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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??

Last edited by jay1924
Original Post

Sorry to hear it didn't work out. I stopped cooking at the really low temps a while ago, I go 250-275 at a minimum now. Well, I should preface that by saying I'll set the FEC at 180 for a few hours for some extra smoke first then crank it up. Since you're cooking on an electric, just go to at least 250 straight away.  

I'm thinking the main problem was the multiple power outages. For the first part of the cook, you're just looking to get the smoke flavor on the meat. 2 hours, 3 hours, 5 hours, whatever you think is the right amount. I think the 170 number is just a ballpark. 

For pulled beef, I've switched to a recipe called Pepper Stout Beef. Since your roast is sitting in the fridge, it'll be perfect.  For part two, slice up some onions, peppers, add some stout or porter beer. Or any beer, or if you don't do alcohol, beef broth works as well. Throw the roast on top, foil it and into the oven at 350 for about 3 hours or so. Since yours will be cold, add an extra hour. It's done when you can stick a fork in it and twist it like spaghetti.

Here's one on my cooks:

And the original recipe:


Let us know how it turns out.

Last edited by andyj

Andy - thanks for the reply. After I read it, I decided to ditch the 2nd part of the chuckies method and go with your suggestion. I had a red pepper that I sliced up, with a mix of sliced red and vidalia onions, and put the whole roast on top. I didn't have any stout (I'm not a fan of sweet beer), so I used a bottle of dark lager and foiled the pan. I allotted 3  hours at 350 before checking, and it was ready to be pulled. (Yes, I do have a set of meat rakes, more like bear claws really - they work great.) During pulling I separated out about 4 large pieces of fat, then put the meat back in the jus, which by then had absorbed the peppers and onions to a great moist glaze, then back in a 200 oven to wait for a corn and jalapeno salad and roasted okra from our garden. (Sorry no pics.) I put some grated pepper jack cheese on top of the meat (no bun) and it was fantastic! I (we) thank you very much for helping me to rescue our first chuckie. I heard "I like this much better than brisket." Sigh... OK.

I forgot to mention that originally on the chuck roast, I used Smokin' Guns BBQ rub that I got from Cal in the 2017 BBQ exchange (I miss those). Maybe heresy to use it on pot roast instead of brisket?

Thanks again!

Last edited by jay1924

Trying another chuckie. Has anyone used a "mock tender" chuck roast? I got a pretty good sized one (about 3.2 lb) at BJs today and plan to do the regular process (as coached by andyj, thanks Andy) and hope it will be pullable even though it is, according to what I've read on other BBQ sites) very lean. It actually looks like a piece of tenderloin. I've seen these before but this is my first try at one. Any advice welcome.

Last edited by jay1924

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