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Sous Vide Chuck Fail

So I tried the Chef Steps sous vide chuck roast recipe, did a 3.5# roast (choice) at 135F for 24 hrs.  Pre-seared and had garlic & rosemary in the bag.  The meat ended up not very succulent and still very tough.  I don't know what went wrong.  All in all a big disappointment.  My other sous vide cooks have done well - chicken breast, duck breast, chicken thighs, and there's some duck confit in the bath now.



Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, CA
XL BGE, Woo2, AR


  • WoodchunkWoodchunk Posts: 911
    edited February 2018
    A lot less than 24hrs

    or on the egg till 125 then in the slow cooker for 3or 4 hrs. , done
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,773
    Try 155º for 36 hours.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 38,173
    I would go hotter, the problem cooking in the mid 130s is that the collagen breakdown is slow, but the enzymatic softening (aka autolysis) is pronounced.  So you can get some mushy meat that still kind of tough, if that makes sense.

    Try 148F for 24 hours.

    Every piece of meat is different, I've noticed this most distinctively when I cooked veal and cow short ribs.  The veal was done in half the time.

    The biggest thing to take away with this kind of SV is to do what you do on a low and slow - check the tenderness at certain points by squeezing the meat.  You can feel how tender it is.  When it seems done, pull it out.  Whoever said you can't overcook with SV is wrong.  It's just another way to cook and the windows where it's done are much wider than typical smoking because the process is longer.  Exception for chicken breasts, eggs, etc.

    The time temp thing is just a guideline.
    No cooking devices other than an Easy-Bake oven with a 75 watt incandescent light bulb.
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  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262

    Check out this thread on the subject.

    My go to is 135 for 45 hours.

    I pre smoke a little, then post seer.  Best cheap cut of meat for the money imo.

  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,934

    maybe it was just a super tough piece of meat. 

    I do chucks for 24 hours at around 135, or even a little lower.  I've never gone 48 hours.  I would describe the texture as....tender, but not succulent - but definitely not tough.  I find it to be most like a grass-fed strip steak, which I like. I intentionally don't go longer, because I don't want it to turn into fall-apart beef stew like consistency. I agree with @blasting the chuck is an awesome cut - it's readily available and really versatile and cheap.

    I've seasoned before the SV, and left seasoning off and seasoned after the SV. dry it off, a spritzing of dizzy pig cow lick, followed by a good sear does the trick for me.

    check out doug Baldwin if you want some more details.

    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 14,807
    I've only done it twice, both times at 130° for 48 hours. Prime rib tender.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    Central Connecticut 

  • posterposter Posts: 888
    Ive done 132 for 48hrs multiple times, then a sear after. Same as above it is as tender as a good prime rib
  • 55Kevy55Kevy Posts: 221
    Thanks, all.  It sounds like my 24 hr time was about 24 hr short.  I'll go longer next time.  Just finished a 36 hr duck leg confit cook - but won't know the results for a couple of weeks (traveling).


    Beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, CA
    XL BGE, Woo2, AR

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