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Something To Think About

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've read that bacteria grows roughly half an inch into the outside of meat. This allows us to cook the outside half inch of the steak to temp, and we are able to enjoy our steaks at a tender medium rare.

Here's the conundrum...

Let's say I'm grilling a thin steak like a half inch flat iron steak. By rule, since the steak is so thin and bacteria can penetrate all the way to the center, I must bring the entire steak to temp. Therefore, a steak thinner than 1" (.5" each side) must be brought to temp on all parts of the steak.

That means a steak thinner than 1" (which is not all that thin really) cannot be safelyserved rare, medium rare, or medium. Only medium well or well done.

What's up with that?!! wazzapp.gif

Thoughts?
post #2 of 12

I'll let the of food handling experts  chime in . but  normally a thin steak unless you only sear it on both sides would get to a safe temp. Me personally im not as worried about beef as I am chicken and pork.. Ok experts tell me im wrong about beef:popcorn

post #3 of 12
From what I have read, the interior portions of poultry and beef and pork are "sterile" so to speak... probable exceptions are parasites like worms etc......
When meat is cut, the bacteria on the surface is now added to the new surface... If the meat is kept cold, below 40 ish, the bacteria doesn't grow or grows very slowly.....
Soooooo, if the meat has been kept cold, (not allowed to come up to room temp etc.), it can be slapped on a hot grill or frying pan and the surface bacteria will not have had time to penetrate the meat... or something like that.....
Salting the surface of meat can have a similar effect of "stopping the growth" of surface bacteria......
Injecting meats can push surface bacteria into the center portions of any meat...
I watched a cooking show recently where the chef ordered only primals of beef..... salted the exterior heavily.... then cut meat for eating raw... I suppose he/she sanitized the knife between each cut.... who knows.... I sure don't....
Anywho.... when you want to eat a thin slice of meat, cooked rare or black and blue, I recommend purchasing a roast, do the salt thing and slice and cook.... if you want to go that far with the bacteria thing...
I grind my own burger from chuck roasts.... slice my steaks from large cuts of meat..... It's cheaper and I "think" I know what I'm getting...
post #4 of 12

Much like James, I am no food microbiologist but..... I believe that the quality of the product brought to market these days has risen to such a level that most of the  problems of old are no longer warranted. I am not saying they have been eradicated only that we have safe water to rinse with, refrigerated storage in every house, antibiotic soaps (which I have seen become publicly used in my life time), we wash more and have clean disposable towels, etc etc etc....... We are not the same as we were even 50 years ago as to food safety directly and indirectly.

 

Most of the rules that are written are from back when they were needed, much like the laws, they simply stay on the books easier to leave them than to amend them. Why we have even seen the required cooking times to guarantee safeness reduced even again this century. We continue to progress. And its all be cause of innovations as well as education.

 

I am not saying there are no bugs anymore or you should stop worrying about them. I am saying that your chances today are so much greater of no damage due to breaking the rules, that sickness due to poor handling is so diminished, that if you do break the rules your chances of illness from it are the exception to the rule vice the norm of yesterday. 

 

If you can think back to when there was little national news, and it was by paper or radio. You didn't see stories about people getting sick due to poor handling, cooking, or growing procedures, it just wasn't news. Today its just the opposite, it happens so seldom that it is a major national news story.

 

Someone has done a great job in advancements as well as education, and some rules although we should be aware are not quite as important as they were yesterday. Use common sense.

 

I have had food poisoning, it wasn't fun, and of all places to be really no fun, I had it for a week in boot-camp. I won't bore you with all those funny details. But today, if it happens its pretty much just a case of the GI's and who doesn't have a bottle or a pill in their medicine cabinet today to plug that problem? Nip it in the butt!

 

If you are going to cook, you have to be observant, use fresh meat and not at its due date. Follow the handling procedures you know are important, but mostly use common sense. Common sense is another word for wisdom, its applied knowledge.

 

If you like your steak rare, keep it cold till cooking, check that due date, wash your hands, follow sanitary procedures, if you do all that right you probably will not have a problem. BUT if you don't want to be bothered, either pick a different thicker steak or roll the dice. Its all on you to decide, there are no residential food police.

post #5 of 12

Food for thought for steak buyers; My friend is a butcher and he says when buying steaks always look for the marked down steaks that have started turning brown ''most people wont buy '' He said they are more tender steaks because they have started breaking down .

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great discussion guys! I totally agree with everything you're saying. I just love stirring the pot! biggrin.gif
post #7 of 12

your not allowed to agree to everything were saying pb.gif

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin Joker View Post

Great discussion guys! I totally agree with everything you're saying. I just love stirring the pot! biggrin.gif


So..... This was you playing a "joke" to get your jollies..... I sincerely apologize for thinking your were sincere, and taking the time to attempt to answer your question factually...
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveOmak View Post

So..... This was you playing a "joke" to get your jollies..... I sincerely apologize for thinking your were sincere, and taking the time to attempt to answer your question factually...

It's a legitimate question that deserves a legitimate answer. I think I have a good understanding about the safety of meat but I do not necessarily know the facts.

"Stirring the pot" is in reference to the fact that I know this type of question spurs a lot of discussion and thinking, and therefore the title of the thread.

Thank you for your response Dave!
post #10 of 12

I am going to lock this discussion right here; for one thing it is in the wrong section, it should be in the Food Safety section where Chef JJ can address it seriously and correctly.

post #11 of 12

@Pops6927 I am unlocking this thread since it seems to me that there was a slight confusion on the motive and meaning behind "stirring the pot" initially but that seems to have been handled just fine, explanation was made and I think it's a great and interesting discussion.

 

Keep it civil and discuss away folks!

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jeff.

I literally have 4, half inch flat iron steaks in my refrigerator right now, unsure if I can cook them medium. I'm sure I can, just trying to figure out the science of why I can!

Again, great discussion. Massive meat is usually what is addressed in these temperature threads. When you apply the same rules to thin cuts of meat, suddenly some things don't make sense.
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