Please suggest first time pork and potato temp and time settings.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nopeda, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    I'm going to try what for me is the first "long" smoke which probably really shouldn't be long at all, but it's the first I've attempted something that weighs more than 1 pound. I'm going to try a boneless pork loin roast that weighs 2.6 pounds and would like to try baking several Idaho potatoes that are about the size of a tennis ball. At this point I'm planning to rub the roast with McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub because that's all I've got, using Amaze-N-Pellet smoker and Hickory pellets because that's what I've got. How long and at what temp to expect to cook the roast? I've got a meat thermometer and one thing I read at the bottom of the page suggested cooking pork to 150 degrees and then removing from heat and letting rest 3 minutes during which time the temp should increase to 160 degrees:

    I've quit using water in a pan since several people I've read say they don't use water any more, but do put a disposable aluminum foil pan on the bottom tray to catch drippings and I guess to disperse the heat. 

    Also any suggestions about baking the potatoes would be MUCH appreciated since this is also a first attempt. Should they be wrapped in foil and if so individually or all together? Should holes be punched in them with a fork or knife? Should they be on a shelf above the meat to avoid being dripped on? Any suggestions about the this would be much appreciated! I've never been able to cook decent baked potatoes and would LOVE to be able to, but any attempts have always turned out with them being too burned and dried out or not done enough :-(

    Thank you for any help and suggestions!

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    The roast should take around 3 hours at 225. Personally I would pull it out at 140, let it rest & come up to 145 (the safe temp for pork). If you let it go to 160 it will be dry.

    Coat the potatoes with EVOO & coarse salt. I would put them on a rack above the meat no need to foil them, you can poke them a couple of times with a fork. They will take just a couple of hours at 225.

    Hope this helps!

  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    X2...Unless you or you family is totally freaked out by slightly Pink Pork, an IT of 140 is a good choice. That Old School cooking pork to 160 has been proven unnecessary in multiple studies. My Mom in her 80's was hard to convince but after a couple of bites of Juicy Pink Pork could not believe Loin could be that good!...JJ
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Agree with JJ and Al.  My pork loin target temp is usually 145*...after all these years I still have a hard time getting Mrs. Red to eat anything I compromise.  That extra 5* takes most of the pink out without turning a nice chunk of pork into shoe leather.

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
  5. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    Thank you guys for your suggestions! I'm really looking forward to this one :) If I'm going for an IT of 140 degrees, should I pull it out at 130 or 135 and let it sit until it gets to 140? What if it doesn't get there? I got sick from eating under cooked pork once and sure don't want to go through that again, though it was juicy and delicious.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The higher the smoker temp the more the IT will climb. At 225, sitting uncovered on the counter, it will go 5 to 10°. If you go to an IT of 135 and a 20 minute rest, you will get in the sweet spot. If you got sick from Pork, there was some other issue than Trichinosis, what most folks have been taught to fear, or it was homestead raised and fed garbage. Either way, somebody did not handle it right. The IT would have had to be 130, Med/Rare, can't miss that, or was cooked properly but was rotten which whould have been off tasting. Another possibility is it got a dose of contamination and sat around awhile for the bacteria to grow. Did you eat it at room temp or cold?...JJ
  7. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    I was working with a band playing a fraternity party. We went by the night before to check out the site and they were starting to cook a whole pig. They had a very drunk guy there to do the job because he was supposedly experienced. The next night is when I had the pork. The outside was done well enough but the inside meat is all that was left and it did look pretty rare, but I didn't know any better and was hungry so I ate some and it tasted great. But the next day I was sweating and shivering both at the same time, and throwing up and had diarrhea, and felt like I wanted to die. That was probably around 20 years ago too, so things might be improved since then. The roast I'm cooking now came from a local super market, but there's no telling where those frat guys got that pig. Also, they could have stopped cooking it any number of hours before I got my serving, so it could have been sitting around at room temp all day, or half a day, or however long. They didn't seem the type to be very concerned about things like that and I bet I wasn't the only one having a bad time of it the next day, though I was the only one in our crew that got sick.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Overnight Pig, questionable cooking temp, undercooked and untold hours sitting around?! That will do it! Guys broke every rule known for Safe Pork. That would definitely make you skiddish. Thanks for the story...Scary Stuff! [​IMG]...JJ
  9. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    Yes Sir. I cooked the pork to 137 then took it out and let it rest. It went to 140 at room temp and then began to drop. It was really pink inside and even though I love beef like that which I consider medium rare I was/am still skiddish about eating pork that way. I microwaved it for about two minutes and then cut off a serving and ate the less really pink parts, and only ate the mildly pink parts. There was very red/pink juice coming from it. Do you think even the pinkest parts were/are safe to eat? I didn't get sick at all from what I did eat, which is the rarest looking pork I've eaten since the meal I told you about. Do you feel safe eating pork that's very pink and has red/pink fluids coming from it? I'm sorry to be such a wuss, but it's hard to get used to the idea that pork that rare is safe to eat if you don't want to have a bad experience the following day.

