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Cool down food safety

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My smoker has 2 1000 sq inch racks. So I can do quit a bit of food at one time. I freeze some \ refrigerate and have diner for family. On the food I am cooling to reheat I want to make sure I cool it fast enough. I can over load my meat refrigerator. I have been putting ice packs one the zip lock bags. Have done safe food handler class. So keep bags flat and thin. Have thought about trying to set up cooler with ice water bath. But don't want a bag to leak and ruin food. Blast freezers/chillers seam to be big $. There are 3 teenagers for a total of 5 of us so this only lasts us about a couple of weeks and I don't have time to smoke more often. Thank you.
post #2 of 7

Break down whatever you are smoking, pull pork, etc. Bag as you described you can cool on the counter, covered for up to an hour then the refer will get it under 40 by the 2 hour mark and you will be fine...JJ

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Would it be of any value to put it in ice? I was thinking clean bus tub (food only) with ice. JJ how do restaurants do it if they are making pulled pork to reheat for sandwich ? Thank you
post #4 of 7

Restaurants cook what is needed for the day. Any leftovers go in 2" deep pans and in to the Walk-in refer. Meat cools quickly. Liquids are frequently Iced before going in the refer. If you wish to ice it, it will not hurt but it is not really needed...JJ

post #5 of 7
The smaller you can break things down the better as Jimmy said. The time clock starts when the product breaks the <140 mark. As Jimmy said the 2hr is a good mark if you can reach it. The faster the better, but you will find all kinds of time lines online with different agencies. In Florida we have up to 6hrs, but the company I work for has 4hrs. So the faster the better.

Just like with the smoker having air flow when cooling is important. If you feel you have to much product to safely cool in fridge and freezer , do the ice bath.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you
post #7 of 7

And liquids foods such as brunswick stew and baked beans will cool quicker if you can spread them out into a thinner layer in a large pan.   Although the volume will be the same, the increased surface area will let it give up heat to the fridge faster.  


It works the same way as what Jimmy J said about breaking down larger pieces of meat.  You are increasing the overall surface area to facilitate faster cooling.

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