings New Zealand chuck roasts every a couple of months. So when the opportunity came once again I bought like 5 chuck roasts froze three of the five. The first two chuckies were a success, they were tender, and tasty, went overboard with the rub on one but overall they were fantastic.

My last three I cooks were god awful (the frozen ones). The last chuck stalled three times in total. First stall at a temperature of 143. Stayed there for one hour. Stalled again at 169, this one the longest where it stood there for 2 hours wrapped with butcher paper. The last stall was at 189, it stayed there another hour. The cook in general took about 7 hours for a 2.6lb chuck roast. After a an extremely long wait it reached 199 IT. I pulled and let it rest for 20 minutes. I pulled the chuck out of the butcher paper and it was hard a rock, tried my hardest to cut the thing with both my hands anyway possible and I couldn't. No shredding no slicing. It was trash. I am trying to understand where I went wrong. I usually confuse overcooking with under cooking and the opposite. Why did the frozen chuck roasts turn out so bad? and the fresh ones were okay? I let it un-thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours before smoking. But still the difference is huge between the two.

Ill admit though, temperature was ranging from 220-250 before wrapping, and then 280-320 after wrapping. I had a problem with maintaining low temps and kinda let it ride on the high side a bit too much. was 300 degrees the reason it dried out? or was the frozen meat? Was it undercooked or overcooked? These chuck roasts are honestly so confusing. I know if should let it over 300 but the meat wouldn't budge temperature wise, so I let it be.
 

zwiller

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I think a roast would need more than overnight/24hrs to fully thaw and all the extra time on the smoker actually dried it up. Agree with you under and overcooking but this one might be an exception. The stalling and long smoke seem to give evidence to it not being thawed. We park frozen roasts in fridge at least several days and often like a week. Good news is you have 2 more. Best of luck on those!
 

Smokeduck

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I think a roast would need more than overnight/24hrs to fully thaw and all the extra time on the smoker actually dried it up. Agree with you under and overcooking but this one might be an exception. The stalling and long smoke seem to give evidence to it not being thawed. We park frozen roasts in fridge at least several days and often like a week. Good news is you have 2 more. Best of luck on those!
Thanks zwiller, so the even though to the touch the chuckie seems 'unfrozen' I still leave it another day or two just to be safe? To be honest I am clueless
when it comes to freezing and thawing the meat. afraid of putting the other two later this week lol. Thanks for the help though!
 

zwiller

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Yes, a few more days I think. Hopefully others will confirm. Sounds like you can measure IT. Try that. Lots of factors, roast size, fridge temps, etc. If I placed a frozen roast in fridge it would be still solid next day.
 

tropics

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Thanks zwiller, so the even though to the touch the chuckie seems 'unfrozen' I still leave it another day or two just to be safe? To be honest I am clueless
when it comes to freezing and thawing the meat. afraid of putting the other two later this week lol. Thanks for the help though!
Check it with a thermometer before cooking
Richie
 

bregent

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Sounds overcooked. Were you checking for tenderness along the way, or just cooking till it reached a certain temp?
 

Smokeduck

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Sounds overcooked. Were you checking for tenderness along the way, or just cooking till it reached a certain temp?
I just cooked till it 200. Didn't look. I only looked for the wrapping parta

Though here's where I don't understand!

If I checked for tenderness about 185 for example and it was tender, should I pull it out? Is there any examples where temp doesn't really represent tenderness? Some people say it's undercooked until about 210. How do I really know.
 

bregent

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Ignore temp and cook till tender for things like brisket, chuck roasts, pork butt, or any other meat that has a lot of connective tissue. The final internal temp is not a good indicator of when these cuts are done.

They are done when enough connective tissue has broken down to become tender. This can happen at any temp over 135 if cooked long enough. As an example, I cooked a chuck roast sous vide at 135F and it was tender enough to cut with a fork.

When cooking on the smoker, the amount of time and the final temp that is reached when it becomes tender enough is a factor many things including, cooker temp, temp of the meat before cooking, age of the animal, etc.

I think more folks mess up because they are told that the meat needs to reach a certain temp before it is done - this is BS.
 
