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My diary from a first-attempted beef roast "low and slow" – how did I do?


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Well, I bought a beef roast this afternoon and spent the next several hours attempting "low and slow."  Here's my diary of the attempt:

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1:30    Buy a 3-pound roast and a jar of Montana spice – which is mostly a salt mix.  Coat the roast with olive oil then the Montana mix, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

3:00    Light the fire.  Put charcoal in the bottom of the grill for the first time.  Let the chimney starter burn much less time than usual before pouring it in.  Satisfied to see that the oven temperature according to the built-in meter still coasted to 300º or so.

3:15    Put the usual foil-wrapped smoke packet in the bottom, then add the meat, armed with internal and oven-temp thermometers.  At the moment, the meat temp is 67ºF and the oven is at 272ºF.

4:00    Food temperature is 153ºF while the oven parks at 350ºF even though both the upper and lower vents are almost completely shut.  Briefly opened lid to turn the meat.  Oven temp dropped to 306ºF.

4:20    Food 162ºF, grill 298ºF.  Maybe my latest reductions in the two openings are finally cooling it off.  And maybe this is the “160-degree slump?”

5:00    Food locked at 162ºF, grill 274ºF.  Definitely “the slump.”

5:33    Food 170º, Grill 255º.  Grill still hot enough to support the food, so no reason to touch things although I am very surprised by the turn of events.. Haven’t touched the tiny-open bottom nor bottom grates in an hour.

5:41    Food 172º, Grill 260º.

6:00    Food temperature creeps to 174ºF.  Since then it seems to be on its way up a few degrees.

6:15    Quickly added three ears of bacon-wrapped corn.  Interior temperature now 179ºF.  Grill temperature dipped to 247ºF.

6:30    Essentially no change.  I must wait …

6:40    Final turn of the meat.  Grill temp rapidly increased to almost 300º.  Food temp crawling up to 181ªF but I guess that end-of-grill is near at hand.

7:10    At 191ºF, after eating the corn, I decided to stop the process, tent the meat, and decide what i had.

 

 

I stopped the process when the internal temperature reached 190ºF, vaguely remembering from some other forum that this was the "fork-tender" point.  Slicing through the meat ... through its rather hard outer exterior ... maybe I could see "fork tender" ... but I really think that it's just that I have so much yet to learn.

 

Therefore – while I sit down to dinner with what is certainly a very tasty chunk of beef – what do you Gurus think?  What did I do wrong, or right?  What do I need to know for next time?

 

 

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Consider however that "fork tender" is not a temperature, it is a state or condition- like raw, burnt, tough. So while I guess "fork tender" may be achieved at 191º depending on the cut, it also more probably will occur @ higher temps. But, irrespective of the temp, a probe test will help you assess the state or condition of the meat.

 

RE: tough exterior. Did you use deflector plates? What you describe as a tough exterior may be the product of prolonged exposure to direct flame.

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Unfortunately, I concluded that the meat was simply "too tough to eat," and discarded it.  Even when cutting away the fairly carbonized exterior, the core of the meat was simply too dry and tough to be edible.

 

I guess that I really don't understand "higher temps."  I thought that "140ºF is medium rare, and so on."

 

So much to learn.  So much to learn ...

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Obviously I let the temperature go off-the-charts ... because I'd read various stories about "cooking for many hours."  As in, "five or six." 

 

I guess that I have utterly no idea what they mean, or at least how they did it.

 

My usual rule is to "shoot for 130ºF and then tent it."  Works every time.  And it takes much less than one hour.

 

I gambled with this "Manager's Special" cut ... and obviously lost.  I'd love to discover what I did wrong.  "How on earth do people talk of 'many hours?'"  What do they do that I didn't?

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Hi Mike I like smoking chuck roasts on my Kamado and the come out great left overs make stew the next day. Did you read this ? Good info on Kamado type grills don't give up it just takes a little learning .

 

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