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question about tenderness

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
So I have been reading people's posts about tenderness and internal temps, so does the internal temp tell when you when it's done? Or when it's safe to take out? And to get your meat tender should yoy cook it longer then the internal temp should be? I'm all kind of confused now lol
post #2 of 10
It depends on what your end results are your looking for and the cut of meat you are cooking.

Pork lion for slicing 145
pork butt for pulling 190-205
All poultry 165
beef for slicing depends on the doneness you desire. Rare 130
and so on........

Some cuts of meat are better at lower temps and others have to be cooked longer to get tender.
post #3 of 10

 The connective tissue in meat breaks down at internal temps above 130°F, and is somewhat accelerated as the internal temp goes up. An 8lb pork butt smoked to an IT of 180°F in a 225 smoker, and held there for say, 24 hours, will get fall apart tender. Same butt smoked at 225 to 205° only takes 14-16 hours. Smoking at 350°F for about 4-6 hours will do the same as the IT gets higher faster. Adding moisture reduces the time the breakdown takes but has a negative on the bark...JJ

post #4 of 10

James, all good points above.  Just remember that every type of meat (poultry, pork, beef, lamb, game, etc) is different and each cut of meat (loin, tenderloin, chuck, shank, flank, belly, etc) can have different target internal temps to determine when it is safe to eat and tender.  There are a lot fewer target temps than there are cuts of meat.

 

Poultry is the easiest: coldest part of the chicken should be 165F internal temp, which on a whole chicken/turkey is usually the thigh. 

 

Lean pork is usually 145F IT, unless you pierce the meat by injecting, then 165F.  Tougher cuts like the butt/shoulder need higher temps, up to 205F to be tender and melt the connective tissue. 

 

Beef is all over the temperature map. 

 

When you buy meat, do a search on the type of meat, then the cut, then the cooking style to get ideas of your target temps. 

 

For example, type "What is the target internal temperature for smoking beef chuck roast" then enjoy the reading.  It isn't an exact science but you'll quickly learn what works best for you and your smoker.  I tend to aim for the higher target temps to start then adjust downward if necessary.  On tough cuts like brisket and chuck, a five degree difference in your final target temp can make a huge difference in moisture and tenderness.  195F can be tough and dry, 200 moist and tender.  On a different chuck roast it can be moist and tender at 190F.  Learn the "probe test" too to help determine when it is done.  A toothpick or long-tonged fork should slide into the meat like sticking it in a room temperature stick of butter.     

 

My wife says she'd make a terrible smoker.  She wants exact measurements, cooking times and temps.  She's a great baker for that reason.   Smoking meat has a lot of variables that you quickly master with a little experience.        

post #5 of 10

James , your best bet is to start and keep a "Log Book " of all your Smokes . This is invaluable to learning to Smoke and cuts the learning curve in half...

 

If you have any questions  , ask and we will help...

 

Have fun and . . .

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldschoolbbq View Post

James , your best bet is to start and keep a "Log Book " of all your Smokes . This is invaluable to learning to Smoke and cuts the learning curve in half...

If you have any questions  , ask and we will help...

Have fun and . . .

A MEN! A logbook for anything you do repetitively will provide you with very valuable information.

Great things to track are pit temp, ambient temp, wind speed and direction (yes, it plays a role), meat temp at time you put it on the pit (fresh from frig, or was it close to room temp), average temp cooked at, and finally, the internal temp when you pulled the meat from the pit. Then add information about how the cook turned out, good, bad, ugly, made the dog sick, etc....

Please note, nothing was said about time cooked.... The only thing you need with a dial and numbers is a thermometer.

As you get more cooks under your belt, and info into the logbook, you'll begin to see a pattern.

Also, as said above, different cuts/types of meats require different temps and also provide different levels of tenderness. Think steak, a ribeye at 130 will be a tender cut of meat and is cooked fairly fast. Now cook a sirloin to 130 and it's gonna be a bit tough...
post #7 of 10

                                                                                                                                                 :deadhorse:

 

Betty 010 - Copy (2).JPG you ain't kidding , Buddy . ..

 

  I don,t always use a thermometer , but safety says to me , 76.gif, do it for 'Safety' . . .

 

Oh, and as you BBQ . . .

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Maybe I'm just over thinking things and just go out and cook.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesedw1 View Post

Maybe I'm just over thinking things and just go out and cook.

Yep!

Got questions, just shout!
post #10 of 10

The USDA recommended temps are a minimum for safety.

 

For good food, the good folks on this forum are a great guide.

 

Good luck and good smoking.

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