MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 09-14-2019, 03:20 PM   #1
davidliles
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Default Temperature Baselines

I'm building an app that captures my grilling/smoke sessions and I'm getting close to starting my beta testing. The app allows me to select a category such as beef, pork, poultry, etc and then a specific cut based on the category along with other relevant information. The app records current food temperature, current grill temperature, current outside temperature, current outside humidity. These readings are recorded and stored in a database on a regular interval. The app allows me to "rate" the results of each session and the ability to view past sessions.

All cuts have an "ideal" final cook temperature but what I'm curious to get feedback on is what should be considered as a target grill temperature for various cuts during the session. For example:

Beef Brisket, weight xxx, target cooked temp 205, target grilling temp ????

Over time I'll have a history of session data to refer back for repeatability potential.

I've attached a couple of screen shots of what I've created so far.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg session_started.jpg (40.2 KB, 132 views)
File Type: jpg current_session.jpg (45.2 KB, 132 views)

Last edited by davidliles; 09-14-2019 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:30 PM   #2
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Ideal finishing temp for each kind of meat is going to vary based on the cooker temp, the type of cooker, and obviously the animal from which it came. If your intent is to program an ideal temp for your cookers and the temps you like to cook at, that should be fairly easy by just recording the final temp when it probes tender. If sometimes you cook at 225* and other times 275* you could even have the ideal temp for you indexed to the cook temp. Probe tender is always the right finishing temp though.

Sounds fun
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Old 09-14-2019, 03:45 PM   #3
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I apologize if I sound a bit ignorant but I was looking at it from the perspective that each cut of meat has an "ideal" final cooked temperature... and I understand this can be a subjective topic. But for the sake of this context lets say the desired final cooked temperature for a brisket would be somewhere between 195 and 205.

What I'm curious about and trying to establish is the "preferred" cooking temperatures for various cuts in order to reach the desired final cooked temperature. Using the above brisket as reference would a desired cooking temperature be 230 or 240 or 250, etc for the duration?
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:06 PM   #4
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This is where the art comes into play here. While the science says the smoke flavor will be absorbed below 100, and the fat will start to render at 150, and the connective tissue will transform to gelatin at 190, for certain cuts, especially big non-uniform ones it really is not possible to say there is one ideal cooking temperature. It depends on what you want to do. It’s a little like asking a painter the ideal color to paint with. Take brisket. There’s folks that do hnf some days and lns others because it’s different. With a program if you want to help the artistry then you would probably need to creat a model for the key elements of bbqing meat. Smoke, fat render, collagen formation, searing, and even somewhat steaming. In this way you could somewhat predict the amount of each with a selected temperature. While that tool would probably not be exact without lots of information about the piece of meat you’re cooking and a huge db of training data, it could be a useful tool to help people with their own art. Sort of a way of saying look 225 is not really going to sear anything, but eventually it’s going to render, and transform that gristle. And if you combine that with a high temp sear you are going to continue to render, which could be good or bad depending on how much fat is left.

Sound like a lot of programming to me to be something that’s predictive.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-14-2019, 11:17 PM   #5
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I do not think you are going to get any sort of consensus for a target grill temp for various meats. Is that what you are asking for?
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:57 AM   #6
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Thanks for the information and insight jlrichar. Sounds like I might need to consider incorporating the ability to indicate the cooking method (HnF or LnS) which would allow me to further refine the results.

pharp - yes, I was curious to get input from others regarding what temperature ranges they tend to use most often for various meats/cuts.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:23 AM   #7
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There is no one answer for finishing temps in barbecue....anywhere from 195* to 215* is when itll probably probe right depending on temp and method.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudsandswine View Post
There is no one answer for finishing temps in barbecue....anywhere from 195* to 215* is when itll probably probe right depending on temp and method.
To further S.A.S.'s point, Temperature is widely variable with the available devices. Even devices from the same manufacturer.
We aren't in the industrial or laboratory level of accuracies here.

There are recommended internal temperatures for safety concerns.

And then, folks go and eat Sushi...

There is a place where experience tells, and finish is delicious. That, unfortunately, cannot be put in any computer.
I've followed other's recipes and advice, only to find I had to adjust it to suit my tastes. IE: Too Salty, Too Hot or Spicy, Or just comes out yukie.

But I do like App's. And if you need a beta tester, I'd like to be considered.
And I wish you good luck developing yours.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:20 AM   #9
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For the traditional BBQ meats, I can’t remember the last time that I looked at the internal temp. I go by feel. But, if I were to monitor temp it would be useful to be able to set an alert for a specific temp to remind me to start probing for done.

For things like chicken I look for the IT to be above the minimum for food safety, and for things like pork chops, pork loin, roasts, etc, where there is an IT that I prefer, I will monitor, so having a settable alert would be useful.
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidliles View Post
I apologize if I sound a bit ignorant but I was looking at it from the perspective that each cut of meat has an "ideal" final cooked temperature... and I understand this can be a subjective topic. But for the sake of this context lets say the desired final cooked temperature for a brisket would be somewhere between 195 and 205.
This is a huge fallacy and the number one mistake you can make.

