View Full Version : Group Disscussion #4 Smoke and bacteria

05-24-2006, 02:02 PM
I do not have an answer for this one.
I am wondering if maybe we might have a "special" case here when preparing our beloved BBQ.

Do you think smoke has any affect on bacteria?

05-24-2006, 02:22 PM
Yes! But I have absolutly nothing to back that up. Seems to me that if smoking (cold) is a form of preserving than it must stop/kill/inhibit bacteria somehow. That still leaves the toxins behind but if were exposed to smoke just from the fridge seems to me bacteria couldn't grow. ???

05-24-2006, 02:50 PM
Absolutely it does! I can't back up my claim, but we all know smoked leftovers stay good for a LONG time.

05-24-2006, 02:59 PM
Without a doubt the smoke ring is a cured meat and that part is safer from those pesky bacteria. As far as just the smoke inhibiting bacterial growth, perhaps so. There are a lot of various gases in smoke, some of which may inhibit bacterial growth. Also, ash is generally present in small quantities in wood smoke, and that ash is alkaline, which is on the other end of the pH scale from what bacteria like as you pointed out to us yesterday. I don't have any facts to back it up, but I am thinking bacteria would have a harder time growing in a smoky environment. That's my story and I'm sticking with it until someone shows me otherwise. Then I'll simply change my mind and say that's what I believed ALL ALONG!:-D

05-24-2006, 03:19 PM
Smoke for long term food storage does help but is salt and cure that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Case in point I have seem a whole being smoked at to low pit temp, spoil while cooking. It is not as simple as smoke inhibits bacteria.

05-24-2006, 03:54 PM
I agree with Jim - the cure (with sugar, salt, and perhaps other igredients) is more important than the smoking for preserving meat - the long smoke time helps dry the meat and, of course, imparts flavor.

05-25-2006, 08:08 AM
Would the smoke do the same thing that has been found in the cutting boards where the wood has less bacteria than the plastic?

05-25-2006, 10:10 AM
smoking, essential dehydrating the meat makes it dry, of course we do thinks to keep it moist, but dry, dried meat will be inhabitable by bacteria. wasn't smoking a common form of food preservation in the old west? Jerky???

05-25-2006, 12:18 PM
wasn't smoking a common form of food preservation in the old west? Jerky???

Yes it was, but smoke was used not necessarily for it's flavor enhancing qualities, but because it was how heat was available. As JM points out above, it's the cures (salt) before the "smoke" that does the deed.