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2 Ways to Tell When a Chuck Roast Is Done

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I have two favorite methods of cooking roasts. For tender cuts of meat, I like to sear the meat on all sides in a skillet on the stovetop, then put it into the oven on a roasting pan and cook it just until it is pink in the center. For the tougher cuts of meat like chuck, I prefer to sear in a Dutch oven, add water or broth, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the meat is fork-tender.

According to the USDA, a chuck roast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 to be safe to eat. However, you don’t need a thermometer to tell when the roast is done. All you need to do is cook a chuck roast until it is fork-tender.

Now that we know two different ways to tell when a chuck roast is done, here are several ways to cook a chuck roast that will have your family begging for roast more often.

The 7 Best Ways to Cook a Chuck Roast

A Raw Chuck Roast Ready to Cook

Here are several different methods of cooking a chuck roast. The first two ways are my favorite.

1. Cooking Chuck Roast on the Stovetop in a Dutch Oven

Use these directions to cook a chuck roast on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or any other pot that is large enough to accommodate a roast.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb Chuck Roast trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • Flour
  • 4 cups Beef Broth or Water
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Season the roast with salt and pepper and cover all surfaces of the roast with flour.
  2. In a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat ¼ cup of oil over high heat.
  3. When the pot is hot, add the roast and sear on all sides.
  4. When browned on all sides, remove the roast to a plate or a platter.
  5. To the oil that is left in the Dutch oven, add enough additional oil to make ¼ cup and add ¼ cup of flour to the oil and stir well to make a roux.
  6. While the roux is browning, add a medium chopped onion.
  7. Stir constantly while the onion is cooking and the flour is browning.
  8. When the onion is tender and the flour has browned, add the beef broth or water slowly while stirring constantly to make the gravy.
  9. Stir well, add salt and pepper to taste along with any additional seasonings of your choice, and bring back to a full rolling boil.
  10. When the gravy has come back to a full rolling boil, add the roast to the gravy along with any meat juices that have run out of the roast onto the platter, reduce heat, cover the Dutch oven, and let the roast simmer for 1 to 1 ½ hours until it is fork-tender.
  11. Stir occasionally to prevent burning, turn the roast over every 30 minutes, and add more liquid as needed.
  12. Remove the roast from the gravy and carve immediately before serving.

2. In the Oven in a Roasting Pan

This is basically the same recipe as cooking a chuck roast on top of the stove with just a few changes to adapt the recipe for cooking in the oven.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb Chuck Roast trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 medium Onion
  • Flour
  • 4 cups Beef Broth or Water
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper and cover with flour on all sides.
  3. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a skillet or Dutch oven.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the roast and sear on all sides.
  5. When the roast has browned on all sides, remove the roast to a baking pan.
  6. To the oil that has been left in the pan, add enough additional oil to make 6 tablespoons.
  7. Add 6 tablespoons of flour and brown slowly to make a roux.
  8. While the flour is browning, add one medium chopped onion to the pan and stir well.
  9. When the flour is brown and the onion tender, add beef broth or water slowly to the roux, stirring well to make gravy.
  10. When the gravy has come back to a boil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and pour over the roast in the baking pan, cover, and bake for 1 to 1.5 hours. Stir occasionally and turn the roast over after every 30 minutes of cooking time.
  11. When the roast has cooked for 1.5 hours, check to see if it is fork-tender.
  12. Cook until done, but do not overcook. Overcooked roast will be dry and stringy.

3. In the Oven in a Brown-in-Bag

Use the following directions to cook a pot roast in the oven in a brown-in-bag:

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb Chuck Roast
  • 1 medium Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 2 cups Water or Beef Broth
  • 1 envelope Dry Onion Soup Mix
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper.
  3. Add flour to the brown-in-bag and shake the bag.
  4. Add the onion, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, and water or beef broth to the bag and shake to mix.
  5. Add the seasoned roast to the bag and close the tie. Cut 4 small slits in the top of the bag for ventilation.
  6. Place the brown-in-bag containing the roast into a baking pan and into the preheated oven.
  7. Cook the roast for 2 to 2.5 hours and begin checking to see if it is fork-tender after 1.5 hours and every 30 minutes until done.
  8. Cook until done, but do not overcook. Overcooked roast will be dry and stringy.
  9. Carve roast immediately before serving.

