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40 to 140 in 4...A Guideline and what to consider...

DanMcG

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Thanks Jimmy, I might have to hit the store for a london broil and try it.
 

johnmeyer

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Since we've decided to re-open this old thread, and since I missed it the first time around, let me take the opportunity to thank JimmyJ for his marvelous initial post.

His OP reminds me of a business teacher I had who would try to get the class to work together to cut through a really convoluted problem by saying: "Let common sense run rampant!"

The guidelines JimmyJ quoted, and that we've all seen posted here in SMF many times, are common sense and as such, they allow for us to use our own life experiences to guide us through the situations that guidelines (or even "rules") don't completely cover.

Well done, JimmyJ!
 

Bearcarver

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I've seen a bunch of these "Danger Zone" threads, but I believe this is the first I saw this one.
However this is the best one, and it's easy for Peeps to understand.
Thanks for another "Good One" Jimmy!!
Like.

Bear
 

chef jimmyj

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Thank you John, John and all for the kind words...JJ
 

bill ace 350

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You will often see this called, " The Rule " here at SMF. This RULE, a Guideline actually, is the most frequently misquoted and misused info on SMF. More perfectly good meat has gone in the garbage at the hands of this," RULE " then from folks cleaning their Refrigerator or Freezer!!!

Rules
have set parameters that cannot, under any circumstances, be exceeded...Guidelines set useful control points that need an action or review but leaves the operator open to interpret data and decide on action based on variables and changes.

Here is the 40 to 140 in 4 Guideline...

Uncured Meat that is not Intact as in Ground, Injected*, Boned/Rolled &Tied or have multiple Punctures to insert flavorings, should be cooked at a temperature, 225+, that will get the Internal Temperature from 40 to 140 degree in 4 hours.


If the Meat, a Pork Butt, Beef Brisket, Etc, is Intact, other than Therm Probe, it don't matter if the IT takes 4 hours or 24 hours to get above 140 if we want it there at all!!! The interior of muscle is Sterile, so there is no Bacteria to worry about.
The reason for the term Guideline over Rule is because if the meat takes 4 hours and 5 minutes to reach 140, or 4.5, 5 or even 6 hours, is all lost? NO! We add variables that need consideration. Bacteria rapidly grows to Unsafe Levels in, " The Danger Zone, 40 degrees to 140 degrees, " Only under PERFECT conditions. Bacteria need the right Temp, Moisture Level, sufficient Food and Time to grow. Remove, reduce or affect any of these and growth slows or stops. Like most of us, bacteria don't just jump out of bed and go to work. If conditions go from one of no growth to a condition that sustains growth the bacteria need time, often hours to Wake up and start multiplying This is called the " Lag Time " before growth. Then they need more time to grow from a few to dangerous levels. Additionally, where one type can still survive at the extreme of 140, many others slow or stop growing at temps as low as 120 degrees and are killed at 130 degrees if held there for sufficient time. Are THESE bacteria an issue if we run over 4 hours? NO again, they were dead an hour or so ago. Now add ingredients that Inhibit Bacterial Growth like Salt, Sugar, Alcohol and Acid, with a Wet or Dry Brine, Marinade, even Injected* and the 4 hours can be exceeded by a couple hours with no concern. (*Injecting Chicken or Beef Broth is more of a concern, than injecting a high salt brine or marinade that contains salt, sugar, acid or alcohol.)

Yes, we need to Cover our Butts and assume ANY or all types of bacteria may be on the meat and Handle it properly, watch smoker and internal temps, be aware of and follow "Guidelines".
Yes, we are here to learn, teach and help each other. However if you are going to tell a member in a panic to, " Toss that DEADLY meat out! ", based on a Guideline...You better Know what the 40 to 140 in 4 Guideline is and if YOU are unsure, reassure the panicked member to hang in there, that we can help and pass the question on.

You want a good " RULE "...It is NOT, " When in Doubt, Throw it out. " At SMF the Rule is, " When in Doubt, PM somebody that KNOWS the answer! "...JJ
 

texaspro

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"When in Doubt, PM somebody that KNOWS the answer" ---- I like that! I am in need of some help, if you guys can assist. We're having a party tomorrow afternoon so I smoked two briskets yesterday. I've probably smoked 40 briskets in my life and have always done them by time and feel (225 smoker temp), except for yesterday. I know, I know... Wife bought me a fancy WiFi thermo so as soon as they hit 200 IT, I pulled them both. Needless to say, after resting the meet, they were way to tough/under cooked. My bad. I rested them and put them in the fridge to figure out later. Went online later and saw that many people have done this and remedied it by re-heating the briskets in the oven, wrapped, and with a carton of beef broth in the wrap. So, I told my wife to set them on the counter this morning at 6 am (I stay up late and get up late). It's now 5 hours later and I am realizing that if I am going to re-heat/cook them, I should probably wait until tomorrow to do so, so I don't have to refrigerate them again and then re-heat before serving. Plan is now to re-heat/cook them tomorrow before the party.

