Partially smoke then finish later?

by Jake
(Maryland )

I’ve underestimated how long it would take to smoke a Chuck roast and won’t be home right when it will need to come off.

Can I pull the roast from the smoker, place it in the oven at around 180-190°, and then finish it later?

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Dec 27, 2022
Chuck Roast Later?
by: Joseph

Hello Jake,

Thanks for your question. Sorry you can’t be there while your roast is cooking. What a bummer!

The answer to your question depends on 1 important factor; what temperature will your roast be at when you pull it to hold in the oven?

Let me introduce you to the Food Danger Zone. (Play sinister music now!)

The food danger zone is a place you want your food to avoid; it’s the temperature between 40°F-140°F (4°C-60°C). This is the temperature where bacteria and other nasty critters love to multiply, spoil your food, and make you sick.

Foods in the danger zone, meaning; Cold foods held over 40°F (4°C) or hot foods held below 140°F (60°C) for more than 4 hours are deemed unsafe for human consumption and are to be discarded.

So, the question is what temperature will your chuck roast be when you pull it?

If it’s over 140°F (60°C) you can put it in the oven and finish it later.


If it’s under 140°F (60°) put it in the fridge.

These recommendations are for food safety purposes only. Now let’s consider taste, texture, and enjoyment.

I would not recommend stopping a cook in the middle and fishing it later for a chuck roast.

Other cuts that cook quickly like steaks, burgers and boneless chicken can be cold smoked for flavor and then hot grilled. I don’t recommend this for a chuck roast because a chuck roast takes a long time to cook and develops a smoky flavor while cooking.


The longer you cook that roast the more moisture you lose and the dryer the meat gets. For a chuck roast and most large tough cuts of beef, your target temperature is 203°F (95°). Once you pass 203°F (95°C) the meat starts to dry out. So, for the best results stay close to this target temperature.

You can cook the chuck roast as long as you like; slower is better than fast for tough cuts. Just don’t keep it in the danger zone for over four hours while it cooks.

I know this may not be the answer you were looking for, but I want your chuck roast to be delicious and not hurt you or your loved ones.

Let us know what you decided and how your chuck roast came out.

Happy cooking!

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