It's a GUIDELINE not a Rule!

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chef jimmyj

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Anything cooked Well Done does not gain anything sitting on the counter to warm. If Injected or otherwise no intact, you are asking for trouble. I do let Beef warm up a couple hours before cooking. I heavily Salt Beef, dry brine, so there is little to worry about. Up to 2 hours on the counter won't hurt anything.
Yes the commonly used timing guidelines above are for Refer to Smoker...JJ
 
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Blues1

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Feb 10, 2020
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You will see many posts like,
At 275° a Spatched Turkey will probably take 20 minutes a pound to an IT of 165 in the Breast.
At 225 a Butt will likely take 1.5 to 2 hours a pound to 205.
At 225 a Brisket will usually take 1 to1.5 hours per pound to 195.
These are simple to remember, easy for a Newbie to understand and have many years of Pitmaster's experience that have provided these Estimates.
The biggest misconception....Calling any time per pound a RULE! For instance, 1 to 1.5 hours per pound at 225, to an IT of 195, for Brisket is a GUIDELINE, A TOOL, A TIMING ESTIMATE. It is in No Way an End All, Be All RULE! Now, since this X hours per Pound at Y°F is based on decades and generations of experience using pits of all kinds, these Guidlines are useful to get an " Idea " when to start smoking the meat to be done or close to done, in a specific time frame, like a 5pm Supper.
Of course every piece of meat is different. A Thick and Short 10 pound Porkloin, is going to take a bit longer than a Thinner and Longer 10 pound Porkloin. But, unless you are cooking ahead and don't care how long it takes, Everyone needs some kind timing to go by.
X hours per pound at Y°F until and IT of Z°F, is a Solid Plan for the meats they are intended for. However, it's just an Educated Guess. You still need to monitor the IT, the smoker temp and the Clock. You still need to perform other tests for doneness. Examples, a Guidline for Spare Ribs is 3-2-1 but the Bend Test or the meat is Falling off the Bone, will tell you the Ribs are Done regardless of how long they took. Adjustments with any meat will likely have to be made.
Brisket going long? Wrap and/or crank up the temp.
Brisket going too Fast? Lower the temp, spritz more often to cool the meat or let it finish to 10°F Lower than desired, and cooler it until ready to eat.
There are no Black and White RULES in Smoking Meat. But, to get you started, we have some Great Guidelines you can use to Estimate when to get started the begin Testing for doneness...JJ

YES! A guide only. I smoked a 3 lb brisket yesterday, and it took 15 hrs. Nothing is set in stone. It's done when it's done. Pay attention to it and don't rush it....lessons I've learned from this forum...
 

rocfish13

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Aug 9, 2020
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Theres a lot that affects a cook that folks don't think about some times, pit style/ metal thickness/heat retention, air temp,wind,humidity , all change and affect time a lot. you can predict how long it will take in a oven for the simple fact of where its at, also insulated smokers are easier to predict time. Luck of the draw still falls into all of the above because some times meat can be stubborn lol. Main thing is allow yourself xtra time and use it to enjoy some refreshments or clean the mess you have made getting every thing ready lol.
Amen to that!!
 

Ashy97

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Dec 11, 2020
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As someone who is new, these guidelines can become rules and it is easy to forget the other aspects of cooking. However, I believe I will learn something and improve every time I cook.
 

chef jimmyj

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Welcome to SMF. These, and other Guidelines, are great Signposts for you to follow. They give an estimate on how long a piece of meat may take, or prompt you to take another action. Like Foil Wrap or test for Doneness. In short order this will all be second nature. Keep notes on your cooks until you have developed the skills to just do it, without notes or guidelined...JJ
 

sandyut

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As someone who is new, these guidelines can become rules and it is easy to forget the other aspects of cooking. However, I believe I will learn something and improve every time I cook.
You will pick up what you like as you go. there are many different methods/temps and such in smoking meats. get a few good cooks under your belt, try different methods and find what you like and go with that. You will find your way. And welcome to nirvnana
 

Bob R

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Mar 13, 2021
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As a "relative newby" myself (done a couple of racks of baby backs, a few times of country style ribs and ONE turkey) this brings up a question that I thought fit well....even though the thread is kind of old........

Where will you fall short/Where will you mess up........ if you cook strictly to "internal temp"?