Last edited:

tropics

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Oops, I remember plugin in the thermometer when cold the temperature registrated 49f, is that too cold?
No that is not to cold have you checked your therms with boiling water and ice water?
What kind of smoker are you using and what kind of gauges are you using to monitor the cooking chamber
Richie
 

Smokeduck

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No that is not to cold have you checked your therms with boiling water and ice water?
What kind of smoker are you using and what kind of gauges are you using to monitor the cooking chamber
Richie
My temps are accurate, I am using a 250 gallon Offset, tel true thermos, confirmed the temps with the thermapro wireless thermometer right at the cooking chamber. So in terms of accuracy of temps I am sure they are okay. They have been working for the past cooks successfully. I do the water test for every thermometer I buy
 

tropics

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My temps are accurate, I am using a 250 gallon Offset, tel true thermos, confirmed the temps with the thermapro wireless thermometer right at the cooking chamber. So in terms of accuracy of temps I am sure they are okay. They have been working for the past cooks successfully. I do the water test for every thermometer I buy
Just trying to get as much info,didn't mean any offence
Richie
 

miller51

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You may want to try some foil wrap too instead of the butcher paper. I typically use butcher paper on most of what I smoke and wrap, but when I do Chucky's, I typically use foil because the meat doesn't work as well like a pork butt or a brisket for the shredding/slicing for me. The foil usually pushes the meat too soft on brisket and pork for me, but I think it helps on the Chuck roast.

Good luck!
 

Smokeduck

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Ignore temp and cook till tender for things like brisket, chuck roasts, pork butt, or any other meat that has a lot of connective tissue. The final internal temp is not a good indicator of when these cuts are done.

They are done when enough connective tissue has broken down to become tender. This can happen at any temp over 135 if cooked long enough. As an example, I cooked a chuck roast sous vide at 135F and it was tender enough to cut with a fork.

When cooking on the smoker, the amount of time and the final temp that is reached when it becomes tender enough is a factor many things including, cooker temp, temp of the meat before cooking, age of the animal, etc.

I think more folks mess up because they are told that the meat needs to reach a certain temp before it is done - this is BS.

So here's where I don't understand, cook till tender (I understand that part) but then what's after tender? I genuinely don't know what an overcooked brisket or chuck is. Is it fall apart dry? Or is it very tough held together dry? Does the meat become juicy/tough (Undercooked) -> tender -> tough/dry again (Overcooked)? how do I land in that sweet spot. I am sorry if I being loading you with questions, but I am really interesting to know in general how to cook a random piece of meat. There is some local camel and lamb here that's not very common in the US. I am interesting in cooking these meats but I don't know how to handle them.
 

Smokeduck

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You may want to try some foil wrap too instead of the butcher paper. I typically use butcher paper on most of what I smoke and wrap, but when I do Chucky's, I typically use foil because the meat doesn't work as well like a pork butt or a brisket for the shredding/slicing for me. The foil usually pushes the meat too soft on brisket and pork for me, but I think it helps on the Chuck roast.

Good luck!
Yep foilworked with good results several weeks before. Though the meat was little bit metal-y if you know what I mean. I really like the taste of uncovered smoked meats or butcher paper. Foil adds a taste that I can't really explain, it does however work wonders in producing gelatin like chuckies.
 

Smokeduck

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I could be wrong, but I think those New Zealand Meat Men are bringing in Camel Chuck Roasts.
That could be the whole problem.

If not, try to treat them like these:
Pulled Beef Chucky
Twin Chuckies

Bear
Lol you maybe correct, beef here is so sketchy. I can't source fresh beef at all! Only thing fresh here is lamb and goats (and camels..) all the beef here is from Zealand and from Holland.

Time to move to texas huh?
 

zwiller

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While we're talking... All you guys can thaw chuckie overnight/24hrs? I might have my fridge too cold.
 

noboundaries

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Twice I've had boneless 3 lb chuck roasts never get tender in the smoker after 8 hours. They did come out of the freezer and were thawed. Ended up chopping them into cubes and making chili, and they had to braise for several hours before getting tender.
 

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