    Continuing with that same line of thought, how about chicken and turkey? Would you say it's ok to eat rare pork and beef but not safe to eat rare chicken and turkey? That they should be cooked to an IT of 165? If so does that mean cook to about 155 IT, then remove from heat and let rest until 165? Also, what is the significant difference between pork and poultry?

    Thank you and all you people for your help and suggestions!!!

  10. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We must have a cold house, I rarely get meat to rise 5-10 degrees during the rest. Usually 2-5 degrees. So for pork I pull it off at 145. Still pink and juicy.

    For poultry I cook to the full 165, then pull it off and allow it to rest 30-45 minutes prior to carving.

    Have you tested your therms to make sure they are accurate? I test mine monthly, just to make sure.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    At 140 the meat should not look med/rare, should be more pink. Therm could be off, probe may have been off center or on an angle or a little variation in meat thickness. No big deal, next time go higher, 140+ and let it rest until less Pink. Yes the juices will be quite red but that is no issue at all. My family eats Pork Tenderloin, comes 2 to a pack, that I smoke, grill or broil at least once a week and twice if leftovers. been doing this for years now. 15 years ago my Wife lost her Spleen when the Dr. nicked it during another operation and could not repair it. The Spleen contributes to the Immune system and with out one, she has to be careful about contact with sick people and Foodborne Illness is a Major concern. Dr. described it as, what will give me gas, can put her in the hospital...Needless to say I am VERY careful about what passes her lips! So if Pink Pork, IT of 135° with a rest, was not safe...I would not serve it to my family...

    Here is the scoop on Pork and 100 years of " Cook it to death of DIE! " mentality. Prior to the 1940's pork was raised commercially but most of Rural America ate the Hogs they raised on the Farm, in a small pen in the backyard and so on. My Grandparents included. It was well known that Pork could be and often was infected with Trichinae (Trichinella Spirallis), a parasitic worm that invaded the muscle of pork. Eating undercooked pork could transfer this worm to humans and cause the illness Trichinosis. So for generations everyone was taught that Rare Beef was fine but Pink Pork was never to be eaten or else. In the 30's researchers found that Trichinae was infecting hogs because of what they were fed. Anything and everything was fed to hogs as they are Omnivores. Vegetable, raw meat scraps, leftover table scraps, and commercially, anything the operator could get cheap, Garbage and spoiled product from grocery stores, food processors and the dairy industry, restaurants, outdated and rotten whatever. In the late 30's the FED steps in with regulation over what Commercial Pork Producers could feed Hogs and since 1945, very few cases of Trichinosis could be traced to American Commercial Pork, and any infection was traced to producers that had Rodent control issues (Rats and Mice can be carriers and Hogs will eat any they catch) and shady operations still trying to save a buck on feed.. Now we are still talking the 40's and getting the word out, especially to small farms and homesteaders has takes decades, not to mention Baby Boomer's still ate Mom's shoe leather cooked Pork Chops and were taught that is how it has to be and many still fear Pink Pork...

    Extensive research has shown that Trichinella Spirallis is killed at 125.6°F when held there for 6 minutes and is killed in <1 minute at 131°F...An IT of 125 is Red Rare and 131-135 is Med/Rare...

    It is only in the last 20 years that the Internet and computers have become as common as a TV and the word on Pink Pork being safe is speading. My kids, in their 20's, have eaten Pink Pork Loin and Tenders, all their lives and will have it no other way. Two of my three girls are Pro Chefs now and you should hear the verbal bashing I have to put up with if I over cook the Pork! I have said before, even my Mom, 87, took some convincing but finally trusted I was right and Juicey Pink Pork is delicious.

    Rare Beef and Pork are Safe because of the way they are raised and are Slaughtered by Hand in USDA Inspected operations that wash the carcasses in multiple steps to keep digestive tract bacteria off the meat and jump through hoops to keep the facilities and workers sanitary and as bacteria free as possible...Most of the Bacteria issues we preach about on SMF is contamination in Grocery Butchers Shops through further cutting and repackaging and in the Home from crosscontamination in the Refer, and bacteria on hands and work surfaces.

