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Smoking Beef Roast

jennifersaks

Newbie
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Joined Feb 10, 2014
Hi,

I am wondering if anyone might have some ideas for me.  When I was a child, my Swiss grandfather used to smoke beef.  I imagine he learned his technique from his own father.  I don't know if there is a particular technique in Switzerland, or if it was just something they did.  We lived about 100 miles away, so he would sometimes mail us a package of it if we weren't there when he was smoking.  He had a brick smokehouse that eventually blew down in a wild storm one winter, so that was the end of the smoked beef.

I've talked to a cousin who used to shadow him all day long.  He said all he can remember of the process is that Grandpa told him the brine was right when an egg floated in it.  So I guess he brined it before smoking.  All I know is that the finished product was fabulous.  It resembled a pot roast that had been slowly roasted for hours and hours, and you could pull it apart in shreds. The flavor was a deep smoky flavor, and was such a treat!  I don't remember it tasting salty at all...just smoky.

As you might imagine, I'd love to try to duplicate it.  I imagine he used Alder, since that was prevalent on his property.  Or it could have been applewood.  We don't have a smokehouse,but I bought my husband a Weber smoker (Little Smoky).  Can anyone give me some tips? 

Thank you!

Jennifer Saks
 

hambone1950

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jul 23, 2012
Hi jennifer
What you describe sounds very much like what folks on this and other forums call a "chuckie".
If you type chuckie into the search menu I believe you will find a ton of info. I'm not sure if your granddad started with a chuck roast or not....I believe you can use other cuts , but I think the chuck responds best to that low and slow treatment....although , now that I think on it , I suppose he could have used brisket too. Well , either way , brisket or chuck roast , you can try both and see what you like best. But basically , you could just throw a chuck roast (well seasoned) into a foil pan and put it on the smoker for a low and slow smoke at about 225 degrees or so. And I believe you would shoot for an internal temp of around 190-200 degrees. But tenderness is the goal , so when the meat hits 170 or so , you start probing it with a slender sharpish object (I use a cake tester) , and when said object slides into the roast with little resistance you are there.
 
Last edited:

alblancher

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Joined Mar 6, 2009
How long ago was this?  We normally don't brine beef before it goes in hot smoke but I'm sure there is nothing wrong with brining if you wish.  Why not pick up a couple pieces of meat and try them both ways.  Chuck Roast has a bit of fat in it and self bastes so it stays juicy without brining.  A top round or something else a bit leaner may respond well to a brine.   I have heard of the egg test before and a lot of people seem to use it.
 

jennifersaks

Newbie
3
10
Joined Feb 10, 2014
Thank you both! I remember the meat was very, very lean...don't remember any fat to cut off (my least favorite thing).  I think I would try it without brining it.  Might just be able to re-create this childhood memory!!  (This was when I was very young--maybe mid-50's).  My dad tried it when I was in college--he built a smokehouse.  I suppose he was brining the beef, because we all felt it was too salty.

Off to read about "chuckies" now!  I'm excited to give this a try!

Thanks again,

Jennifer
 

timberjet

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jan 29, 2010
You will find that the fat renders off for the most part. I have taken to doing a reverse sear on my beef roasts to carmelize that fat into a wonderfully tasty bark on the outside of the meat. You will find lots of folks have taken to doing this. Happy smoking and good luck.
 

hambone1950

Master of the Pit
Group Lead
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Joined Jul 23, 2012
:)  Thanks!
Timber jet is right , Jen . Don't be put off by how fatty the chuck can look when it's raw. That fat will melt away and you can drain it right off. ( just saving enough to flavor a lovely au jus)
 

charcoal junkie

Smoking Fanatic
311
13
Joined Apr 18, 2012
I would think your grandfather was curing the meat before smoking. Don't take what I say as the truth just my 2¢.
 

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