What I am getting at is.... you go out on the web looking for internal temps ... you find things like this.....

"For Medium Rare doneness, a final internal temperature of 145°F will be achieved after 15 to 20 minutes resting time. For Medium doneness, a final internal temperature of 160°F will be achieved after 15 to 20 minutes resting time."

Which makes me think that ... if I want a piece done to medium rare.... just watch for internal temp = 145F.... and you are GOLDEN!!!!

But then I see references here (and also on BBQ shows and videos) that suggest internal temps upwards of 195F - 205F or so.

So the essential question I have is........ what am I missing?

Thanks in advance! Just trying to learn some of the finer points BEFORE ruining a cook!!!!!

Bob
 

gmc2003

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It really depends on a few factors. First what type of meat your smoking. Second at what temp your smoking the meat at, and third what results are you looking for?

Lets take Pork for an example. If your smoking a butt for pulling you'll want the final temp to be about 205*, If your going for slices then 145* will be safe to eat but it will be tougher then if you went to 195*. Ribs I don't temp, but for a general rule of thumb 195* will give you bite thru, and 200*+ will give you fall off the bone. Ham is done at 145* Now with that said you may ask why the rest? Resting allows for the juices to reincorperate into the meat. That led's to carryover. If your smoking at 225* the carryover will be less then if your smoking at 275* or higher. So you have to judge the amount of time and amount of carry over. So lets say your smoking a rack of ribs to 195* at 225*. If you immediately wrap them and put them into a cooler for an hour your the carry over will probably bring you up to 200* borderline FOTB, but if you let them sit on the counter until they until they temp down to 170* then they'll stay at the desired tenderness of bite thru and be comfortable to eat. Another example would be pork loins. I usually smoke them to 138* at 250* to 260*. When the loin reaches 138* I'll take it off the smoker and wrap it. The carryover will bring the temp up to 145* without drying out the meat.

For Brisket - once it probes tender then I'll let it sit unwrapped until it temps down to 170-175* before wrapping(that's if I wrap at all). This way the brisket won't be overcooked. If I happen to get lucky and it's done on time. Then I'll just start slicing at 170ish without wrapping. I hope I haven't confused you even more.

Chris
 

Bob R

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Mar 13, 2021
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Not at all. It actually makes good sense....but is one of those things I'll just have to try a few things and get it down pat! Thank you for the response!

It really depends on a few factors. First what type of meat your smoking. Second at what temp your smoking the meat at, and third what results are you looking for?

Lets take Pork for an example. If your smoking a butt for pulling you'll want the final temp to be about 205*, If your going for slices then 145* will be safe to eat but it will be tougher then if you went to 195*. Ribs I don't temp, but for a general rule of thumb 195* will give you bite thru, and 200*+ will give you fall off the bone. Ham is done at 145* Now with that said you may ask why the rest? Resting allows for the juices to reincorperate into the meat. That led's to carryover. If your smoking at 225* the carryover will be less then if your smoking at 275* or higher. So you have to judge the amount of time and amount of carry over. So lets say your smoking a rack of ribs to 195* at 225*. If you immediately wrap them and put them into a cooler for an hour your the carry over will probably bring you up to 200* borderline FOTB, but if you let them sit on the counter until they until they temp down to 170* then they'll stay at the desired tenderness of bite thru and be comfortable to eat. Another example would be pork loins. I usually smoke them to 138* at 250* to 260*. When the loin reaches 138* I'll take it off the smoker and wrap it. The carryover will bring the temp up to 145* without drying out the meat.

For Brisket - once it probes tender then I'll let it sit unwrapped until it temps down to 170-175* before wrapping(that's if I wrap at all). This way the brisket won't be overcooked. If I happen to get lucky and it's done on time. Then I'll just start slicing at 170ish without wrapping. I hope I haven't confused you even more.

Chris
 

chef jimmyj

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Nicely explained, Chris, double like if I could.😊

Just a little more info Bob. Your source claiming a finished temp of 145 is Med/Rare is incorrect.
A general quideline is...Carryover, the continued rise in temp as meat rests, will be 5°F for meat cooked below 300°F and 10°F of carryover for meat cooked at 300°F to 400°F. And over 400°F, you can easily carryover 15 to 20°F, depending on the size of the meat. The Thicker the Cut the higher the Carryover temp will go...JJ

Finished Internal Temps
125°F...Rare
135°F...Med/Rare
145°F...Medium
155°F...Med/Well
165°F...Well Done.
 
