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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:31 PM   #1
OneHump
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Default Let's talk about butts that smell bad

I opened a cryovac package of two IBP butts yesterday. I've had some stinky butts before, but this just about knocked me off my feet.

For the most part, this is normal. I know my butts where "fresh" out of a recently received IBP box. This will be, however, the last factory meat that I ever purchase. This has more to do with watching Food, Inc. than anything else, but there's a reason for that stink, and it's not because it came from a fresh farm raised hog.

For those of you in the know, I pose a question: Assuming you have the most rancid disgusting and decaying piece of meat possible - Does cooking it to 200F render it safe to eat?

I can only assume that the temps will kill off all known bacteria, but a rancid piece of meat will not have a favorable outcome in terms of flavor and/or texture.

Is my assumption accurage?
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:35 PM   #2
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Nope, I would not even think about cooking it. You are kidding, right?
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneHump View Post
I opened a cryovac package of two IBP butts yesterday. I've had some stinky butts before, but this just about knocked me off my feet.

For the most part, this is normal. I know my butts where "fresh" out of a recently received IBP box. This will be, however, the last factory meat that I ever purchase. This has more to do with watching Food, Inc. than anything else, but there's a reason for that stink, and it's not because it came from a fresh farm raised hog.

For those of you in the know, I pose a question: Assuming you have the most rancid disgusting and decaying piece of meat possible - Does cooking it to 200F render it safe to eat?

I can only assume that the temps will kill off all known bacteria, but a rancid piece of meat will not have a favorable outcome in terms of flavor and/or texture.

Is my assumption accurage?

Well, technically, a high enough heat will kill any unpleasent bacteria, but you paid good money for the meat. Take it back and get a replacement or a refund.

"Safe to Eat" and "Tastes great" do not mean the same thing.

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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:38 PM   #4
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Sorry for the confusion. I'm not talking about my butts. They aren't rancid. They're at 165 right now and smell amazing. They stunk when I popped the seal, but that's not abnormal for butts that come out of a cryovac.

I'm just talking in theory about a rancid piece of meat. Let's just say it has mold growing on it, is black and gray in spots and has been sitting in the sun for a week.

I'm having a hard time understanding if "safety" is always achieved at 200F, or if there are organisms that can survive.
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
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These are the falsely accused butts not in question. Also known as "An experiment to achieve a reasonable smoke ring with a BGE". Currently at 166.8 and almost ready to foil...

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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:46 PM   #6
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Nope, don't cook it unless you intend to feed it to your dog, they can stomach it - you can't!
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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To be clear: I'm not asking about whether or not I should cook it. I certainly would not eat bad meat. I'm just curious what the safety implications are for a theoretical situation in which meat is rotten. Again, this is not my meat - it's theoretical meat. :)

Thanks for the good discussion.
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:48 PM   #8
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I don't take chances with that.....
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #9
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Neither would I, but that doesn't answer the question. :)

Again, no, I would not eat such meat or take chances with such meat.

I would never eat rotten meat

I would still very much like to know the safety implications of cooking rotten meat.
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:51 PM   #10
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NO! Cooking does not render bad meat good or edible. This is always my biggest fear as a judge -- that somebody will go ahead and prepare tainted meat.

I've had several instances of bad meat in cryovac -- usually ribs. That's why I always save my receipts AND open all my meat (cryovac and local packaging) before I head for a contest or get ready for a big cook.

If it smells bad, please don't cook it

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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneHump View Post
Sorry for the confusion. I'm not talking about my butts. They aren't rancid. They're at 165 right now and smell amazing. They stunk when I popped the seal, but that's not abnormal for butts that come out of a cryovac.

I'm just talking in theory about a rancid piece of meat. Let's just say it has mold growing on it, is black and gray in spots and has been sitting in the sun for a week.

I'm having a hard time understanding if "safety" is always achieved at 200F, or if there are organisms that can survive.
Here's something I found that appears to answer your theoretical question: http://old.cbbqa.org/articles/Food-Safety/index.html

In particular, this statement at the bottom:

"Once in the danger zone for two hours, the meat cannot be salvaged.Even cooking it to 500°F will not make it safe, because the danger is not from the living bacteria (most of which are killed at around 140°F) but because, when alive, they produced chemicals (toxins) which cannot be destroyed by heat."

To end this on a more savory note, the once-stinky but now amazing- smelling butts you have on now look great! Looking forward to the results of your smoke ring experiment and hope to never see you conduct a rancid butt test!
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hub View Post
If it smells bad, please don't cook it

Hub
Thanks Hub. This leads me to another question then. When I open cryovac butts, they stink. They always stink to some extent. Some smell worse than others, but they always stink no matter where I buy them.

The two butts that I'm cooking right now happen to stink more than others. I called the store and they assured me that they were fresh and that every cryvac butt they open from IBP smells bad. I watched them pull them from a box they said was fresh, and I have no reason to believe that this premium store would try to pass off bad meat. That doesn't mean it couldn't be bad but...

Are you expecting butt out of a cryvac not to stink? I've done my research on the forum here and there is a lot of discussion about stinky butts coming out of cryvac. Most say it's first exposure to oxygen, gas from processing, etc. My ribs NEVER stink, but butts always do.

Thoughts?
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R2Egg2Q View Post
Here's something I found that appears to answer your theoretical question: http://old.cbbqa.org/articles/Food-Safety/index.html
Exactly what I was looking for, thanks!
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Unread 01-16-2011, 12:58 PM   #14
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Not long ago I purchased a pork loin in crovac, came home and opened the package and the smell knocked me down. I promptly gathered up the remains and took it back to the store who apologized and gave me another loin which smelled like is should and not stink. I cannot answer your question but for my part I will not feed my dogs what I will not eat. I know you do not intend to eat any meat that is rotten or spoiled but I was just wondering why you are cooking it unless you were hoping that by cooking it the ranciod bacteria might be destroyed and it might be edible for your dogs or human consumption, again I cannot answer this question but appreciate the thread.
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Unread 01-16-2011, 01:07 PM   #15
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I find that most pork smells bad raw, and the cryovac packaged cuts smell the worst. That is probably because there is no way for air to get to them, and likewise, stink to get out.

It amazes me how something that smells SO bad raw could end up tasting heavenly when slowly cooked over burning wood products.

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