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Old 01-26-2010, 08:02 AM   #1
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Beef Roast Failure

Over the weekend I did my first beef roast. I've done pork shoulders before, and did the beef boneless chuck roast the same way (which may have been my first mistake).

I applied a dry rub and braised the roast, covered, at 250deg F until it reached an internal temp of 190deg F. I removed the roast to a platter to rest and de-fatted the drippings. The first thing I noticed was how watery the drippings were. From a pork roast, they have a thick, jelly-like consistency. The beef drippings were like water, but I wrote that off to a difference between the animals. I knew something was definitely wrong when I started trying to slice the roast. The best word I can use to describe the finished product is "chewy", very chewy.

I'm thinking about trying a different cut or a lower oven temp. Is 190deg F too high? Any ideas?

TIA

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Old 01-26-2010, 08:40 AM   #2
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Chuck has a lot of connective tissue, so it needs either a long time, or high temperature. Low temperature and slow cooking is generally used if you are either braising it for three or four hours, depending on the size of the roast, or roasting for BBQ, 200-225 for 8-14 hours, again, depending on the size.

Roasting with vegetables, as in a pot roast, which sounds like what you may be doing, will need a higher temperature of 325-350 for about 2-1/2 to 3 hours, but is only a guess. A pot roast (Chuck roast) isn't like a rib roast, and not meant to be sliced thin. It is meant to be fork tender and fall apart into strands.

And by the way, refrigerated leftovers will solidify into a tough piece of meat the following day, but simple reheating to a temperature of 180 or higher (a minute or two zap in the microwave) will make it tender again.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:14 AM   #3
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Cooking it to an internal temp of 190 degrees F? I'd say you incinerated it.

To answer your question, yes, 190 degrees to roast it is too low.

Did you cover the pan while cooking? Pot roast is generally done in a covered pan.
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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Chefjune, that is exactly what I was thinking. I cooked a boston butt in much the same way, except I turned it off when the meat reached 165 - it continued to rise to 170 and was delicious.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:20 PM   #5
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Chefjune, that is exactly what I was thinking. I cooked a boston butt in much the same way, except I turned it off when the meat reached 165 - it continued to rise to 170 and was delicious.
Isn't a pork shoulder the same as a Boston butt? I use my method above on pork shoulders, and they turn out superb (which is why I tried it on the chuck roast).
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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Jet,

Oven roasts (dry heat) should be done at much higher heat like 350-450. Braised roasts go low and slow in liquid in a covered pot. But oven temp of 190 is too low to be safe. Think 225.

Chuck roasts are better as pot roasts because the meat is tougher and has more connective tissue and fat.. Cooked low and slow in some liquid till tender. An internal temp of 190 is ok then. An oven roast -- which is generally a more tender piece of meat -- cooked to 190 is killing it.

So you took a tougher roast and cooked the living daylights out of it.

A Boston Butt is a pork shoulder and is a tough fatty cut. It is usually braised or cooked on indirect heat for a long time -- to make pulled pork, for example.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #7
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Jet,

Oven roasts (dry heat) should be done at much higher heat like 350-450. Braised roasts go low and slow in liquid in a covered pot. But oven temp of 190 is too low to be safe. Think 225.

Chuck roasts are better as pot roasts because the meat is tougher and has more connective tissue and fat.. Cooked low and slow in some liquid till tender. An internal temp of 190 is ok then. An oven roast -- which is generally a more tender piece of meat -- cooked to 190 is killing it.

So you took a tougher roast and cooked the living daylights out of it.

A Boston Butt is a pork shoulder and is a tough fatty cut. It is usually braised or cooked on indirect heat for a long time -- to make pulled pork, for example.
I'm confused. If 190 is OK, how did I "cooked the living daylights out of it"?
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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I'm confused. If 190 is OK, how did I "cooked the living daylights out of it"?
When meat is braised in liquid at a low temperature for a long period of time, you are intentionally cooking it to beyond well done in order for the meat to soften and the connective tissue to break down. The moist heat prevents it from becoming tough, though it does dry out some. So 190 is ok in that case

Most often you are using a cut like a chuck roast, or a round roast, which improves with this kind style of cooking

When meat is cooked with dry heat, as in oven roasting, an 190 internal is beyond well done, into overcooked. It's well done at 170. Medium at 150.

If you want a tender roast cooked to medium, cook it at higher heat for a shorter amount of time and pull it when it gets to 140. Cover it with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. The juices will redistribute and it wil also continue to cook during that time.

Also, use a cut meant for oven roasting.

Correctly cooking a roast
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
When meat is braised in liquid at a low temperature for a long period of time, you are intentionally cooking it to beyond well done in order for the meat to soften and the connective tissue to break down. The moist heat prevents it from becoming tough, though it does dry out some. So 190 is ok in that case

Most often you are using a cut like a chuck roast, or a round roast, which improves with this kind style of cooking

When meat is cooked with dry heat, as in oven roasting, an 190 internal is beyond well done, into overcooked. It's well done at 170. Medium at 150.

If you want a tender roast cooked to medium, cook it at higher heat for a shorter amount of time and pull it when it gets to 140. Cover it with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. The juices will redistribute and it wil also continue to cook during that time.

Also, use a cut meant for oven roasting.

Correctly cooking a roast
Also, the meat will continue to cook for a bit while covered in foil. The temperature will level out. Sure, its 140 at the center but its 155-165 on the outside. That extra heat is still going to raise the internal temp a bit.

Here is a tip as well, DO NOT REMOVE THE THERMOMETER PROBE WHILE IT IS RESTING UNDER FOIL!!!!!! It will be like putting a pin hole in a water balloon, all the juice will squirt out.
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Old 01-26-2010, 04:18 PM   #10
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Just curious, what did you use for your braising liquid?
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