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First Smoked Meatloaf....

Discussion in 'Fatties' started by Xendau, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I try not to confuse Sous Vide with other cooking methods.
    When I look up USDA & FSIS Ground Beef Safe cooking temps, I consistently get the following:
    160° IT is the safe IT.
    And also---Restaurants must take Ground Beef to at least 155° for 17 seconds. (Like in Post #18 above---Highlighted & underlined).

    Sous Vide is a whole different ballgame.
    Best way to avoid confusion is to not bring Temps used in SV to a discussion of other types of cooking.

  2. Xendau

    Xendau Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    The meatloaf was smoked my friend. (in best movie announcer voice) "No Sous Vide was used in the cooking of this meatloaf."

    When smoking, even using my FireBoard with ATC, I know I do not posses the skill it would take for any meat to sit at an internal temp for the period required for it to be cooked safely. I cant see using anything but a SV to cook something to a constant IT that is required (by USDA) to be safe to eat.

    Its pretty cut and dry though... Professional Culinary programs state 160-165 for ground beef. The very site you got the chart from (USDA/FSIS) states 160 minimum for ground beef.
    Bearcarver likes this.
  3. johnmeyer

    johnmeyer Master of the Pit

    One last time: the microbes don't know how the heat got there, so if they are brought up to the lethal temps, and stay there for the prescribed time, they will die. The method of heat application does not matter one iota. Sous vide, smoking, oven, microwave ... it doesn't matter.

    I realize that sous vide was not used in cooking the meatloaf. My reason for mentioning it is that because sous vide cooking provides incredibly precise temperature control of the heating environment, it has made possible the safe exploitation of the science contained in that chart I linked to. However, any other heating/cooking method that gets the meat to that temperature, and for that time, will also produce a safe result.

    And, just so everyone is clear, the reason the same USDA site recommends 160 for ground beef, or 165 for poultry is that those temperatures assure that all pathogens will be killed instantly. If you follow those recommendations, there is no room for people who don't know what they're doing to get into trouble. Thus, the safest thing for the USDA to do is to tell everyone to follow these guidelines.

    "Food safety for idiots," I guess you could call it.

    Having said that, please do not misunderstand or take offense: I am not calling anyone here an idiot. Instead, I am merely trying to get across the reason for why the USDA may appear to be giving out conflicting advice.
  4. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I think you will get your technique down. I agree that the oven approach may not be ideal for the smoker. I think adding your sauce at the end may yield the best results. That kind of stuff works well in the case of bbq sauce added at the end to finish the cook/smoke rather than adding at the beginning like can be done in the oven.

    Heck you can even do the entire thing without a sauce and add that at the table.
    I do meat loaf that has no sauces on it, though I do mix in some tomato sauce along with the seasonings and chopped veggies (onion and green bell pepper). The flavor from the tomato sauce is a great addition and I would never leave it out in my recipe.
    I eat my meatloaf with brown gravy so never been one for the tomato/ketchup on top but there are many ways to cook a meat loaf.

    Also maybe trying a different binding agent may help retain moisture. I use oatmeal which will disintegrate but being that it is a whole dry grain I think it is possible it holds up better and holds more moisture than bread crumbs over the amount of time the meatloaf spends in the smoker.

    These are all just suggestions so take from them what you like and leave what you don't. Smoked meatloaf is stupid amazing and I have evolved to doing mini individual served ones which is cool when every person gets their own entire mini meatloaf on a plate. Kind of like Cornish Game hens hahaha.

    And now to show you that I'm not just talking out of my butt about all this meatloaf stuff are some pics :)
    Keep it up and you will get it down!
  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Sorry for the Hijack, Xendau, it seems you know what you're doing.

    Meanwhile this idiot will continue to use the Pasteurization chart for all of my Sous Vide cooking, and I'll continue to use the safe Temp recommendations for other cooking.
    When I cook Beef in my SV, I prefer 132° water.
    But when I Smoke the same Beef I Prefer about 142°, or between 138° and 144°.
    And I'll cook my Meatloaf to 160° IT.


    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  6. Xendau

    Xendau Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    @Bearcarver - No worries my friend. I dont see what youve done as hijacking. You're simply trying to inform as I am.

    Thank you for the additional info, and backing. While I've graduated from culinary school, and worked in some of the nicest restaurants in Atlanta and Los Angeles... smoking is my heart.

    Sure I still do really nice plates when the occasion calls, but I prefer Que and comfort foods.

    At this point... its wasted breath. He quoted from a web site that has backed 160 minimum. I linked, and at this point feel to discuss further is futile.

    As an ex-personal chef, I would never cook ground meats or eggs, be low recommended temps without waiver signed by the client.

    What i do at home for me and my lady differs... from even when we have guests. I err on the side of caution.

    Last thing I need is a unhappy family, friend, etc... as I would like to get back into weekend q'ing publicaly
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member