The entire purpose of BBQ is to cook a tough piece of meat until it is tender. Until you have a thermometer that reads in tenderness, it will not get you reliable top notch results.
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:46 PM   #11
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I was never asking about internal final cooked temperatures. I was asking about the actual cooking session temperatures ranges people tend to use most often in order to reach the desired "tenderness" for the cut being cooked.
I am well aware there are differences in equipment and the same temperature range on one smoker will produce different results on a different smoker. At some point everyone started with a general guideline as their baseline and then adjusted from there... that's all I was asking.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:28 PM   #12
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No one is finding fault with your plan, I think that the temperature tracking during/after the cook could be a great tool.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidliles View Post
I apologize if I sound a bit ignorant but I was looking at it from the perspective that each cut of meat has an "ideal" final cooked temperature... and I understand this can be a subjective topic. But for the sake of this context lets say the desired final cooked temperature for a brisket would be somewhere between 195 and 205.

What I'm curious about and trying to establish is the "preferred" cooking temperatures for various cuts in order to reach the desired final cooked temperature. Using the above brisket as reference would a desired cooking temperature be 230 or 240 or 250, etc for the duration?
Quote:
Originally Posted by m-fine View Post
This is a huge fallacy and the number one mistake you can make.

The entire purpose of BBQ is to cook a tough piece of meat until it is tender. Until you have a thermometer that reads in tenderness, it will not get you reliable top notch results.
As BluDawg says "You can not cook your pork butt/pork shoulder to a specific temperature and call it done!!!!"

As m-fine has said in the past, "If you have a target temp you are doing it wrong: The goal of cooking a tough cut of meat is to make it tender, not make it hot. Therefore you should monitor how tender it is, not how hot it is."

Every piece of meat is different, and therefore each will cook differently in some manner. I have had many pork butts done as low as 185 degrees, while others do not indicate being done until they reach 200 degrees or more.

Because of this variance in temperatures, I usually start checking for being done when my internal probe says 180 degrees, after that I don't pay any attention to what the internal temperature is, except for personal reference. The bone is a much better predictor than temperature, simply put When the bone wiggles like a loose tooth it's done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidliles View Post
I was never asking about internal final cooked temperatures. I was asking about the actual cooking session temperatures ranges people tend to use most often in order to reach the desired "tenderness" for the cut being cooked.
I am well aware there are differences in equipment and the same temperature range on one smoker will produce different results on a different smoker. At some point everyone started with a general guideline as their baseline and then adjusted from there... that's all I was asking.
You will also find that the cooking temperature also varies; not only the difference between "Low & Slow" or "Hot & Fast", but every smoker has a "Sweet Spot" where it has the most efficiency. I believe NCGrimbo had a computer application for the Stoker which would graphically track the cooking and internal temperatures. It would allow you to see real time as well as saving the graph to review at a later date.

I think if you app allowed the user to set the target temperature of the cooker it would be great. Also keep in mind that with smokers, there are temperature swings due to how the wood/charcoal burns.

Also one could set the target temperature of the meat so they know when to start checking for tenderness. The only time a specific temperature for the finished product would be followed with BBQ/Smoking would be with chicken, turkey, or a pork loin where not only a safe serving temperature is achieved, but also helping not to exceed that temperature so the meat doesn't become dry and tough.

In smoking/BBQ meats like pork butt, pork shoulder, pork picnic, beef brisket, and beef ribs have a lot of connective tissue. The idea is to cook the meat to the point where the connective tissue as been converted to collagen, which produces a tender juicy piece of meat. If the cut of meat doesn't have the connective tissue converted, it is dry and tough; where as if you exceed that point, the meat simply falls apart. The issue is the differences in the animals, as well as the type of feed, and even genetics all will help to vary the amount of connective tissue in the piece of meat. Even the right side vs the left side on the same animal will vary.
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidliles View Post
I was never asking about internal final cooked temperatures. I was asking about the actual cooking session temperatures ranges people tend to use most often in order to reach the desired "tenderness" for the cut being cooked.
I am well aware there are differences in equipment and the same temperature range on one smoker will produce different results on a different smoker. At some point everyone started with a general guideline as their baseline and then adjusted from there... that's all I was asking.
200 - 400 degrees
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidliles View Post
I'm building an app that captures my grilling/smoke sessions and I'm getting close to starting my beta testing. The app allows me to select a category such as beef, pork, poultry, etc and then a specific cut based on the category along with other relevant information. The app records current food temperature, current grill temperature, current outside temperature, current outside humidity. These readings are recorded and stored in a database on a regular interval. The app allows me to "rate" the results of each session and the ability to view past sessions.

All cuts have an "ideal" final cook temperature but what I'm curious to get feedback on is what should be considered as a target grill temperature for various cuts during the session. For example:

Beef Brisket, weight xxx, target cooked temp 205, target grilling temp ????

Over time I'll have a history of session data to refer back for repeatability potential.

I've attached a couple of screen shots of what I've created so far.
I see where you are headed, this is a great start for a spreadsheet database and I admire your persistent work, but frankly, barbeque is not predictable. For early data collection, you might consider a pocket spiral note pad, cost around $0.85 unless you opt for something fancier, in which I would recommend 'Field Notes' (which I have used on the job for many years, the graph paper ones...), or a better permanent option are the 'Rite In The Rain' notebooks, however you need a mechanical pencil. Later, you can crunch your own collected data... specific to your cookers and cooking habits which are HUGE variables.

For what it's worth, I cooked for 20 years on various pits that had no thermometers, then in 2003 I bought a smoker with a reliable thermometer and I went hog wild on digital cable thermometers, forced draft fans and the like. Now, I still use some of them to monitor pit temp, and I use the remote meat temp probe only when I'm cooking something critical like a prime rib roast.

Nowadays, I watch my pit temp like a hawk, then accurately monitor the internal temp of my food when I open the lid to check on things.
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