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noboundaries

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If there's one thing I've learned about communicating with the written word, it's to always detail one's assumptions.

1. The below information applies to beef steaks, plus whole muscle roasts that are going to be sliced thin.
Finished Internal Temps
125°F...Rare
135°F...Med/Rare
145°F...Medium
155°F...Med/Well
165°F...Well Done.

2. Tough cuts of meat, muscles that are well exercised, are filled with collagen that must be melted by heat over time. That's where you usually see the 195-205F temps referenced. Beef briskets, chuck roasts, ribs, pork shoulders (butts) and pork ribs must be cooked to a higher internal temp to make them tender. Those higher temps are guidelines, not a rule. Once you hit those higher temps, probe for tenderness, and keep cooking/smoking until tender or the meat will be dry and tough tasting from the unmelted collagen.

3. Ground meat introduces external bacteria into the muscle, so it must be cooked to 160-165F to be safe. You can also refer to pasteurization tables involving temos and times if intending to cook to a lower final temp.

4. Lean pork muscle that isn't well exercised (pork loins, tenderloins, etc) are safe to eat and tender at 140F, even if they are still a little pink.

5. Poultry of any kind is safe to eat at 160-165F. Dark meat is well exercised, so though safe to eat at 160-165F, 175-185F works to melt the collagen and tenderize it a little more than it is at 160-165F.

6. Poultry skin must be exposed to high heat (275-450F) to melt the fat and collagen in the skin so it can be bite through or crispy.

The art of smoking/grilling/cooking is to find the ways to read the meat so you get tender, juicy results inside and the crust/skin you want outside.
 

chef jimmyj

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Its much faster and easier to Ask your Question then Research the answer. So many do. That's ok, It keeps the members that answer the questions Sharp. I suspect that many more people find SMF and use the Search to get their answer. After awhile the Lurker realizes the comradeship of our members and Joins...JJ
 

Bob R

Newbie
Mar 13, 2021
9
1
Well this should all certainly help.

Please note, I was not asking for temps..... i was more asking why the finished temps I see in meat smoking resources are higher than those you see when you just Google for "internal temp beef" and the data they show. I could see that there was a difference.... I just wondered what the reason was.

I saw some good reading/info up there that should help.

Thank you all! :)
 
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chef jimmyj

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Temps vary by Author, USDA, and Opinion.
As a Newbie Chef, I got an order for a Med/Rare Ribeye. I cooked to a finished temp of 135. The customer sent it back with instructions it was undercooked and he wanted Med/Rare. Ok, I cooked it to 145. Again the customer sent it back wanting Med/Rare. I took the meat to 155. A third return wanting Med/Rare. 😨 I NUKED THE STEAK TO 170°F! The server came back and said, the customer was finally happy I got Med/Rare RIght!😤...JJ
 

Inscrutable

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Temps vary by Author, USDA, and Opinion.
As a Newbie Chef, I got an order for a Med/Rare Ribeye. I cooked to a finished temp of 135. The customer sent it back with instructions it was undercooked and he wanted Med/Rare. Ok, I cooked it to 145. Again the customer sent it back wanting Med/Rare. I took the meat to 155. A third return wanting Med/Rare. 😨 I NUKED THE STEAK TO 170°F! The server came back and said, the customer was finally happy I got Med/Rare RIght!😤...JJ
🤣
 

Bob R

Newbie
Mar 13, 2021
9
1
THAT was a case where the customer demonstrated that they did not know what medium rare was! That is all!!!

Temps vary by Author, USDA, and Opinion.
As a Newbie Chef, I got an order for a Med/Rare Ribeye. I cooked to a finished temp of 135. The customer sent it back with instructions it was undercooked and he wanted Med/Rare. Ok, I cooked it to 145. Again the customer sent it back wanting Med/Rare. I took the meat to 155. A third return wanting Med/Rare. 😨 I NUKED THE STEAK TO 170°F! The server came back and said, the customer was finally happy I got Med/Rare RIght!😤...JJ
 

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