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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 07-18-2019, 10:45 AM   #16
84Tigers
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Thanks all for the helpful feedback and insights. So, I didn’t have any biscuits, but I have several digital thermometers. I placed two near the bottom — one to the left and right — and two near the top — one to the left and right. I was really surprised! It seems the one to the top right (if you’re facing the unit) consistently ran 15 to 20° cooler than the others. I ran the smoker for at least two hours and it was consistently in this range below the other thermometers’ readings. I wouldn’t think there’d be that much temperature differentiation, but there was. The under cooked butt sat in the upper right, so whatever temperature I had it sent at, it would’ve been running 15 to 20° cooler. In addition, I didn’t do the temperature test with a pan underneath it, but I would expect at least a few degrees of heat would probably be reduced due to the pan. I guess it’s fair to assume the smoker set at 225 would’ve had the actual heat around the butt closer to 200 with the pan underneath it. Learn something new every time I smoke.

BTW: if anyone has a link to food safety standards that state the lower top-end of the danger zone is closer to 129°, please share the link! I emailed the USDA “Food Safety and Inspection Service” people and they stated the 4 hour - 140° danger zone was a strict rule, even for smoking at lower temperatures like 225° and even if the meat was or was not injected / pierced. Anything that doesn’t hit that mark is potentially very dangerous according to them. But if someone has another source for something different I’d really like to review it.

Thanks again,
Todd
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Old 07-18-2019, 09:33 PM   #17
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Highway to the danger zone
Right into the danger zone
Highway to the danger zone
Gonna take you right into the danger zone
Highway to the danger zone
Right into the danger zone
Highway to the danger zone
Gonna take you right into the danger zone
Highway to the danger zone
Right into the danger zone
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:12 AM   #18
m-fine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84Tigers View Post
Thanks all for the helpful feedback and insights. So, I didn’t have any biscuits, but I have several digital thermometers. I placed two near the bottom — one to the left and right — and two near the top — one to the left and right. I was really surprised! It seems the one to the top right (if you’re facing the unit) consistently ran 15 to 20° cooler than the others. I ran the smoker for at least two hours and it was consistently in this range below the other thermometers’ readings. I wouldn’t think there’d be that much temperature differentiation, but there was. The under cooked butt sat in the upper right, so whatever temperature I had it sent at, it would’ve been running 15 to 20° cooler. In addition, I didn’t do the temperature test with a pan underneath it, but I would expect at least a few degrees of heat would probably be reduced due to the pan. I guess it’s fair to assume the smoker set at 225 would’ve had the actual heat around the butt closer to 200 with the pan underneath it. Learn something new every time I smoke.

BTW: if anyone has a link to food safety standards that state the lower top-end of the danger zone is closer to 129°, please share the link! I emailed the USDA “Food Safety and Inspection Service” people and they stated the 4 hour - 140° danger zone was a strict rule, even for smoking at lower temperatures like 225° and even if the meat was or was not injected / pierced. Anything that doesn’t hit that mark is potentially very dangerous according to them. But if someone has another source for something different I’d really like to review it.

Thanks again,
Todd
If you are cooking commercially you need to follow regulations. If it if for home, following actual science is allowable.

http://www.foodprotect.org/issues/pa...i_018__all.pdf

Bacteria is dying, not expanding by 129 but it takes impractically long to sterilize at that temp. As the temp increases it dies faster until you get to near instant at 160 ish.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m-fine View Post
If you are cooking commercially you need to follow regulations. If it if for home, following actual science is allowable.

http://www.foodprotect.org/issues/pa...i_018__all.pdf

Bacteria is dying, not expanding by 129 but it takes impractically long to sterilize at that temp. As the temp increases it dies faster until you get to near instant at 160 ish.
I've been a public health food safety person for over a decade and I agree with this one. (I especially like the home vs. Commercial perspective, lol.)

The four hour rule is for storage more than cooking. If an item being hot held is below temp, heating it back to 160 plus is a way to salvage.

In the case of the pork butt here, i probably would not have worried much as long as the final temp was reached, assuming you were cooking to a final temp over 160.

I also agree that you could make an assumption the bacteria were on the outside and were gone by the time the internal was 130, but I try never to assume. In this case, what might the thermometers, injection, etc., have in inadvertently introduced? It's a minor risk, but still.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:08 AM   #20
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JMack: so if I have a butt that is around 130° internal temp after five hours during the beginning of the cook, if I continue and finish it off to an internal temp around 200 or 205° you would not have any concerns? I usually take them up to about that temp. I appreciate the feedback from you and everyone else on this matter as I learn more about it.

Thanks,
Todd
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:05 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 84Tigers View Post
JMack: so if I have a butt that is around 130° internal temp after five hours during the beginning of the cook, if I continue and finish it off to an internal temp around 200 or 205° you would not have any concerns? I usually take them up to about that temp. I appreciate the feedback from you and everyone else on this matter as I learn more about it.

Thanks,
Todd
The only theoretical issue to worry about there is botulism toxin created when the meat was at a lower temp will survive at and above 205 even though the bacteria is dead. This is not usually a concern with whole cuts of meat in an open air smoker because the bacteria needs anaerobic conditions to make toxin, but if you injected, poked, prodded etc. especially with raw garlic, I take extra precautions and want to at least get to 130 in 4 ish hours. (Your 5 wouldn’t scare me, but just hitting 130 after 12 hours would). If the meat gets warm while in a cryovac or vacuum bag, then I am MUCH more concerned because the anaerobic risk is real.

FWIW, the risk here is incredibly low, as in I have never even heard of a pulled pork botulism case not involving vacuum bags, but it isn’t hard to get to 130 in a few hours unless you are cold smoking, in which case I turn to curing salts for safety.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:00 PM   #22
84Tigers
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Thank you, M-Fine! I appreciate the comments. It gives me more confidence to go back down to my preferred 225 degrees smoking temp instead of 250 (or higher). The only reason I was cranking up the temp was early on to get to 140 within four hours or so. In one case I had to crank it up to 350-400 for about 30 - 40 minutes right around the 3:30 mark of the smoke. Not my preference!
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:57 PM   #23
JMack
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Botulism is not what I typically think of when talking about pork, but it could be introduced through other ingredients (particularly any home canned or other improperly preserved goods). However, the toxin produced is denatured at a lower temperature than is required to kill the spores, about 190 vs 250 F, respectively.

In terms of the time to reach or exceed 140 I agree. I've had butts struggle to get to temp and take 8-10 hours, with several hours under 160 and I didnt give it a second thought from a safety perspective.
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