Hello all, looking for some ideas and interpretations of this disastrous cook (so far). I have wanted to do a "chuckie" (a smoked beef chuck roast to result in "pulled beef") for years. I reviewed methods by Smokin' Okie and andyj on the forum, and got a nice 3.2 lb pretty thick choice roast from the local BJ's. The idea is to add rub, smoke at low temp for smoke flavor until IT of around 170, then break or cut apart into large chunks. place in a foil pan with au jus or stock, and put back in the smoker, covered in foil or not, at a higher temp, until very tender and pullable. The methods said 2 - 3 hours for the first part, and 2 - 3 more hours for the second part.
Well, didn't really turn out that way, and I'm trying to figure out what parts were my mistake, and what parts were beyond my control. First the day today was very hot, almost 100 deg, F at noon, little wind and about 60 -65 % humidity. Then, in the afternoon, while the smoke was still going, the power started dropping out for a few seconds at a time, for a couple of hours, due to over demand. Each time the smoker turned off and I had to restart it.
I was still waiting for 170 degrees 6 hours later at a cook temp of 225 in my SM066. It was only 154, and I really hadn't seen much smoke yet. I boosted the temp to 250, and an hour or so later to 275, but the IT stayed below 155. Here is what I think (partially) happened.
I think the smoker (in direct sun) was so hot inside that at 225 set, it really didn't call for much heat, so not much smoke and not much direct heat from the burner. When I upped the set temp, there was a little smoke, but very little increase in IT. Finally, after over 7.5 hours, I pulled the roast, and my thermapen said it was 145 in the thick middle and 180 in the outside edges! Leaving aside the danger zone question, what happened here?
I'm guessing 1) multiple power drops (maybe I missed a few) caused the smoker temp to decrease for a period of time, 2) the high external heat and sun caused the smoker to not call for heat through a lot of the smoke at 225. I should have 1) shaded the smoker with my pop-up canopy, and 2) started the smoke at a higher temp.
The result: I pulled the meat and foiled it, and refrigerated it as soon as it was close to room temp. BTW, it smelled fantastic and looked done - a nice dark brown crust. Tomorrow I will chunk it up, add broth, put it in a foil pan,, and let it braise in the oven at 300 for at least a couple hours. Sorry for the long-windedness but I wanted to get all the details in. Thoughts??