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Need Help

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I prepped a brisket... Trimmed seasoned and injected, the problem is I wasn't able to cook.

I play amateur baseball and our games on Friday and Saturday were postponed due to rain, and it was still raining Sunday morning so I wanted to run a brisket.

Just before I was going to put the brisket on the smoker I got a call we were going to play...

What do I do? Freeze it till Saturday or just keep it in the fridge?
post #2 of 15

Should be fine in the fridge. I would vac-seal if you have one.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I don't have a vac-sealer but I guess I could wrap it good in Saran Wrap...
post #4 of 15

Do you still have the package it came in? If so, what was the packed on date? If that brisket had been sitting around for a while before you bought it then it might not make it a week. If it was fresh then you might be ok. The only thing that worries me is that you injected it so it is no longer a whole untouched piece of meat.

post #5 of 15

What I don’t know is having been injected, whether the extra marinating time be beneficial or detrimental. They sell pre-marinated meats in cryovac bags at the grocery store, so it seems like it would be OK.


Beef in Cryovac are actually wet aging when you buy them. The sell by dates can be misleading an in an abundance of caution. Many meats, even poultry are still good quite a while after the sell by dates.


I’m one of those that doesn’t think freezing is too damaging to meat. I freeze almost everything and still get restaurant quality and better rare boneless strip steaks off my grill. When cooking the stuffing out of something like we do with brisket I think it’s even less of a worry.


BUT…I’m also not freaky about meat in the fridge a little long in the tooth, especially if it is being smoked for a long time eventually.


My guess is you are probably good either way. Freezing may be the safer bet but wrapped in the fridge is probably OK for the six days. It may even be better.


Even if you had a food saver, you would need the big bags at least. I suppose its way too big for a gallon Ziploc? That is an alternative, squeezing all the air out, if it fits.


I also assume the reason you want to wait till Saturday is you work during the week. I also suppose you know you don’t have a game next Saturday?

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
It's still about 15 lbs so a gallon bag would be to small, and you are correct about the reasoning for waiting. I work Monday-Thursday 7-5:30 and 6-12 on Fridays... No game Saturday so that was the plan as far a the cook schedule.

I really wasn't affraid of having te meat "rot" in te fridge... It's only injected with some Worcestershire and beef broth I just wasn't sure if the flavor would be dramatically changed. I'm pretty old school as far as food that's been "outdated", and was just looking to see if a similar situation had happed to anybody else and what their results were.
post #7 of 15

I’m not sure I’ve had a 6 day marinade, but three days I know I’ve done. In my experiences it has simply amped the flavor up. What I don’t know is what happens to the tissue from the marinade at so long a sit.


Knowing your injection now, especially if the ratio is more broth than Worcestershire, I would think you would be OK. I would be more concerned if it was a high acid injection like citrus or vinegar that the tissue would start breaking down and change the end product negatively somehow.


If you let it stay thawed, come back and tell us how it turned out. Would be good to know.

post #8 of 15

I had a similar situation with a turkey breast I thawed out overnight. Things came up and couldn't get to it till next weekend. Similar I say but not exact. It was still in its packaging and hadn't been injected. I just put it in the back in the fridge, at the very back where it's coldest. Smoked it the next weekend-though I cranked the heat on it big time at first to get past the 140/4 rule, then backed it down. Came out very tasty.


Beef is much more resilient than poultry though so I'd say you have a good shot at it being fine. Use your judgement. I'm in no way promoting saying "hey your good to go, cook that sucker"



post #9 of 15

I guess I am the odd man out leaning towards the safe side. When you unpackaged it and injected it you introduced bacteria into the inside of the brisket that would not normally be there. If you smoke a 15lb brisket low and slow than you could easily end up with the internal temp staying below 140 for longer than 4 hours. This scenario could result in bacteria multiplying to a point where cooking it does not kill it off. Is this guaranteed to happen? No. Are the odds high of it happening? No. But if you will be feeding this to anyone else you have to take their safety into account and do your best to follow the USDA guidelines.


As I asked before, do you know the package date? (not the sell by date). If you bought a cry-vac brisket that was packaged 4-5 weeks ago and it will sit for another week than you are pushing the limits of how long it is good for even without injecting it.


Not trying to rain on your parade but it needs to be stated that your method does have some risk to it. If it was me I would have already frozen it as a brisket will hold up fine in the freezer. I would then thaw it the day before in a cooler of ice water as that is faster than in the fridge and still keeps it at a safe temp. 

post #10 of 15

Interesting, I’ll have to do the research on the FDA and the 4 hours thing and the bacteria that won’t be killed at 180-200°.


Sounds like there is a “holding temp/time” guide I need to find. Something like “above 40° and below 140° for more than 4 hours?.


Thanks for the heads up.


Also, I wonder if the salinity of the broth and Worcestershire would actually inhibit bacteria growth…even bacteria that was introduced with the needle. Salt and acid obviously have been used for millennia to preserve.

post #11 of 15

You should be good , keep your fingers crossed . Mine are  for you thumb1%20copy.gif

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is there bacteria that isn't killed off at 180-200? I re-wrapped it last night and placed it back into the fridge. I don't have the original wrapping it came in... So I have no idea if it was 3 days or 90 days old.

I realize this isn't the exact same thing because of the rub/injection but it is similar...
post #13 of 15

Here is a good article that discusses some heat resistant bacteria:


As I said above, the odds of having a problem are low but as @Foamheart has said before, someone wins the lottery and those odds are low too. 

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I read the article, it doesn't state that bacteria can live at temps we take the meat to on normal smoking practices... That said it also states no bacteria can grow below freezing, so I think I'll freeze it for tonight-Thursday and live with a second freeze/thaw of the brisket
post #15 of 15

The table on the bottom said that certain bacteria are heat resistant and that the spores can remain even after cooked. I have seen else where that certain spores like Botulism spores are only an issue with infants and elderly but I don't know that for sure.

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