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Me and my friends have been cooking a 2kg=4.5 pounds piece of rumproast in a bbq smoker. We cooked it at about 250°F for about 3 hours. After that we, wrapped it in tin foil, raised the temperature to about 300°F and cooked it for an additional 3 hours. Our thinking here was that we can raise the temperature a bit, since the moisture can't escape anyway because it's wrapped in tin foil.

We were hoping for a juicy and tender roast, that "tears apart" easily with a fork. At the end it wasn't tender and it was so dry that we were afraid it would suck the moisture out of the air... When we unwrapped the tin foil there was a lot of liquid (juice), that should've probably stayed in the meat? Was the temperature too high or wasn't the cooking time right? Is this even an appropriate piece of beef for "low and slow" smoking?

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    Possible duplicate of Why is my chuck roast dry? – Luciano Apr 23 '18 at 13:37
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    Possibly of interest to try to 'fix' it : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/42714/67 ; cooking.stackexchange.com/q/55464/67 – Joe Apr 23 '18 at 14:18
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    The length of time has a major impact on this. At first cooking the meat will cause it to become tougher. But as it cooks longer, it will start to soften. 3 hours isn't really long enough. The last time I did pulled butt (i.e. pork shoulder) I left it in a crockpot on low for about 10 hours. – JimmyJames Apr 23 '18 at 20:06
  • Did you brine it overnight? Lower temp (225) would help with this problem. Perhaps also just a dry cut of meat. – soup4life Apr 24 '18 at 22:27
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That cut of beef is OK for 'low and slow' however, you did not provide 'low and slow.'

At 300, even wrapped, the internal temperature gets high enough that it will expel moisture. This is happening at the tissue/cellular level, so the wrapping won't stop that.

The thing that could have helped is to keep it wrapped and let it cool to almost room temperature. As the meat cools, the structure relaxes and some of the moisture could have been drawn back in to the roast.

Your theory of part wrapped, part unwrapped is fine, just keep the temperature down to 200 - 250 max. Use a rub and slow smoke. There are many BBQ charts and books and guidelines, but 4-5 hours at 225 sounds about right for that hunk. You could also section it down to two smaller pieces and you would have more control.

  • Ok, thanks! I'll try your suggestion for 4-5 hours. – user3633438 Apr 23 '18 at 19:21
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The Maillard reaction occurs about 280 to 330 °F depending on the food. For meats this denaturing of the proteins also results in the release of water, so the meat gets hard and dry.

By cooking at a "low" temperature, you cook at temperatures below which the Maillard reaction occurs. Well done beef has a resting temperature of 155 to 160 °F. So cooking at 300 °F isn't low temperature cooking.

You can search for other sites but the site Barbecue Bible defines low and slow cooking and smoking to ideally be between 225 and 250 °F.

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    Not sure what the Maillard Reaction has to do with this question. The roast, cooked at the stated temperature, never reached 280 F internal. That is well past the boiling point of water, and would not happen unless high heat for much longer. Certainly some occurred on the surface, but not all the way through. – MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars Apr 23 '18 at 19:10
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    Looking at the picture, the very outer surface has undergone Maillard browning. The rest is the lower temperature denaturing of proteins and oxidizing of the blood/hemoglobin. – MarsJarsGuitars-n-Chars Apr 25 '18 at 17:51

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