Why cant i get a chuck roast to pull?

Discussion in 'Beef' started by hdsmoke, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. hdsmoke

    hdsmoke Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, this is the third chuckie i have done.  First in about a year.  Had the same results in all 3.  They came out good...great tasting actually.  Just not what i want.  I want pulled beef!  This last one i thought was going to be pull apart tender and just wasnt.  I put it in and smoker ran about 230-240 the entire time and never higher but sometimes into the 20's.  The chuck roast wa about 3lbs.  I hit a stall at 147 and sat for about 2.5hrs and temp went all the way down to 143 at one point.  I thought oh yeah this baby is going to be good.  Foiled at 165 took to 205 (i think it got there rather quickly), and then gave an hour rest.  I opened it up and the outside edges could have been pulled but it still wasnt tender throughout enough to just pull.  I sliced it and im finishing up leftovers as we speak.  Now, nobody but me knew anything was amiss and everyone thought it was great.  It just wasnt what i wanted!  Everyone of them has done this to me.  Should i foil earlier?  Lower temp?  rest longer?  I foiled with a little worsty and beer and had tons of liquid after the foil.  Suggestions?
  2. Personally, I 'd go with letting it rest in the foil longer. Stick it in a dry cooler for a 2-3 hours. If it won't fall apart they, well, you can blame the meat!! Lowering your cook temp won't do squat except make the cook time longer. However, that's just my $.02 worth and YMMV! [​IMG]
  3. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You could try to keep in the cooler overnight  Seems like you did everyting about right.  I am assuming the meat was moist and tender.  Maybe could use a bit of moisture in the foil, that might help.  Basically what ChadinCLW said,  more time in the foil and more moisture.  If you have moisture in the foil you can go a bit longer on smoker to a higher temperature also.  Chuckies may need a bit higher pull temp, not sure.
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I have had roasts that were not done at 205 & ones that were done at 195.

    The easiest way to tell is when the therm gets to 205, move the probe to a couple of other spots?

    If it's done the probe should go in with no resistance, if you feel resistance, put it back in the smoker.

    Are you sure your therm is accurate?

    Have you checked it in boiling water?

    I generally smoke butts, brisket, & chuck roasts at around 210. IMHO the longer slower cook breaks the meat down better and

    makes it more juicy & tender.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The Collagen holding those muscle fibers together, starts to break down above 190*F in a moist environment. The longer you keep above 200*F the more collagen dissolves. I regularly do 5-6 pounders and have never had them fall apart in under 4 hours. Longer won't hurt. Guess 4's a Charm here. Good luck...JJ
  6. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I take all chucks to 210 now. Adding some beef broth to the foil as you wrap seems to help some too and lastly.......remember there are 7 types of chucks, not all pull well.


    I prefer the Chuck Loins and Underblades. 7 bone chucks seem to work will also. Just remember to find those with a nice marbling.
  7. hdsmoke

    hdsmoke Smoking Fanatic

    Ok, thanks for the ideas.  I had this roast int he smoker from about 10:45-5:00.  It was just under 3.5lbs weight, so it seems like it should have cooked long enough to be tender.  I did foil with moisture.  As i mentioned it took forever to get to 165 but then rocketed to 205 once foiled.  I think that time in the foil was cut short by hitting final temp so quick.  Maybe lower my cooking temp more to 215 when i foil to try to prolong it a bit?  The cut of meat looked great, it had good marbling, and i got it at my local IGA and i normally feal the meat quality is better there than a big chain.  I also THOUGHT the probe test felt tender when i coolered it.  But i guess not enough.  And, yes, the meat was great.  Great flavor and moisture.  I just dont get it.  At least i havent had inedible results yet.  thats the bonus! 

    My therm is 8 degrees off...and i account for that.  Thats another story...my old stand-by Taylor cheapie has worked great since day one and dead accurate and my new Mav ET-732 is off that much on both the chamber probe and meat probe.  Annoying. 
  8. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would call Maverick customer service, they should send you a new unit. It doesn't sound like the probes are bad if they both are off 8 degrees.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like Flash, I would take to 210˚, however, if you look at the "Chuckies" in my signature, you will see that I did two at once, and the one went to 209˚, and the other to 200˚.

    The one that went to 200˚ pulled easier than the one that went to 209˚.   GO FIGURE !

    Sometimes it's just the hunk of meat. I would still recommend taking it to 210˚.----See what happens.

  10. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I will give you a cure all That will make the chuckie pullable but you won"t have any bark.

     Get a broiler pan and fill it half full of water . Set the Top on it and put the chuckie on top and put a sheet of HD foil over the pan . SEAL Well by folding  foil around the edge of the pan. place this on the stove and it should fit over 2 burners. Turn stove on med /med low and let the water come to a simmer.

     This will steam the meat. Good way to reheat also. Works on butts ,briskets, corn beef / pastrami,chucks,  whole chickens etc.

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