Our chuck roast came out tender but dry. Why?

We used the Beef in Barolo recipe from Americas Test Kitchen:
- 2 lbs chuck roast seasoned with salt and pepper
- Cooked at 300*F for 3 hours in a full bottle of red wine and veggies
- Pot was covered in foil and lid on top
- Turned the meat every 45 minutes
- Instructions were to cook until the meat fell apart easily with a fork

What did we do wrong?


4 Answers 4


The temp your meat reached was too high, and it forced the water out of the meat.

Further info here along with a handy chart of temps.

My suggestion would be to turn that oven down to 200-230 degrees if you've gotta cook for three hours, or start temping it earlier and get it out before it over cooks.

  • +1: 3 hours is way too long for 2 pounds of meat, even at only 300 Jan 2, 2011 at 3:30
  • 1
    Chart link is broken. Dec 31, 2014 at 22:35

Turn the heat down to 225 or 250. If you want your chuck roast to fall apart similar to pulled pork, you have to take the internal temperature of the meat up to around 190-195, in order to render all the fat and connective tissue. At 300 degrees, such a small roast will start to overcook before those tissues get a chance to melt away. At 225 to 250, you're giving your meat a fighting chance to be edible. Even still, 3 hours may be too much time. Check it at 1.5 hours, then every half hour or so afterwards, until you reach your desired effect. Like I said, for pulled beef you're probably taking it up to 190-195. If you want to slice it, take it to maybe 175. But don't let time and temperature be your only guides -- use your eyes, fingers, etc. Test for tenderness with your probe, and make sure it doesn't look like it's drying out.


Two pounds is a VERY small roast--I'd recommend at LEAST a 3-pound roast. Brown the meat on top of the stove to sear the outside, which helps keep the juices inside. When braising meat on top of the stove or in the oven, only cover the meat by 1/2 to 1 inch with liquid. After browning the meat, add the liquid and let it come to a boil before putting it in a pre-heated oven. You can do it at 300 degrees but 3 hours would be too long for such a small roast.


if most of the meat is covered with liquid you are in effect boiling the roast ... this is not what you want to do

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