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"Well, I'm learning ..." a deliciously-successful smoked roast on my Akorn, Jr.


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Finally, success!  This time, my $27 beef roast turned out perfectly despite the lack of "official gear."

 

I began by salting the roast down with "Montreal Steak" mixture – and poultry seasoning.  I let the meat then sit in the refrigerator for three hours, also soaking the "smoking chips" which would be placed in an aluminum-foil envelope.  (To be punctured with a fork.)

 

After starting the fire and letting it coast up to about 250º, I added the smoke-chips envelope and a steel pie-pan, which would serve as a heat deflector.  I added a small amount of water to the pan, periodically adding a small amount of water throughout the cook as necessary.

 

Then I added the meat, flipping it several times, until it reached 120ºF internal temperature.  Then, I "opened all the vents and let 'er rip," in order to get a bit of last-minute sear with active flame touching the meat.  Flipping the meat often, I let it get to 135ºF.

 

Then I pulled it off and wrapped it in aluminum foil to finish cooking off-heat.  Final temp, as expected, was 145ºF – between medium-rare and medium.

 

Delicious!

 

P.S.:  I continue to be mystified about "low and slow" reports of beef being cooked "for several hours."  I still don't know anything about "that cooking process."  How do you keep the meat from turning into a rubber bumper?  How is it that you talk of "cooking meat until the connective tissue dissolves," without first destroying it? 

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Just 20 minutes ago, I picked up a beautiful (for a chuck roast that is) organic, grass fed chuck roast, and I am still deciding on between a short smoke followed by a 48 hour sous vide, or just smoking it outright for 8-9 hours (which should work for it's size - about 3-4 pounds) - so yes, some cuts do require long/low/slow cooks.

 

The time is required as these (chuck) roasts have a lot of connective tissue which will make the beef extremely challenging to enjoy otherwise.  Likewise, the sous-vide (48 hours or so) will allow me to keep it medium rare, and still be broken down by time...

 

 

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If you like your beef with any pink in it, then straight up smoking is not going to be your thing. Any kind of pulled pork or beef is most typically cooked low ‘n slow until it reaches around 202 degrees internal meaning - it’s not rare!

 

So you need to decide how you want to serve the beef in order to decide the technique for cooking it.

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Well now, "here's the latest update on this." :)

 

After carefully slicing-off a piece of the roast, "just in case," I decided to use the rest of it to try to finally figure out what was actually meant by, "low and slow." 

 

("No, it doesn't bother me at all to 'appear [to some ...] to be an idiot in public places,' if I'm learning.")

 

This morning, I re-lit the fire, prepared a second smoke-chips packet, put the food-thermometer back in place, put the pie-pan back over the fire (adding water ...), and put the roast back on the fire.  I throttled-down both the top and the bottom vents to where they were barely open.  (Only the thermometer persuaded me that the fire was even still lit ...)  I wrangled the oven temperature to 170-200ºF, adjusting the vents by fractions of an inch every fifteen minutes or so.  The food temperature, I finally accepted, would be only a very few degrees less than that.  And, I kept this up for the next four hours, watching the "oven and food temperature readings" like a hawk.  I saw that I could maintain a temperature, ± 10º or so.  "Big revelation!"

 

As the smoking process continued, I observed a definite change in the meat.  The connective tissue relaxed.  Fats started to appear.  And then, when I finally pulled the meat and let it "rest" and cool ... well ... "I think that I am finally beginning to see what all the fuss is about."  The formerly-tough meat, now even more richly smoked, now very simply "fell apart."

 

I'm learning ... I'm learning ... I'm learning ... :)

 

But it's also now equally obvious to me exactly why "Kamado cooking" makes such a tremendous difference: "because it gives you control."  The ability to fairly-precisely regulate a process by "fractions of an inch" adjustment, guided throughout by an external-reading (in my case, "Home Depot $30 wireless") thermometer.  The ability to establish a target temperature and to "keep it there, for hours."

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