Injecting Pork Shoulders after 4hrs?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by flowercitysmoker, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. So after reading a few injections recipes, I tried it on a pork shoulder a couple of weeks ago. Actually did one with and one without to compare; all votes went to the injected ;)

    I started out by patting  rub on all sides but the 'top'.  I worked the needle around from the top before rubbing, never piercing the sides or bottom. I was nervous about piercing the muscle and 40-140*-in-4; I barely cleared it. So I looked around and saw mention of injecting after the meat has been smoking for 4 hours...

    Can anyone share some insight or experiences? Is it feasible? Safe? 
  2. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    Why do you think that it would not "be safe"?  As for "4 hours"...what the internal?  Hours mean zip. You want to inject while the meat is raw and able to absorb IMHO; not when the flesh is contracting.  I only pierce top and sides.
  3. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I inject raw myself also, have so for years. Just be careful what you start, purists roam the place. [​IMG]
  4. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    Thaw your meat inject your meat .Let sit as long as you can stand it 12HR good 24HR better.Cook at 220F to 250 max.Just boil your needles if your scared.Injecting is a whole new avenues of flavors .Only you will limit your self.
  5. I've read in other threads and other forums that the meat needs to reach 140 on the outer inch or so within four hours in order to kill bacteria. But only so long as you don't pierce the muscle. If you either inject or probe before 4 hours, you risk pushing the surface bacteria deep into the meat. My last smoke, it took 5.5 hours for the Injected Butt to reach 140 internally:


    I suppose that is the basis of my confusion... I've read that if you go low and slow, not to pierce the meat.  I've also read people injecting and probing from the start. I always have and never had a problem, but I would like to make sure I'm doing it right.
  6. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    I've also read where you should never breathe the air, cross a busy street, look up while birds are flying and even, never get married.[​IMG]
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The postings on Not Injecting Raw Meat, Only Piercing the meat after the Exterior has passed 140*F and the 140*F internal temp in 4 Hour Rule is based on USDA recommendations. Some of us, more or less, have agreed, to follow the USDA in our posts to keep the Inexperienced Smokers safe.

    Yes if you wash a hunk of meat, rub it first with a Salty Rub and then Inject with more Salt and a Vinegary liquid or even simply Apple Juice, the chances of contaminating the interior of the meat is Extremely Low. BUT when it comes to Sausage, Fatties and Cured Meats, your Butt and your families Health is on the line, IF you don't follow the USDA Guide lines.

    I can tell you FROM EXPERIENCE, that FOOD POISONING IS NO JOKE!. Seven days of spending most of my time on the Toilet with a Bucket in my hands and sleeping on the Bathroom Floor because I was TOO WEAK to walk, was the WORST Experience in my Life! And no the Antibiotics didn't help... Stick to the recommendations.

    In my Sanitation and Safety ServSafe classes I told my students all the time, " Just because Grandma defrosted the Turkey on the counter for 40 years and nobody DIED, don't make it a good idea to KEEP doing it that way!"...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The "purists" sole purpose is to make sure everyone is aware of what can cause problems.  If we say. contrary to safety guidelines, that it is OK to inject meat prior to reaching temperatures then you will have un informed people injecting raw, unsafe marinades into large clods of meat and taking 14 to 18 hours to get to proper internal temperatures.   They may not get sick, but if they do then they will at least know why they got sick.

    This is a public forum, a lot of people read it and it is our responsibility to make sure new smokers learn proper procedures.

    Personally if I am going to inject a piece of meat I will bring the liquid to a boil prior to injecting and make sure the needle has been either boiled or wiped in alcohol.  I also only inject smaller cuts that will come up to internal temperatures in the proper time frame to insure its safety.  Larger cuts get injected after the surface temperatures reach 140 degrees

    If you are going to break the rules I hope we at least give you enough information that you can follow the other procedures that reduce your risk.    Proper handling of the raw meat, clean utensils, reduce penetrations of the intact muscel, safe final temps

    Contrary to popular perception the Purists are not food safety cops.  Just members of the forum that want to educate you on the proper techniques.  If you wish to deviate from that, fine, no problem on my end.  Just do me a favor and mention that you are doing something that may not be safe when you make a post.  That way a new reader will ask the proper questions and be taught the correct methods.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  9. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    Seven days of spending most of my time on the Toilet with a Bucket in my hands and sleeping on the Bathroom Floor because I was TOO WEAK to walk, was the WORST Experience in my Life!  

    Are you sure it was food Jimmy? Sounds like my younger days, talking to God on the big white telephone.

    Al & Jim:

    If the clod is washed thoroughly in cold water to remove residue and

    always refrigerated,

    then marinated in a sealed freezer bag with vinegar (etc.) and

    kept within a refrigerator until it is rubbed & injected with a clean hypo &

    then sealed in a fresh bag and returned to the fridge prior to smoking.

    Is there an obvious fly in the ointment?

    I once worked in supermarket butcher areas and saw what I "saw", so I do not worry about my proceedure killing me. I saw the quarter come off the truck at the curb and be processed into the show case. I raised and slaughtered my own beef and small stock besides doing venison. I'm still not a vegetarian!!! 

    Protection is in the cooking.

    That's my proceedure. It isn't a perfect world and there is always the "X Factor". Yuh pays yuh money and yuh takes yuh chances. 
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hey KK nice to hear you survived the Chimney rebuilt.