4. In a Crockpot

One of the best things about cooking in a crockpot is that it allows you to cook a fantastic meal while you are at work, running errands, chauffeuring the kids, or doing other things you have to do. With just a little planning and some easy prep, your meal will be waiting for you when you get home.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb Chuck Roast
  • 1 medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 3-4 cups Water or Beef Broth
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the crockpot to the high setting.
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper and cover with flour on all sides.
  3. Heat ¼ cup of oil in a skillet or Dutch oven on the stovetop.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the seasoned and floured roast and sear on all sides.
  5. When the roast has been browned, remove it from the pan to the crockpot.
  6. To the oil that has been left in the pan, add enough additional oil to make ¼ cup.
  7. Add ¼ cup of flour to the oil, stir well, and brown the flour to make a roux, stirring often.
  8. While the flour is browning, add one medium chopped onion to the pan.
  9. When the flour has browned and the onion is tender, add the beef broth or water slowly to the roux, stirring constantly, and then continue stirring often to make the gravy.
  10. When the gravy has come back to a boil, pour over the roast in the crockpot, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
  11. The roast should be done by the end of the 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low of total cooking time. Cook until done, but do not overcook. Overcooked roast will be dry and stringy

5. In a Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot

A time and labor-saving kitchen appliance that has been around for many years, the pressure cooker, had a resurgence of popularity in 2010 with the invention of the Instant Pot.  With a little advance planning and preparation, this new multi-function pressure cooker allows you to have a meal ready for your family in record time.

Here is all you have to do to cook a chuck roast in an Instant Pot:

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb Chuck Roast
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 packet Dry Onion Soup Mix
  • 2 cups Water or Beef Broth
  • 4 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 2 ½ tablespoons Cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Season the roast with garlic salt and pepper.
  2. Turn on a multi-function pressure cooker such as the Instant Pot to the “Saute” function and add oil. 
  3. When the Instant Pot has heated, add the roast and saute on both sides until brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  4. Mix dry onion soup mix with the broth and add to the roast.
  5. Select the high heat setting and set the timer for 1 hour. It will take 10 to 15 minutes for the pressure to build.
  6. At the end of the cooking time, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the quick pressure release function.
  7. Remove the roast from the Instant Pot to a serving platter.
  8. Make a slurry from the water and cornstarch to add to the drippings in the pot for a quick gravy to serve over rice or mashed potatoes. Season to taste.

6. In an Air Fryer

Here is another multi-function kitchen appliance that is saving cooks a lot of time and effort. Not only can this machine air fry, but it can also bake, broil, crisp, dehydrate, roast, and reheat. 

Follow these directions to cook a chuck roast in an air fryer:

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb Chuck Roast
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Seasonings of your choice

Directions:

  1. Trim the roast of excess fat, season both sides of the roast, and load it into the air fryer basket.
  2. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Turn the roast over.
  4. Cook for an additional 45 minutes.
  5. Allow the roast to stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

7. On a Grill

A chuck roast, like most other cuts of meat, can be grilled. The main difference is that because a chuck roast is a tougher cut of meat, the best way to prepare it for grilling is to marinate the chuck roast to flavor and tenderize the meat. 

Here is a marinade I have used that is really good:

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 lb. Chuck Roast

Marinade:

  • ½ cup Soy Sauce
  • ½ cup Ketchup
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 cloves Minced Garlic
  • ⅛ teaspoon Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a covered bowl, add the roast, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. Turn the roast over at least once to marinate.
  3. Heat the grill, remove the roast from the marinade, and grill until done.
  4. Use some of the marinade to baste the roast while cooking.
  5. Discard any leftover marinade.

Is it Possible to Overcook a Chuck Roast?

It is possible to overcook a chuck roast. It takes an hour to an hour and a half to cook a chuck roast until it is tender since it is a tougher cut of meat. With some cooking methods, it takes even longer. But, if you continue to cook the roast past the time it is fork-tender, it will become dry and stringy rather than juicy and tender.

Is a Chuck Roast the Same as a Pot Roast?

A chuck roast is basically the same as a pot roast because a chuck roast is one of the cuts of meat that can be used as a pot roast. The only real difference is that a pot roast normally has vegetables, especially potatoes and carrots, cooked with the meat to make a full meal in a pot, while a chuck roast is primarily the meat and gravy cooked together with vegetables cooked on the side to be served along with the roast.

Homemade Slow Cooker Pot Roast with Carrots and Potatoes
Homemade Slow Cooker Pot Roast

A chuck roast is one of the more inexpensive cuts of beef that is cut from the neck, shoulder, and upper arm area of the cow. Unlike the more tender cuts of meat from other more tender areas of the cow, the chuck roast is better when cooked slowly and made into dishes like beef stew and pot roast.

Even though a chuck roast is known as one of the tougher cuts of meat, it has a very beefy taste and is very flavorful.

Final Bite

There are many ways that a chuck roast can be cooked. It can be made into stew, soup, pot roast, stir fry, roast and gravy, fajitas, and more. But, if you are not familiar with cooking chuck roast, no matter how it is cooked, chuck roast is one of the more flavorful cuts of meat and this article should give you a few ideas to get you started. 

Just keep in mind that almost all of the recipes in this article can be turned into pot roasts by adding onions, potatoes, and carrots about halfway through the cooking process to make a full meal in a pot.

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

Jelly Grandma

For more, don’t miss 2 Ways to Tell When a Pot Roast is Done.

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