Food Safety

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Apr 10, 2007
Great White North
I've been reading various tips and hints here on SMF and I've noticed people talking about bringing their meat out of the fridge for an hour or so before cooking, and letting their meat sit (wrapped up, in a cooler usually) for a couple of hours after cooking.

Is this safe? It sounds good to me, but I seem to recall food safety info talking about not letting uncooked meat sit out, etc.
It's cold from the fridge and wrapped it only sits for a short time.

I wouldn't do it with chicken though.

The smoked meat is double wrapped and kept warm in the cooler. After an hour it's still really hot! Not to worry.
So... once you've reached maximum smoke penetration (at like 140F), would it be safe to then refrigerate the meat and finish it off the next day?
All winter long I brined chicken & salmon in open coolers over night in my garage (not in the fridge), then let the meat sit on a rack to dry in the open air, then smoke it. I never had a problem because it was cold outside. I wouldnt brine now unless it was in the fridge. But I would air dry it on a rack (out of the sun) for an hour or so with a fan blowing on it before putting it on the smoker. It works out nice putting the meat on at room temperature vs real cold.
Food safety concerns are greatly exaggerated.

It's a wonder that our ancestors made it out of the stone age without cryogenic refridgerators.

My mother left cooked food out on the table overnight without problems. The food was covered up to keep the flies out, but that was it. This included chicken.

Just some common sense is all one needs, but common sense is a rare commodity, it seems.

Raw meat should be brought to room temparature before cooking. It cooks faster and evenly.

Cooked food can sit for a long time on the counter. The danger area, the outside, is usually cooked and most harmful bacteria is destroyed. The interior is basically sealed, though enzymes will start breaking down the meat giving it that funky taste and smell.

Brining should be done in a cold environment if times are long. If brining for an hour, it's fine to leave covered in a cool environment. The brine will keep the meat safe.

Rubs are the same. Most rubs are on for short times before cooking. If times go beyond a couple of hours or you're not sure of the temparature, put it in the refriderator.
I think I may have found the answer to my question, at least in the case of brisket. This website - - is talking specifically about food safety during Easter and Passover meals, but it should still apply:

It sounds like I could smoke the brisket up to 145F (or to the plateau, at about 151F) on a Friday evening, say, then pop it in the fridge overnight, and finish it (in the smoker or the oven, since it will have reached maximum smoke penetration and will be wrapped in foil) the next day -- well in time for dinner and without having to stay up overnight.

Has anyone done this?
i have smoked a brisket, until it hit 175°, then put it in the fridge overnight. then i put it in the oven, at 250° until it hit 200°. was as good as any other brisket i have done. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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