Safe to cold smoke poultry,pork,beef?

Discussion in 'Info and Practices' started by iboy, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. iboy

    iboy Newbie

    Hi I just got a traeger pellet smoker and not really getting the smoke flavor I want.ive only used traeger brand and read nothing but bad reviews so I will be trying a different question is it safe to cold smoke poultry beef or pork for let's say an hour or so with a amnps to get that good smoke flavor and then cook to temp as usual?
  2. smokinal

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

    Why not just cook as usual & use the AMNPS for extra smoke while your cooking.

    Also I see this is your first post, so at your leisure would you swing by Roll Call & introduce yourself.

    That way we can all give you a proper welcome.

  3. russell page

    russell page Fire Starter

    Safer to cook to temp--then "cold smoke" it
  4. russell page

    russell page Fire Starter

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have on occasion cold smoked steaks, pork chops, and ahi tuna. I don't do it often, and when I have I do it in a smoker that is below 40f. I vac pax them for use later.

    Your real problem is your smoker. Traegers don't produce much smoke as they are burning the pellets instead of letting them smolder.

    Honestly if you want more smoke and don't have the cash to shell out for a new smoker if recommend getting a tube smoker or a maze smoker from Todd at AmazeN Smokers. My cousin has a Traeger and had the same problem. I gave him the 12" tube (this was before the expanding oval tube was out, which is what tid get him now) and this has solved his problems. He puts it right in the smoker for hot smokes up to 285f pit temps. He pipes it in for hotter smokes or for no temp cold smokes like butter, cheese, etc.

    I own all three tubes and the new expanding tube. Best easiest way to produce smoke and priced fair. Check out Todd's site. Or if you have a Sportsmans Warehouse they stock the tubes.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just for clarity...This Chart shows the growth rate of Bacteria on Cooked Food held in the Danger Zone only. So, Russel is correct. It is much safer to add additional smoke at the END of a cook rather than Cold Smoking Raw food. While this Guideline is safe, always limit time you hold food out of refrigeration...JJ
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So, if I hear you correctly......   After cooking, it is safe to hold food at 65 deg. F for 21.6 hours....  agreed it's only in the dangerous zone and not the most dangerous zone....

    So now you are an advocate of NON USDA guidelines....    I wish I knew which set of rules you were going to endorse...   this surely gets confusing at times....

    We try and promote USDA guidelines, like the owner of the forum Jeff endorses, and you find a way to say we are incorrect... 
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

     NO the numbers don't apply to EVERY food item, in EVERY situation and in ALL conditions. For optimal Safety follow USDA Guidlines for food handling per SMF Guidelines.

    In the exclusive and limited CONTEXT of THIS   discussion and this discussion ONLY... Russell's chart makes a valid point. AGAIN and with out extrapolation to other foods or cooking and holding situations ...With Meat that is cooked, and immediately after reaching a Bacteria killing Safe IT... It is SAFER to cold smoke after Smoking than at the start when the meat is Raw!...JJ 
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2016
  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well, as you are the FOOD SAFETY PROFESSIONAL on the moderator staff, maybe you could point out the UNSAFE FOOD ITEMS and UNSAFE SITUATIONS and UNSAFE CONDITIONS so our members will have a good understanding of the chart...

    According to the FSIS-USDA appendix below, the above chart, that YOU seem to endorse, is so far out of regulation, it's preposterous...




    adjective: preposterous

    1. contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous. B.htm

    Compliance Guidelines for Cooling Heat-Treated Meat and Poultry Products (Stabilization)

    Stabilization Guidelines

            It is very important that cooling be continuous through the given time/temperature control points. Excessive dwell time in the range of 130° to 80°F is especially hazardous, as this is the range of most rapid growth for the clostridia. Therefore cooling between these temperature control points should be as rapid as possible.

    1. During cooling, the product's maximum internal temperature should not remain between 130°F and 80°F for more than 1.5 hours nor between 80°F and 40°F for more than 5 hours. This cooling rate can be applied universally to cooked products (e.g., partially cooked or fully cooked, intact or non-intact, meat or poultry) and is preferable to (2) below.

    2. Over the past several years, FSIS has allowed product to be cooled according to the following procedures, which are based upon older, less precise data: chilling should begin within 90 minutes after the cooking cycle is completed. All product should be chilled from 120°F (48°C) to 55°F (12.7°C) in no more than 6 hours. Chilling should then continue until the product reaches 40°F (4.4°C); the product should not be shipped until it reaches 40°F (4.4°C).

    This second cooling guideline is taken from the former ("Requirements for the production of cooked beef, roast beef, and cooked corned beef", 9 CFR 318.17(h)(10)). It yields a significantly smaller margin of safety than the first cooling guideline above, especially if the product cooled is non-intact product. If an establishment uses this older cooling guideline, it should ensure that cooling is as rapid as possible, especially between 120 °F and 80°F, and monitor the cooling closely to prevent deviation. If product remains between 120 °F and 80 °F more than one hour, compliance with the performance standard is less certain.

    3. The following process may be used for the slow cooling of ready-to-eat meat and poultry cured with nitrite. Products cured with a minimum of 100 ppm ingoing sodium nitrite may be cooled so that the maximum internal temperature is reduced from 130 to 80 °F in 5 hours and from 80 to 45 °F in 10 hours (15 hours total cooling time).

    This cooling process provides a narrow margin of safety. If a cooling deviation occurs, an establishment should assume that their process has exceeded the performance standard for controlling the growth of Clostridium perfringens and take corrective action. The presence of the nitrite, however, should ensure compliance with the performance standard for Clostridium botulinum.

