Tailgating season is approaching quickly. Preseason starts just a few short weeks from now, so it is time to get some recipes worked out. Even with the success of the brisket over the holidays, I wanted to try a cheaper cut of meat. I have seen several articles on using chuck roast in place of brisket. I happened upon a cut on sale at The Krobar and accepted the challenge.
Serious Eats has a recipe for chuck roll ( a 4-5 lb cut instead of the simple chuck roast I had purchased ) that cooks at 155°F ( 341.5 Kelvins ) for 24 -48 hours. That sounded about right for transforming the ingrained fat into juiciness. The brisket cooked about the same time but at 145°F. Not quite sure why they are different, but that just means I need to test more!
I made a seasoning mix of
- a lot of kosher salt
- a good bit of black pepper
- a good bit of granulated garlic
- a big pinch of pink salt
and put it in a shaker. I GENEROUSLY coated chuck with the mix ( and should have used more! ) prior to bagging for sous vide. I also added a “splash” of liquid smoke to the bag.
I set the sous vide to 155°F and put the roast in at 11 am on a Sunday. This was MLK weekend, so I was aiming for it to be ready for Monday night. I let it cook for about 30 hours and pulled it out 5 PM on Monday.
The next step is to develop the bark and add some smoke. Since I am testing for tailgating, I am using the Coleman Roadtrip as the smoker. I have a pellet tube smoker that I place in the bottom of the Roadtrip to provide the smoke.
Instead of using a foil tray like I did with the brisket, I used aluminum foil as a tent to capture the smoke around Chuck and focus it to work before it escaped. I am using hickory pellets, but have no particular religious reason for that choice.
I turned the far burner on low to facilitate indirect cooking and let it smoke for about 45 minutes. Then I turned it over and let it continue for another 45 minutes. The meat was falling apart, so I took great care when moving it around.
( NOTE: I meant to use the meat juices to baste Chuck while it was smoking, but I was busy doing something else and forgot. I will remember next time as I got some drier parts around some of the edges. )
The results were outstanding. It tasted like a strange combination of steak and BBQ. I didn’t try any sauce as it was so tasty. It could have used a little more seasoning and basting, as mentioned above, but it was really good even though.
Next time, I will try to get a chuck roll at Costco or something and try that. This recipe was a big success.
- Heat sous vide bath to 155°F
- Season Chuck Roast generously with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and a pinch of pink salt.
- Put Chuck Roast in bag and add a splash of liquid smoke
- Seal Chuck Roast and cook for 30 hours sous vide
- Create a smoker environment
- Smoke for 90 minutes, turning in the middle, or until desired bark is produced.