New to Smoking and using a MES 30"

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by dkite22, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. dkite22

    dkite22 Newbie


    I just bought my new MES and am getting ready to smoke my first boston butt this weekend.  I only have a manual meat thermometer (one you stick in by hand) to monitor my temperature of the meat.  I am concerned about food safety as I have read this forum regarding probing the meat too early can lead to bacteria issues.  My plan was to let it cook for 3-4 hours before I even considered opening the door to check temp.  I would then just continue to check the temp about every hour by opening the door and inserting it into the fattest part of the meat.  I was wondering if there is risk to doing this multiple times and if 3-4 hours would be too early.  Eventually I want to buy the electrical temperature systems but don't have the money now.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks
  2. mtm29575

    mtm29575 Smoke Blower

    First, congrat's and good luck with your first Butt. Be sure to update us on how it went, and post pics if you can. Now, for your question, since you only have a manual thermometer, you will have to stick to check internal temp. But the good news is that the butt is a big piece of meat, and there is really no need to check it early. It depends on what temp you are using for your smoke, and the size of your butt. If you are going low and slow. it is going to to take a while. Since it is your first smoke, you may want to check the temp at around 4 hours, just to help you get a feel for how the butt cooks. Unless you are smoking at a very low temp, I wouldn't worry about the 140/4 rule. I've never had a problem reaching that goal when I smoke at 225-250 range. Once you get get past the 'stall' area, where the temp can stall around the 160 range, then then temp will rise pretty steadily. You are safe around 165, and if you are wanting to slice, then you will want a lower finishing temp. If you plan on pulling the pork, then I like to take it to around 200-205. Just my own preference. But in a nutshell, and just my opinion, I'd wait like you said 3-4 hours, check to see where it is, and then check it probably once an hour afterward, just so you can learn.  I would highly recommend a good remote therm, there are some good ones out there, and that will prevent you having to open the door so often, and give you good piece of mind.

    Good luck and have fun!!

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