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What the he!! happened?

70chevelle70chevelle Posts: 278
edited 11:05PM in EggHead Forum
Here's the short(er) story. I bought 9# of chuck roasts. It came in 3 pieces, of which, the largest was 3.5#. I got my Large up to 230* Tuesday nite and put the 3 pieces on. I had the platesetter, legs up, with 2 firebrick the PS with the grate on the firebrick, to raise the meat in the dome. So, I woke up at 2:00 am and checked the temp, the dome was 260* and the probe therm read 155*. Stupidly :sick: , I closed the bottom vent a little. (It was only open a little to begin with) When I awoke at 6:00 am, the temp of the egg dropped to 160* and the meat was 157*. I stoked the coals a little and opened the vents to get the temp back up. It was at 260* all day. I had planned on the meat being done when I woke up in the morning. (2 hours per pound, largest piece, 3.5#, so 7 hours, right?) Well, I was at work, and my wife was running around. She got home around 3:30 pm (18.5hours) and the egg was starting to peter out. The temp dropped to 175* again and the meat was at 170*. In a very defeated voice, I told my wife to heat up the oven to 230*. I put the chuck in a roaster and waited for the thermo to beep when it got to 205*, very concerned I waisted $30 on meat that I'm taking to the beach next week. :pinch: Anyway, at 8:00 pm, last nite, I decided enough was enough. The meat got as high as 187, but dropped back down to 183. I reached my hand in and twisted the meat. It fell apart. So I pulled the meat out of the oven, and let it cool for a very short time. By 9:30 last nite, we had the meat all pulled/shredded, and it was actually very good. I rubbed the meat with olive oil, a 1:1:1:1 mixture of brown sugar, paprika, fresh cracked pepper, & kosher salt and then sprinkled some KC Steak Rub also. It is peppery and delicious.

I hope I haven't lost my Egg'r status, since I had to finish in the oven :unsure: I boiled some water and put my probe therm in and it registered right to 210*, so it's working. I am totally confused about why I couldn't get the meat to 205*, and why it took so long (23 hours). It ended well, but not as expected. Thanks for letting me vent!


  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    You definately have not lost any status. Everyone has less than perfect cooks from time to time. Glad the finished product was good. You tried like hell, and are taking measures to make it go better next time.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Were the three pieces touching each other when on the egg or spaced apart?

    My guess is that when your temps in the egg died, it took a long time for the meat to recover and begin gaining temperature again.

    As you know - changing that vent was the beginning of the issues. As long as it all turned out OK, no worries.

    Next time, make sure to fill it with lump to the top of the fire ring or thereabouts and you shouldn't have problems with it petering out in 18 hours.
  • 70chevelle70chevelle Posts: 278
    Thanks for the comments! My biggest learning lesson: It's easy to cook while your sleeping, as long as you don't cook while your sleeping! :laugh: That definitely started the problem.

    I actually stacked the chucks in a pyramid of sorts. 2 on the bottom, one on top. I did a single 9 pounder 2 weeks ago without issue. It went 17 hours before it hit 205*, and I only used about a third of load of lump. I added lump and 2 9# boston butts and it went another 17 hours with no issues. (Of course I used the Ron Popeil method....set it...and forget it!)
  • Essex CountyEssex County Posts: 991
    The good news is that it all came out well. Your probe checked out ok. Any chance your dome thermometer or your oven thermostat is off?
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,935
    FWIW, after upping the amount of time I cook chucks from 7 hours, to 9 hours, to 12 hours, and still finding it in the plateau, I've just given in, and at 5 - 6 hours, toss it in a D.O. with some fluid, and let it braise to tenderness.
  • DarnocDarnoc Posts: 2,661
    Did you use a wiggle stick and see if the temperature would start to come back up?Sounds to me that there was a air flow problem at the fire grate.It only takes a few small bits of lump to screw things up.When I am to lazy to check that out before a long cook it seems that thos problem rears its ugly head and there is no fix other than dumping it out and start from scratch.Been there done that three or four times.
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428

    Well, other than closing the vent down a little, I think everything went okay.

    Actually a chuck benefits from a foil finish (wrapped in foil with some liquid added), or a braise in a covered pan or countertop roaster. I take them to 165° internal or so on the cooker, and then transfer for the finish. The finish can be done in the oven, once something is covered....heat is heat. You just cook until it is as tender as you want, sliceable or pullable.


    This one has some pepperoncini added, but can be done with just broth...

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • tach18ktach18k Posts: 1,607
    You said..."I had the platesetter, legs up, with 2 firebrick the PS with the grate on the firebrick, to raise the meat in the dome"....

    No need for the fire bricks, legs up, drip pan between the legs and grate on legs. No need to have it that high up in the dome. I use a disposable alum. pizza pan, 3/8" by 13" for a drip pan. Sits right between the legs.
  • 70chevelle70chevelle Posts: 278
    I've had pretty good results getting the meat a little higher in the dome. Do you think that had something to do with the meat not getting to temp?
  • Well remember, there ia about a 20-30 degree difference between the dome and the grate. Might not sound like much, but when you are cooking something for 17hours, it could make a difference.
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