So, here are my questions:

1) Am I screwed, since they sat out in room temp (72 degrees) for 5 hours or can my plan still work?

2) What temp would you recommend when cooking them a little more in the oven?

3) Is the beef broth a good idea?

4) Any other suggestions?

BTW, I know I screwed up and learned my lesson. I may use thermo's in the future, but will always go by feel and a minimum time.

Thank you!!!

- texaspro (apparently not at brisket this time)
 

chef jimmyj

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Tex, you are fine on sitting out. A 90% cooked, whole brisket is pretty inhospitable for bacterial growth. It's relatively dry, has a layer of Salt and Smoke is an anti-bacterial.
Wrapped or Easier yet, Panned with Broth and covered, will finish cooking to tender in a couple of hours at 325°F. Chop and Saute some Onion, Carrot and Celery, until gets golden. Add this to the Broth with a couple sprigs of Fresh Thyme, 1/2tsp Dry, and a Cup of Red Wine if available. Let the brisket cook and set aside to rest. Adjust the seasoning in the broth and strain. Hold Hot to serve the Beef AuJus. The Brisket will taste more like Pot Roast than Texas Brisket but, you will have rescued the meat and made a tasty meal...JJ
 

texaspro

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Great to hear on the bacteria, thanks!

Also a great idea on the brisket. I'm guessing there's no way to save it as a normal brisket rather than a pot roast? I've heard of people using a cup of coffee instead of beef broth.
 

tallbm

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Great to hear on the bacteria, thanks!

Also a great idea on the brisket. I'm guessing there's no way to save it as a normal brisket rather than a pot roast? I've heard of people using a cup of coffee instead of beef broth.
Hi there and welcome!

If your goal is to save it as a normal brisket I think that can be accomplished. I say this because I've had to do it once before and I my mother smokes briskets all the time, puts them in the fridge and then reheats them the next day. So I've eaten plenty that have gone through the process of refrigerating and then reheating and the reheat should help you fix your tenderness issue :)

I would suggest you put a temp probe in the thickest yet center most portion of the flat.
With the probe and wire hanging out wrap with 2 layers of foil in a way that will NOT let any moisture out (you may want to set the foil wrapped brisket in a pan just in case).

Adding a little beef broth won't hurt anything but I would suggest the amount just be enough to supplement keeping the brisket moist with it's own juices and not try to replace what you are not sure has even been lost.

Reheat in your oven until you hit about 200F and then at that point check for tenderness every few degrees until it is tender. You just have be sure you put the brisket in to reheat in the oven at a temp that gives you enough time to get the brisket tender, be ready for the meal, and allow it some time to cool off some for slicing.

Technically you could pull the brisket right when it is ready and attempt to slice it but you may find that it wants to tear up or fall apart a bit more than if it were at like an Internal Temp (IT) of 160-165F.

I hope this info helps you with your plan and I'm confident you can make it happen.

If you want a surefire tender cut of meat I am also confident that JJ's approach will work as well if you decide to go that route.

Let us know if this makes sense and what you decide :)
 

texaspro

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You guys are awesome. This is exactly the help I was looking for.

Tallbm - with your method, do you recommend 325 for a few hours as well? They're about 11 lbs./each (point and flat).
 

chef jimmyj

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Tallbm gave great advice. The Broth is essentially what changes Texas Brisket, or any tough Beef cut, into Pot Roast. You suggested you were going to add it, so I ran with the ball. Re-heating/Finishing dry or nearly dry, will give the closest result to fresh off the smoker. Good one Tall, didn't even think of your method...JJ
 

tallbm

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You guys are awesome. This is exactly the help I was looking for.

Tallbm - with your method, do you recommend 325 for a few hours as well? They're about 11 lbs./each (point and flat).
Yeah that would work, the trick is trying to figure out how long you need at 325F for two 11 pound pieces of meat.
If you hit tenderness and pull 4-6 hours early that is not a problem because you can just make sure they tightly wrapped in the double layer of foil, set the meat on top of one another and wrap all of that in 3 large bath towels and it will stay hot no problem 4-6 hours and when you unwrap to slice it will still be plenty hot (my guess around 180F).