    Establishments that incorporate a "pasteurization" treatment after lethality and stabilization treatments (e.g., applying heat to the surface of a cooled ready-to-eat product after slicing) and then re-stabilize (cool) the product should assess the cumulative growth of C. perfringens in their HACCP plans. That is, the entire process should allow no more than 1-log10 total growth of C. perfringens in the finished product. When employing a post-processing "pasteurization," establishments may want to keep in mind that at temperatures of 130 °F or greater, C. perfringens will not grow.

    Support documentation for this process was filed by the National Food Processors Association on April 14, 1999. It is available for review in the FSIS Docket Room, Room 102, Cotton Annex, 300 12th St., SW, Washington, DC 20250-3700.
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Well Dave, I have NEVER advocated more than 1 hour of Cold Smoke for additional flavor at temps above 40°F. In any event I always have been an advocate of the basic USDA guidelines, written for the general public's safety, for simplicity. But there is much more to having a FULL understanding of Food Safety than the general USDA guidelines. The greater sum of the full detail of Food Pathogens, their Growth Cycle and their effect on Food Safety is very detailed and can be overwhelming and cause confusion in a general Forum format like SMF. If you wish to learn more, there are College level Food Safety Courses, like those I taught for many years, at Culinary Arts Schools and through your local Restaurant Association...JJ 
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just so there is no further misunderstanding or argument. Russell's Chart is not only 100% Accurate, it comes from a Food Manufacturers HACCP Manual that follows USDA and FDA Regulations. It was written by a well recognized industry leader in HACCP Program Development, Snyder HACCP and Dr. Peter Snyder. See...  Notice the chart is found in Section VI of the HACCP Manual titled FOOD PRODUCTION POLICIES,PROCEDURES, AND STANDARDS, Subsection 10. Please note the following from that page refering to the Maximum Holding Time Safety Limit chart...

    These values have also been derived by comparing actual bacterial growth with FDA Food Code holding guidelines for ready-to-eat food that allows 7 days if the food temperature is at 41°F (5°C) or less, 4 days at 45°F (7.2°C), and 4 hours, for example, when food is at 112°F (44°C).  This chart provides growth times for 1 and 10 generations of pathogens over the range of 30 to 125°F (-1.1 to 51.7°C). 

    If anyone wishes to review this information in greater detail, the Full Text can be found HERE... 

    The Maximum Holding Time Safety Limit Chart and Section VI of Dr. Snyders Manual can be reviewed HERE...

    Dave, If you wish to debate the validity of this information further, I suggest contacting Dr. Snyder or his Assistant Lynn in the following manner... 
    Dr. Snyder can be reached in any of the following ways:
    US Mail: SnyderHACCP; 4785 Hodgson Road, #114, Shoreview, MN 55126


    For general questions and information, please contact Lynn at:


    There is more to be learned about Food Safety than what is available reading FOOD SAFETY NEWS and USDA FACT SHEETS...JJ
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you Chef JimmyJ....   You have provided exactly the information necessary to prove the FDA Food Code Rules are well intentioned....  


    The FDA can provide no validation that the 6-hour cooling is necessary, or any scientific study as the source for the 6-hour standard.  The only scientifically based safe cooling study, as found in the USDA 9 CFR 318.17 (2), is that reported by Juneja et al (4).  This study showed that there was only about a 1 log multiplication of Clostridium perfringens when cooked hamburger was cooled continuously from 130 to 45°F during a 15-hour cooling period simulating cooling in a commercial retail food service refrigeration unit.


    So, the USDA / FDA / FSIS have been shown to "pick" non defensible positions for "safe food handling practices", yet those guidelines are "more than safe" due to their "leaning to the safe side"...  I guess that opens the door to a contrary position with any member that suggests using the FDA recommendations....

    It is good to know that if a member tries to suggest using the FDA food code guidelines, there is always the chance of a stab in the back from a well intentioned moderator citing outlier data....  Looking at the test results, the "outlier" data is correct and the food is safe....   however, the FDA chose to lean to the side of additional precaution...  Making the storage time less than one additional "shift" so to speak in place of the "15" hours that may be perfectly safe seems reasonable...  in some instances...

    So, lets not extrapolate this information out to the point it is safe in all situations....   Lets stick to the basic FDA / USDA / FSIS guidelines as they are written...  

    We are not the makers of the law, we are the followers....
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    " Stab in the Back "??? Hardly. Clarification and further education? If necessary...JJ
    russell page likes this.
  15. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Okay, boys lets get this thread back on track...

    Here's the link to Todd's excellent products that will help you get better smoke flavor using your Traeger, that was the root of ther question right????

    Here's a photo of the oval expanding tube doing what it does best!

  16. bena

    bena Meat Mopper

    Here is Todd's maze in a Smoke-It #3D  if you were looking at that footprint needed or that option for additional smoke.   I got 12 hours or more each time I fill it.    I would recommend if you do go that route to microwave the pellets for the 90 seconds to rid them of some moisture.
  17. ndkoze

    ndkoze Smoke Blower

    Do you move your food to the left side of the smoker to prevent drippings from falling on the smoke tray?
  18. bena

    bena Meat Mopper

    it was a cold smoke so I didn't have any but in the circumstance I would make a little tin foil tent or use those little cheap tin foil trays over the top. 
  19. russell page

    russell page Fire Starter

    I removed this at your request and certainly failed to point out that this was only for most food that was previously cooked to safe temp.  I did say this was my guideline. 

    It is based on: hold

    The FDA must  write it's guideline to cover the most simple minded persons. Folks on this forum are not in that category 

     and I will not comply with censorship in the future unless I am asked to do so by a moderator.
  20. russell page

    russell page Fire Starter

    Back on track?? The original question was "my question is it safe to cold smoke poultry beef or pork for let's say an hour or so with a amnps to get that good smoke flavor and then cook to temp as usual?"

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