Will this roast be okay?
May 25, 2011 6:47 PM   Subscribe

Please help me save this pot roast! I have a grass fed chuck pot roast that was about 2.5 lbs that I put in the crock pot on low exactly 5 hours ago. I tried it right now and it seems tough. The internal temperature is 150 degrees. If it cooks longer will that break down the collagen and make it tender? Or is it ruined? Thank you!
posted by skjønn to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How much liquid did you put in with it?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:48 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: one and a half cups of water and a can of tomatoes. The juices from the roast have filled the pot significantly at this point.
posted by skjønn at 6:50 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I usually cook my chuck roast for 9 hours on low. It comes out medium-rare, and melt-in-your-mouth tender. That said, it's not grassfed beef, which I know has less fat/is leaner. But 5 hours on low seems awfully short even for grassfed.
posted by artemisia at 6:53 PM on May 25, 2011 [5 favorites]

A chuck pot roast is a collagen rich cut that needs long, slow cooking to become tender, unlike other cuts that are best quickly cooked at high heat. You need to melt that collagen, which forms the connective tissue, before it's fork ready.

While 5 hours would be enough to render it fork tender in most oven cooking, I've found that crock pots take longer. Most chuck pot roast crock pot recipes I see out there ask for anything from 7-12 hours on a low setting. A high setting should have worked after 4-5 hours.
posted by maudlin at 6:54 PM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

You have to cook to 160-180 to turn the collagen into gelatin. So I'm with the above folks in saying that you're just not there yet.
posted by madmethods at 6:57 PM on May 25, 2011

If you want to speed up this process, put it in the oven (covered baking dish, dutch oven, whatever will work) with the juices you have, cook at 350 degrees until it is as tender as you want it. I would guess another hour to 2 hours max.
posted by tomswift at 6:58 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

One important tip is to not take the lid off the crock pot, you lose significant amount of cooking time when you do. 5 hours is not long enough on low, on high it would be done, on low it probably needs to cook at least 8 hours.
posted by sandyp at 7:12 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Basic rule of thumb with grass-fed beef and bison is "low and slow" I always do mine overnight (8-10 hours)

Give it more time.
posted by goalyeehah at 7:30 PM on May 25, 2011

You haven't cooked it long enough.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:40 PM on May 25, 2011

Chuck is relatively high in collagen (~10%). You need to hydrolyze the collagen to lubricate the meat. This happens at 158-176F and takes time, so yes, you need to increase the internal temperature and hold it at a higher temperature for a while.
posted by ssg at 7:44 PM on May 25, 2011

I cook my pot roasts on low for 8--10 hours in the crock pot. Give it at least 3 hours more.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 8:51 PM on May 25, 2011

Yeah. Cook it longer. Slow.
posted by trip and a half at 10:17 PM on May 25, 2011

Don't worry about adding more liquid, that has nothing to do with hydrolyzing the collagen and won't affect the tenderness of the beef at all. Anyway, I think roast cooked with a minimum of liquid (maybe a cup or so in the bottom of the roaster or crock pot) is tons better, it leads to lots of chewy crispy edges to contrast with the moist, tender interior.
posted by cilantro at 1:02 AM on May 26, 2011

Beer or wine helps break up the fibers and its tasty too!
posted by PJMoore at 7:27 AM on May 26, 2011

Too much liquid! Just the can of tomatoes with its juices should be sufficient. As you've seen, the roast will put out liquid as well.

You have boiled beef. Invite a Brit to dinner!
posted by banshee at 9:56 AM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is it dry or is it tough? If it seems dry, you are screwed. If it is a sort of springy-tough when you chew through it, then keep on cooking.

In my experience, considering the temp you are cooking, it is probably tough and you are going to be fine. You might want to turn it up a teensy bit, 150 degrees is pretty low. I'd take ssg's suggestion for temp. In the past, I have done everything right but bought a cut off an ugly cow and ended up with dry, sucky beef. Sometimes, it isn't you.
posted by Foam Pants at 10:39 AM on May 26, 2011

There are some crazy temperatures being listed in here. I haven't done this with chuck so I'm not sure the exact temperature, but I can tell you that 150 is way too low. Pork shoulder (the same cut on a pig) should go up to 195 - 200 before it is ready. The connective tissues need a fair bit of time at this high temperature to dissolve and relax. Pork shoulder on a smoker spends a long time at the 190 degree range as it is dissolving those connective tissues. The dissolving keeps the temperature constant. Once the temperature breaks through that plateau you're starting to get into the ideal zone. I'd cook it to 195 - 200 degrees. Check it every 45 minutes or an hour and see if is tender.

For braising the liquid should come half way up the meat. If it is covering the meat then you're stewing it.
posted by Jupiter Jones at 2:32 PM on May 26, 2011

« Older Starving Medical Writer   |   How to be safe on open and WEP encrypted wireless... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.