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Fact or Fiction?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So I've heard mixed reviews on placing meat probes in raw meat before it gets a certain temperature. I want to keep from opening my MES 30 as little as possible but I've read that inserting the probe in raw can cause bad results. So which is it insert right at the beginning or wait until you wrap brisket/pork butt?
post #2 of 8

Under normal hot smoking conditions it is perfectly safe to insert the clean temperature probe into the raw meat. Any bacteria that are on the surface and taken into the meat by the probe will be killed off as the meat comes up to temperature. Once the temperature of the meat goes above about 130 F (54 C) the bacteria will start to be killed over time. By the time the meat gets up to 140 F (60 C) bacteria will be killed within about 10 minutes and by the time the meat goes above 65 C (150 F) and surviving bacteria would be killed in under 5 minutes. This is not a step process but is exponential. As the temperature rises the rate at which bacteria are killed over time also increases. By the time you have got your pulled pork or brisket up to temperature any bacteria that happened to be pulled in by the probe will be long dead. 

post #3 of 8
I always insert my probes at first. I do clean them throughly and sanitize with white vinegar though. What wade said insert at first with clean probes you should be fine.


Happy Smoking,
phatbac(Aaron)
post #4 of 8

If you sterilize the temp probe, and wait for the surface temp of the meat to get above 145 ish , (maybe an hour or two into the smoke) then you won't be pushing bacteria into the meat..    I usually wait until I know the meat is almost done...   Pork butts that will take 24 hours, I wait 16-20 hours to insert the probe..  I don't know of a good reason to temp probe cold meat...  Whole muscles are considered sterile on the interior...  no reason to screw it up...

post #5 of 8

I always insert mine in the beginning.  I do sanitize my probe by soaking it in 70% Isopropyl for 5 minutes and letting it air dry.  This will kill any bacteria that may be on the probe.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, looking forward to making some wonderful Q
post #7 of 8
I've never had any issues with my probes getting myself or people i serve bbq too. I do clean my probes very carefully with soapy water after each use. I always insert them in raw meat after placing them inside the smoker.

Your much more likely to get sick from cross contamination. Like using the same tray that had raw meat on it. And then using same said try to put cooked food on. I saw my friend do it at his house once. And never ate there again. Lol
post #8 of 8

This discussion has come up before. As a result I did extensive research, contacting the FDA, USDA and CDC. All agencies monitor reports of Food-borne Illness, Hospitalizations resulting from Food-borne Illness and source the cause. There is not a single documented case of Food-borne Illness from inserting a meat therm probe in raw meat, from any of the agencies. Stay in the Meat Therms have been around more than 60 years. If any one person or an entire family ended up in the Hospital from the therm in the Turkey...One of these agencies would have known about it they would have required a Warning with explicit instruction to wait X hours before inserting the therm. There are just no Safety issues known...JJ 

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