    Yes, following the procedure you described for the Clod will be perfectly safe 99% of the time. I just think the inexperienced should be educated, can't help myself I'm a teacher, on what can happen the other 1% of the time.

    If you or I Prayed to the Porcelain God for 7 days, that would have to have been a HELL OF A BENDER!...JJ
  11. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    As long as you remember that heat does not necessarily destroy the toxin

    No sense in discussing the finer points.  If you say what you do is safe, then continue to use it.  I don't know enough to agree or disagree.  There is a procedure in the food code to have methods that fall outside of the standard reviewed and decided upon by the issuing agency.  I don't remember the term but I know some of the chefs on this forum have done it.

    You mention seeing what you have seen working in a supermarket.  That is why it is important to make sure what we do is safe.  You don't know what you are getting either from the market or your backyard.   Do the right thing when you can and you will not compound any potential problems and tend to not add additional risk.

    High concentrations of acid (vinegar) in your marinade may act as a bactericide for some stains but I am not making a generic statement that vinegar will kill all pathogenic bacteria, spores, viruses whatever without doing a bit of research.

    Good Luck

    I'm sure you will be fine and the food will come out delicious.

  12. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    As the great sage and philosopher Forrest Gump often said, "Stupid is as stupid does".  So we continue to do the best we can and we never throw caution to the wind. That last one isn't a gumpism.

    Yup JJ. Today I am at ground level.  

    I just thoroughly cleaned the smoker. It takes 30 minutes. I do it after every smoke. It's all part of the process. Some people don't bother.

    Come to think of it; wouldn't a dirty, crusty, coated with grease smoker be a harbinger for bacteria and disease?

    There! Now that's pushing the envelope for sickness and death but I don't ever remember the point being brought up here before.

    Crud is macho. Crud is King. Crud rules.
  13. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  14. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member


    If you get to 140 in 4 hours we all agree you can inject all you wish with basically any safe marinade you wish.

    Not sure what you mean by over responsibility?  If you say that Purists shouldn't comment or clarify when potentially unsafe information is put on the forum then I respectfully disagree?

    I would need to get a second opinion but "almost freezing" a marinade slows the growth of bacteria in the marinade but within a short period of time after injecting the marinade is at the meat's temperate and bacterial activity gets a kick start.  I know freezing is effective for Tric but to have any affect on bacteria and spores you need to freeze for long periods of time.

    I inject chicken and small turkeys regularly before smoking.  I boil the injection, then run temps high enough to get the bird out of the danger zone as fast as possible.  I usually do not inject pork butt or brisket.  No need to, I like the flavor and moisture of the meat without injecting.

    When I do large turkeys I will not inject until after the bird has been on the smoke for a while.  I will make a marinade of butter, garlic, soy sauce, salt, bring to a boil and inject to help moisten the breasts of the bird

    Maybe you can point out how I am "breaking the rules"?  If I am please show me where I am making my mistake and I will correct my procedures.

    Not sure how the "Bacon calculator" comes into a conversation about injecting.   A lot of the credit for the bacon calculator goes to the comments I received from other members of the forum that reviewed and edited it.

    Thanks Meateater

  15. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    Not to beat a dead horse BUT.............. I just returned from a doctor visit this afternoon.  He knows of my interest and said this:

    "I went to a chicken & rib joint and when the chicken came to the table, I said this looks under cooked. It's pink". 

    The server said, "No; it's perfect. That's the smoke ring". 

    He continued, "Who am I to argue. They smoke and BBQ all of the time.......... I just got out of the hospital last week. I had salmonella poisoning".

    One never knows; do one?
  16. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If its red at the bone it not cooked! 

    How many times have you been to a restaurant and gotten undercooked fried chicken?

    If doc got it from the smokehouse then someone else got it from the smokehouse.  I'd be interested to find out if anyone else got sick.  Goes to show you, cook to temperture.
  17. kielbasa kid

    kielbasa kid Smoke Blower

    Al: I don't order chicken or chop meat out UNLESS it's White Castle Rat Burgers; a dozen at a time.  During the early 50s, we got them 5 for 24 cents with a news paper coupon. 

    He was zapped in a restaurant that smokes.  I'd say that it he wouldn't let it drop there but I don't get into personal stuff like litigation issues. He didn't name the, "chicken and rib joint".

    BTW: Take a gander at my smoker's SS table top. It came from a White Castle renovation[​IMG]
  18. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I'm a bit younger then you are but I remember in the early 60s going up to the White Castle on Airline Hwy in Metairie Louisiana.  One day they had a contest that winners received free burgers.  It was a stroke of luck that I paid for 4 burgers and ended up eating 20 something burgers.  Just little gems of greasy goodness.  Still love those little sliders, I think the term sliders had a double meaning!

    Watch the newspaper  stories of retaurants getting people sick always seem to make news.   If they can prove it came from the BBQ joint they will probably go out of business even if they have good insurance.

    We have what used to be a Pit Grill in Slidell.  15 some odd years ago the new owners of the building noticed a smell.  A guy had tried to climb down the stove exhaust system and got stuck.  It was too greasy to climb out.  To this day all these years later you can say lets go to dead guy and people know where to meet you.
  19. What amazes me is the good doc more then likely had salad with his meat but when he got sick meat gets the blame. Most food poisening that i have read about comes from the salad bar.

    My first question to someone that got sick at a resturant is did they test the meat and did you have salad.

    Love the pink meat and allways cook the bird to temp so it wont be over cooked.

    Never use them da&* popup temp guage.



  20. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Interesting thread!

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