Now if you finish very close to eating/serving time you may have meat that wants to fall apart a bit more as you slice it.
I really like about a 4 hour resting period so the meat can cool down just enough to behave better while slicing.

Another completely weird and/or lazy trick that works amazingly is to take a fully smoked brisket, double wrap in foil, and put in the fridge. The next day slice it cold and arrange it back in the same foil and tightly wrap it again so it all pushes back together perfectly. Then heat up the brisket to serving temp and serve when the meal/event happens.

What does this do? It allows you to get perfect slices since the brisket is 100% fridge cold and won't tear up on you whatsoever. This is a trick that people use if they overcook their briskets to a pull/shred/fall apart consistency when the brisket is pulled off the smoker.
This "lazy" technique works damn well... I know because my mother will super hot smoke a brisket in like 4-5 hours and not worry that it is pull/shred consistency. She will refrigerate it. The next day she pulls from the fridge, slices, tightly wraps in the foil, and then warm ups up the brisket and serve in chafing dishes for family gatherings. The brisket is always amazing hahaha.
Also you can do a whole bunch of briskets this way a few days ahead of time and keep from a time crunch or from killing yourself trying to do everything at once.
We have a LAAAAAAAARGE extended family and family gatherings so these things are quite tried and tested hahahah :)
 

tallbm

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Tallbm gave great advice. The Broth is essentially what changes Texas Brisket, or any tough Beef cut, into Pot Roast. You suggested you were going to add it, so I ran with the ball. Re-heating/Finishing dry or nearly dry, will give the closest result to fresh off the smoker. Good one Tall, didn't even think of your method...JJ
Where you were going makes sense and is a surefire way to save a brisket.

With such a large extended family and the amount of Brisket I've been exposed to in TX I've seen all kinds ways to fool with a brisket though I personally didn't tackle smoking a brisket alone until I began my solo smoking journey not too long ago :emoji_blush:

One of my favorite ways I see brisket saved or also "lazily" handled is that people smoke them with no care or consideration for pulling when tender and they then cut it into large pieces and put in a crock pot with some BBQ sauce (not an overdone amount).
From there they slice it in the crockpot for sliced brisket or just simply shred it (my favorite approach).
This leaves the meat tender and juicy no matter what! The applications become super versatile as well.
We're talking sliced brisket, chopped brisket, brisket sandwhiches, brisket tacos (mmm squeeze fresh lime on it), and brisket nachos! Hell I've seen plenty of BBQ brisket salads in my life as well from this approach hahaha.

I rarely see a brisket in Texas not turn out well :emoji_blush:
 

tallbm

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You guys are awesome. This is exactly the help I was looking for.

Tallbm - with your method, do you recommend 325 for a few hours as well? They're about 11 lbs./each (point and flat).
So I have some more oven based time and temp info.
Yesterday I roasted in the oven a 4-5 pound Pork Butt cut (bone in).
I put it in the oven uncovered at 350F around 11:30am and it hit 208F around 4:30pm.
I simply seasoned all over and put in an oil rubbed foil pan. No covering, no broth, nothing but the meat in the pan and the pan in the oven on the middle rack.

Why does this matter? Well it should give you an idea that an unwrapped, uncooked, 5 pound piece of meat from the fridge took me 5 hours at 350F.

NOW, this did stall for a little bit since it was uncooked.
Also this was uncovered/unwrapped so no help from that end.
I think that a well double wrapped mostly cooked brisket at 350F would maybe have a faster cook than my raw uncovered pork butt however you know what to expect from my oven cook yesterday.

I think you could take your brisket to tenderness and then hold it wrapped in towels or even in the oven with the oven turned off for quite a few hours before serving.

This info should help you get your brisket tender and help you figure out a timeline. Again it never hurts to finish a brisket 4-5 hours early, there is no solution for being late :emoji_blush:

Best of luck!
 

texaspro

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Fellas - One brisket turned out good, but the other is stew meat. I'd like to give/get feedback, but definitely don't want to hijack this thread any more than I already have. I know some admins are pretty strict on that stuff and as a new member, I don't want to go pissing in someone's Cheerios, haha. Where would be the best place to post the results and a few questions? Again, I really appreciate all the help. Overall, it was a great birthday.
 

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