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temp probe

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
At what point do I want to insert my temp probe into meat? Is it true that you don't place the probe into the meat until the outside of the meat has had time to cook?

post #2 of 25
I stick mine in from the beginning.....but I have heard both ways.
post #3 of 25
I have seen some folks here put it in as soon as they put the meat into the smoker I personally weight and let the meat cook alittle you don't have to but I think it cuts down on the ware and tear on the unit. If I'm smoking a brisket or a butt I usually wait for a few hours until I probe it and then stick the probe into the thinckest part of the meat too.
post #4 of 25
Only do it if she asks you too!
post #5 of 25
i only do it when the meat is starting to look done and has been on the grate long enough to be close to done. the reason for this is that i know what it's doing until then: it's cooking. my interest is in finished temperatures.
post #6 of 25
I stick mine in right before it goes in. Its worked for me so far.
post #7 of 25
This has been debated over and over and rehashed time and time again. I think it's pretty well been established that you do NOT insert your probe until...well...that depends on the type of meat. But never on a raw piece of meat.

Double Check my statements below. This gets confusing and I may be missing something. Maybe bbally will be along soon to set this straight.

If you're cooking whole intact muscle, then you want to insert a sterilized probe into the meat only after the outer 1/4" of meat has exceeded 140*F.

Please download the 2009 Food Code. It's only 700 pages so it's a quick read. tongue.gif You can find it in this thread here.

These are hard and fast rules meant to protect you and the poor suckers we're cooking for. If you do anything different that's up to you. But there are reasons the FDA publishes this kind of stuff. They've done the research and this is what will keep you from making people sick.

Hopefully bbally will be along and set the record straight. He seems to get this better than most of us.
post #8 of 25
the 40-140 applies to sitting meat (raw or finished). when discussing meat that is cooking and will eventually be above 140 degrees, no worries there.

ground meat (burgers or fatties) or meat such as tenderloin etc. that won't be brought up to such high temperatures deserve extra caution. ground meat should always go past 160. and tenderloins etc. should go at least past 140 (or maybe it's 139 now).

for shoulders, butts, brisket, ribs etc., these meats will be brought up to temperatures well past the danger zone, so don't worry about it.
post #9 of 25
This is the safest way to go, although in the past I myself have inserted the probe as the meat goes into the smoker. Bbally has it down to a safe science. Please take the time to read, and then make your own judgement.
Thanks for the heads-up Dude.
post #10 of 25
I don't understand why it would be a food safety issue if you are leaving the probe in the meat. The temp of the probe would rise along with the temp of the meat until the pathogens are killed both in the meat and on the probe right?

I can see you don't want to probe raw meat, then probe something else without sanitizing the probe first, but we're talking about leave-in probes.
post #11 of 25
You're breaking into the meat and that is where bacteria can set in and grow until it hits the safe zone. In other words, you're creating an exposed area.
post #12 of 25
However, poking a probe into a PrimeRib roast that you will be taking off at 165* internal, some liking it even more raw than that, is the example of boardline 'not safe idea'.
Since they take anywhere around 3 hours anyway, just wait 1-2 hrs before inserting.

I know what your saying but I think it has to do with meats that DON'T reach safe temps inside.
post #13 of 25
When I start a cook, I use the probes to measure the cooking chamber temps at various places on the cooking grate so I can adjust the baffle to get the temps as uniform across the chamber as I can. I will usually move one probe into a butt around the 4 hour mark & leave it for the rest of the cook. For whole chickens, around an hour to an hour & half.
post #14 of 25
ground meat (burgers or fatties) or meat such as tenderloin etc. that won't be brought up to such high temperatures deserve extra caution. ground meat should always go past 160. quote]

My subject is GROUND BEEF. The above statement would seem appropriate for store-bought ground beef, however, does it apply to beef that I bought as whole and then ground up myself, for use in grilled or broiled Gourmet Burgers (that recipe is a whole different thread)? Wouldn't it then be treated like whole beef and taken to the temp we prefer, such as 135* for rare, resting up to about 140*, as in a whole steak?

As far as when to insert the probe: Being a newbie, I read all the material (even the "700" page document, actually those pages that applied to the subject) and came away with the understanding that you needed to allow the exterior of the meat or item to get above 140* (or now, 135* apparently) and to be bathed in that temp for at least 30 minutes, thus killing the bad microbes. Once this has been accomplished, you can insert the sterilized probe without fear of dragging the bad microbes into the "raw" meat.
post #15 of 25
What if you were to soak the probe in a large glass of Tequila for 30 minutes insert it into the meat then drink the Tequila? I think the meat would be safeicon_eek.gif

post #16 of 25
It's my understanding that as soon as you expose the meat to the air, be it grinding or inserting a probe, you must now treat that as ground meat and cook to the appropriate temperature.

But you did a good job of explaining what I was trying to regarding the insertion of the probe only after the outside of the meat has heated to the appropriate temperature.
post #17 of 25
I think it just depends on your internal meat temp....if your smoking to 190 it doesn't matter what bad stuff you put in there, its gonna die.

I just don't understand why I have to wait for the outside to be 140, when the inside is going to be above 140 too for a long long time before I take it off. Anything thats killed by 140 degree temps on the outside, that is then transplanted to the inside....will in turn die at above 140 temps when the internal reaches it as well.

Now if you insert bacteria in the internal, oxygen depleted environment and let it sit at 120-130 for 6 hours and then eat it....yeah thats a really really bad idea.

Not trying to stir things up, maybe I just don't get it, but it seems simple to me, maybe its not that simple. I was always taught that finishing temps are what matter most.
post #18 of 25
Thread Starter 


Well OK then. I think I unsderstand both ways of thinking. Let outside cook to over 140 and insert, no problem. Stick probe in raw meat like a chuckie where the internal temps will get well above the 140 mark, i would again think no problem.

I think I will just wait a bit before inserting.

Thanks all and happy smoking.

post #19 of 25
LOL. Didn't know what kind of can of worms you were opening did ya. tongue.gif

It's been a pretty sensitive subject around here lately. Here's a copy/paste from another thread from today. Very good info and a MUST READ

I would suggest reading these posts by bbally which were covered back in December.

This thread will tell you basically everything you need to know and the man explaining it is
both a ServSafe Instructor and a HACCP Instructor.


Here you can get the 2009 USDA Food Safety Guide from his site.
post #20 of 25
Actually I think it is the outer 1/2". But good info none the less, Dude.

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