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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default Starting Temps for meat

I am having a hard time accepting the instructions of "room temperature" for the meat. I wonder what others do? My good friend says the cook times are generaly for meat that has been seasoned and taken out of the fridge several hours before cooking, to reach room temp. I want to avoid getting sick or worse making others sick from my BBQ. So what do the pros have to say???
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Unread 07-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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Well, I'm sure not a pro but I'll tell what I think. I take the meat right out of the fridge and into the smoker. Putting the cold meat in the cooker gives a deeper, more pronounced smoke ring (that we judges do not pay attention to) and more smoke flavor. I've found that when using my 075 Traeger doing it this way gives a lot more smoke flavor, especially when I use the "smoke" setting for an hour or so.
Again, this is my opinion only & I'm sure that others will do something else.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 03:39 PM   #3
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That is interesting, I really wonder what the advantages / disadvantages are? Does it simply increase the cook time? I usually take it out about an hour or so before and it is always not more than cool to the touch. The deeper smoke ring sounds good to me as I like the meat to have a good smoked flavor. I am worried more about bacteria or germs, "cooties"!
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Unread 07-10-2011, 03:44 PM   #4
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If you're smoking meat, I don't see any advantage in taking it out early, just the opposite actually. I've only heard of taking out meat that is to be "grilled" -- the advantage here is that the temp is higher throughout and you end up with a more uniform interior. Of course if you like your meat traditionally "rare" with a cold, red interior, you wouldn't want to do this either.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 10:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPA View Post
The deeper smoke ring sounds good to me as I like the meat to have a good smoked flavor.
You are aware that a smoke ring doesn't give you any flavor...and that there is no correlation between smoke flavor and a smoke ring. Just trying to help.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 11:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
You are aware that a smoke ring doesn't give you any flavor...and that there is no correlation between smoke flavor and a smoke ring. Just trying to help.
Your going to need to expand on that one. For example, when you BBQ chicken the color of the meat and flavor is completely different than when you smoke Chicken. The Chicken takes on a darker color depending on the type of Wood used when Smoked which to me is the equivalent of a smoke ring on Beef or Pork. Seems to me the Smoke ring does have an effect on the smoke flavor.

Maybe I am wrong, it would not be the first time...
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Unread 07-11-2011, 12:00 AM   #7
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two possibly conflicting schools of thought.

One is that meat will only take on smoke flavor up to a certain temp....allegedly between 140 and 160-something. If you buy into that, and put the meat in colder than room temp you should be able to increase the amount of smoke flavor you impart if your cooker is set at the same temp, no matter how warm or cold the meat is.

Having put two briskets into the same cooker, with the meat at different temps...I believe it. The colder of the two finished later, but both were foiled at the same internal temp and pulled at the same internal temp. The colder of the two just took a little bit longer to cook. Yes, I do understand the flaw in that experiment.

There is another school of thought that if you season a piece of meat, especially a large one, and let it sit out for a bit to warm...the flavor from the rub will penetrate the meat more than if it was just applied and tossed into the cooker.

I've done that experiment too, and preferred the meat that sat out a bit.

Choose your poison and figure out what works for you;)
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Unread 07-11-2011, 08:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by {Midnight ☼ Smoke} View Post
Your going to need to expand on that one. For example, when you BBQ chicken the color of the meat and flavor is completely different than when you smoke Chicken. The Chicken takes on a darker color depending on the type of Wood used when Smoked which to me is the equivalent of a smoke ring on Beef or Pork. Seems to me the Smoke ring does have an effect on the smoke flavor.

Maybe I am wrong, it would not be the first time...
The color of your chicken, or smoke ring in your beef/pork will certainly change with cooking methods, type of wood, and whether or not you had good or bad smoke. I completely agree with that.

You can also get different smoke flavors with the same criteria.

But the color of your meat, or smoke ring, will have anything to do with how much smoke flavor you have on the meat...so to speak.

Again, the smoke ring will stop formation at a certain point...but if you continue adding smoke to the cook, the meat will continue taking on additional smoke flavor.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jorge View Post
...meat will only take on smoke flavor up to a certain temp....allegedly between 140 and 160-something. If you buy into that, and put the meat in colder than room temp you should be able to increase the amount of smoke flavor you impart if your cooker is set at the same temp, no matter how warm or cold the meat is.
That rule of thumb is actually for the smoke ring...not smoke flavor.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
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I've only been doing smoked bbq for 3 years so I still rely heavily on the advice of others. Adam P Lang's bbq book (Serious Barbecue) recommends all meat go right from the fridge to the pre-heated smoker. It reduces risk of bacterial contamination (or growth) and he also suggests that the meat can absorb a bit more smoke flavor. That's how I've been doing it with great results.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 11:07 AM   #11
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You can produce a "smoke ring " on a brisket with instacure, rub it on let it sit for several minutes and rinse it off. It will produce the nicest "smoke ring" you ever saw.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 12:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
That rule of thumb is actually for the smoke ring...not smoke flavor.
you are correct. I shouldn't post after working close to 24 hrs. straight. Thanks for the correction.
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Unread 07-11-2011, 12:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatpig View Post
You can produce a "smoke ring " on a brisket with instacure, rub it on let it sit for several minutes and rinse it off. It will produce the nicest "smoke ring" you ever saw.
For that matter you can take the meat out of the fridge, give it a quick rub & toss it into a cold oven, turn on the heat & get a damn good "smoke ring". Try it on a fatty - beautifull "ring" but no smoke flavor at all. That's another reason why judges are not suppoessed to pay attention to the "smoke ring".
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Unread 07-12-2011, 09:04 AM   #14
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leaving raw meat out on the counter for more than 4 hours is a great way to get sick.

Having ribs on the counter for an hour while seasoning is good. Bringing chicken to room temp (about 1 hour) will change cooking times and not much else. At a class I took the instructor put it out to get to room temp but it was 37F where we were working. When he got to step 2 in the cooking he temped the chicken and said "OH S***" he knew what was wrong and it added about 20 minutes to the cook time.
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Unread 07-16-2011, 08:40 AM   #15
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Hey this is why I joined this forum... I am sorry for the smoke ignorance. I believed the smoke ring had something to do with flavor. I love BBQ with real wood smoke flavor and most sauces I've tried. I really am glad to hear the starting temperature is not as critical as first thought, I like bringing my ribs for instance out on the counter an hour before the grill as I'm lighting the fire and getting the temperature regulated on the kettle....
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