    I taught Meat Processing and Fabrication for several years and would take great pleasure FREAKING out my students when, while demonstrating trimming and cutting a Beef Tenderloin, straight out of Commecial Cryo-vac, would pick up a 6oz fresh cut Filet Mignon, pull a Salt Shaker from my pocket and eat the entire piece RAW! [​IMG]  In any given Class, I could only convince less than half to try the Raw Beef and they were usually the youngest of the group.[​IMG]

    NOW...Chicken and Turkey are a whole different story. All poultry other than small producer Duck, Goose and Game Bird operations, are slaughtered Mechanically! Machines eviserate hundreds or thousands of birds with gastric juices and fecal matter, where all the Bacteria comes from, contacting the equipment, the operators and each bird going down the line. Even with the birds coming from farm B that are Salmomella free, comin in, they become infected from being processed on the same equipment as the infected birds from farm A that were run ahead of them. Additionally, much if not all the Poultry you get in the Grocery Store has been Enhanced (INJECTED) with a salt, broth and other stuff, solution to keep the meat juicy when cooked and artificially increase the weight for higher profit. This injected solution is added on the Processing Line, and they are not breaking out a Sterile Needle for each bird! The Birds are injected one after another and dripping broth, spray runoff from the equipment and floor is recycled and pumped, with all that bacteria, into every bird on the line. So...No, not even if you washed your Chicken or Turkey in Clorox, could you eat it Raw, Rare or Medium. Breasts need to be Cooked to an IT of 165 and Leg/Thighs to 170-175°F because we measure Thigh IT in the meat and at the lower safe IT of 165, the meat closest to the Bone will still be undercooked. Flipside is, how you get to an IT of 165+ is up to you...Just like anything you cook, Carryover, food continuing to cook as it rests, happens in Poultry too. I will take Chicken Breast off the heat at an IT of 160°F and let it finish to 165 during the Rest...

    Please NOTE: Degree of Carryover is a factor of the Meats Weight and the Temp cooked at, A Chicken Breast Smoked at 225 will carryover 3-5 degrees. A Chicken Breast Grilled at 600°F will easily go 10°F+ as it rests. Same with Pork and Beef. Chops and Steaks will carryover less smoked and/or Reverse Seared and more if cooked at higher temps. The larger the meat and the higher the cooking temp, the more carryover you can expect. The last Pork tenders I made, I roasted at 425. The two were 1.5 pounds each and 3" at the thickest end. I fold and tie the tail for even doneness. I pulled them at an IT of 125 and 15 minutes on the counter they hit 142 and were a perfect Pink... I hope this helps...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  12. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    I haven't done it but will check that out. Thank you!
  13. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    Yes, thank you very much for the great explanation!!! I remember that even as late as the 1970s in NC they still had garbage trash cans in schools and we would put our leftover food in those, and paper and other non-food trash in different trash cans. The garbage was picked up and fed to hogs. They quit doing it at some point. We thought it was a waste of food and it wasn't until you explained it above that I understood why they stopped.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The practice of feeding Garbage Food is still used when profitable. Federal Regulations require that the garbage be Cooked to a temp of 165 before feeding. Heating and handling equipment is needed. No more backing up the truck and dumping the load in or near the pens.There are some large Hog Farms in Las Vegas that get Casino food waste. The piggies feast on hundreds of pounds of Shrimp, Prime Rib and hand made French Pastries, all taken off the buffets and not eaten only to be tossed by guests in the trash...[​IMG]  LUCKY Pigs in Vegas!...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
    boboso likes this.
  15. boboso

    boboso Smoke Blower

    There was a real cool episode of Dirty Jobs about the vegas buffets and feeding the hogs. They have to dig thru the food and pull out things like glass, towels, trash bags, silverware etc, before they use it.
  16. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    I wonder why it's done there but not more common...possibly because of the lower humidity? There's something I wondered about when you mentioned bringing out the salt shaker and eating raw beef for your students. For years I've considered that humans might have first begun heating meat over a fire in an attempt to return it to a freshly killed condition, and using salt would simulate the taste of blood. Those are ideas considering the possible reasons why humans first  began treating meat with fire and spices, and then from there they could have learned of other advantages.
  17. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter

    We used to discuss things like that from time to time when they were using the garbage cans at school. Some of the kids either didn't care or wanted to throw things in the garbage cans that could hurt the pigs. It must have been a lot tougher job to sort things out from those school lunches than from vegas buffets, but no one ever really said anything about how nasty and inconsiderate it was that I can remember. 
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I don't know about feed garbage per se but Food Production Waste and Out of Code Food is very common. My BIL ran a tractor trailer load of out of code Hagen Das Ice Cream to an area Hog farm monthly. 

    Your thought on fire, meat and salt is totally feasable. The human brain is good at solving problems, reccognizing how to recreate a taste from the past, and coming up with a solution. The body craves minerals like Sodium. May not have taken long to realize dipping or soaking food in salt water not only made food taste better but solved a sodium craving. Or early man may have on occasion " ate " salt from the earth and " ate " meat...1+1=2, eat them together. My eating Filet raw is one thing, it's tender. I have to figure a random hunk of raw Bison or Venison, early man would eat, had to require some more serious Jaw strength than modern man has. Cooking most foods make them easier to chew, may have been a happy accident, that the meat left by the fire was easier to chew then that in the back of the cave. Lots of paths to how and why WE eat today...JJ
  19. nopeda

    nopeda Fire Starter


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