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Roast Experiment -- Chucky (the roast) Returns

Mike OelrichMike Oelrich Posts: 544
edited 1:36AM in EggHead Forum
Howdy all,[p] Here's the report on the roast experiment from Saturday. Picked up a 3.80lb chuck roast -- labelled "cross-rib cut". It was on sale and as a bonus, it was already tied together into a nice block of meat. Since I wanted to give this thing every chance of being juicy, and since I wanted to try to give it a bit of a traditional "dark" roast beef flavor (with smoke added), I decided to try to combine brining with marinading. Here's what I mixed up:[p] Put a 14.9oz can of Murphy's Irish Stout in a saucepan and added enough water to make 1 quart total. Added a little over 1/4 cup kosher salt and an equal amount of sugar. Added a tablespoon of Worchestershire, 1 tsp cayenne, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tbs coarse-ground black pepper, 5 cloves of garlic (coarsely chopped), three whole cloves, 1 "star" of anise and 1 tbs instant coffee granules. (I would have put a bay leaf in there but I was out, that's why I put in the star anise). Boiled until the salt and sugar were dissolved and the aromatics had a little chance to give up some flavor. Cooled it down (BTW, you can cool small quantities of liquid like this by filling a zip-loc bag with ice and swishing it around in the pan -- for larger quantities (like stock), I fill my spaghetti holder (long, thin cylinder) with ice and water and put it in the middle of the pot). I put the roast in a gallon-sized zip-loc bag and poured the cool brine over the top. Added enough ice cubes so that the meat was covered with liquid once I sqeezed most of the air out of the bag. Put the bag in a plastic container and put it in the fridge about 5:00 Friday afternoon.[p] About 2:00 on Saturday, I took out the beef, rinsed it well and coated it with some "Steak Maker" rub I got for Christmas (it was free, the ingredients looked OK, and if I needed to do another roast for comparison, I could use the exact same stuff). Covered the roast with plastic wrap and put it on the counter to warm up. About 4:00, I fired up Mr. Avocado (my large BGE) and juniorEgg (my small). The goal was to heat up the large, 4 firebricks and a 6qt cast-iron dutch oven (containing half a can of Stout (other half for me)) while I seared the roast on junior. However, once I saw how much smoke was coming out of the large, I decided to wait to put the beer in there to avoid any yucky flavors from the initial burn. In any case, juniorEgg was up to 500F before the needle on Mr. Avocado's thermometer even budged -- boy does that small BGE get going in a hurry! Threw on the roast and seared it on all sides -- about 3-4 min on one side, 3 min on the other and a minute or two more on the one edge that didn't look like it got enough yet. Took the roast off, put it in the Dutch oven holding the Stout and waited about 5 more minutes while Mr. Avocado got his act together. Closed down juniorEgg to cool him off a bit before putting some taters and an onion in his belly. When Mr. Avocado was ready, I opened him up and put in three soaked hickory chunks. Replaced the bricks (leaving small gaps between them for the high-temp part that would come later), put in the Dutch oven (no lid), stuck the roast with the polder (cable protected with foil for later) and shut the BGE. Set the alarm for 110F, and wished I had one of those neat remote jobbies so I could sit in front of the idiot box while the cooking went on. Opened juniorEgg back up, threw on some saoked cherry chips and put six taters and half an onion on the grid. Got his temp stable at 300F and went inside.[p] After an hour, rescued the onion and wrapped the potatoes in foil. Put them back on Junior and raised his temp to 375-400F. Meanwhile, internal temp of the roast was climbing well. After another 30-45 minutes or so, the roast reached 110F and I opened up the vents on the large. With all those bricks in there, and all that cast iron, the temp started to come up slowly. However, after ten minutes or so, the temp did reach the 500F mark I was looking for. Closed the bottom vent a bit to keep it there, reset the Polder to alarm at 130F and went back inside. About 20 minutes later, I went out and the temp was 550 in the dome -- a bit high, but what are you gonna do? The roast was at 129 internal so I ran and got a plate, returning just in time to hear the Polder go off. The juices and beer in the bottom of the Dutch oven were a charred mess, but the roast looked pretty darn good. Placed the roast on the plate in a foil bag to rest and got the potatoes off of junior. Closed the BGEs up for the night. About 10 minutes later, after mixing up a salad and chopping the onion half, I unwrapped the potatoes, chopped them into big hunks and threw them in a bowl with the chopped onion, half a stick of butter and about 6oz of table cream. Added a buch of cracked pepper and some salt and let loose with the hand mixer.[p] After the roast had rested about 20-25 minutes in the foil, opened it up and checked the internal temp -- 141F. Sliced the roast pretty thin and man, you would not believe the juice that came out of that thing. The ends were well-done (good because one of my guests doesn't like rare meat) but still very tender, and the middle was rare/medium-rare. The whole thing had a wonderful 1/8" pink section around it from the smoke. Good flavor and juicy! There were small bands of gristle through some of the slices, but it was easy to cut them out, and the meat around those parts was tender. Final verdict from the taste-testers: You can invite us over any time! It would appear that a chuck roast can indeed be "Egg-worthy"![p]-MikeO


  • MikeO,
    I've got to hand it to you! Your descriptions and methods of prep go a long ways to helping others repeat or duplicate your preformances.:>} My hat's off to you!
    Now I've got to go find a chuck roast! Keep up the excellent "blow by blow" discriptive analysis.[p]Dr. Chicken

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MikeO, Nice report! Mine was also a excellent roast. Your right, Chuck roast is also a keeper here!

  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,407
    Wow! Some great info there. And what a great sounding brine!!
    Your methods sound great, and now I have something else in the binder for a try in the near future. I could not get away to stop by on Saturday, but it would have been a treat to see the artist at work!![p]Thanks for the detailed description. It is a blast, and very informative, to see new techniques being accomplished and shared. [p]NB
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • RandmanRandman Posts: 31
    MikeO, I have had several chuck roasts cooked on my Egg. Some at 200* lo & slow like a brisket and others at 150* and cooked much faster. I like the flavor of the chuck roast.

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