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zakkyc

Fire Starter
Original poster
Aug 26, 2022
40
52
Hello all, I smoked a couple briskets and a pork butt for my son’s birthday party in a couple of weeks. I thought I was doing it all correctly/safely, but then I came across some information that is giving me some doubts. Here is my method:

1) Smoked briskets and pork butt (pork butt cut in half, so roughly 4 lbs each half) to probe tenderness (200 give or take).
2) Rested on counter till IT was 160ish.
3) Held in my warming oven at 150-160 for 12 hours.
4) Removed from warming oven, took token pics, sliced the brisket into point and flat. At this stage, IT was 140-150.
5) Immediately vac sealed the points, flats, and halved pork butts, whole muscles, not sliced or pulled.
6) Immediately threw it all into an ice bath for 2 hours.
7) After 2 hours, I didn’t temp anything (because they were vac sealed), but the cuts felt hard, not quite frozen, suggesting they did indeed rapid chill quite nicely.
8) All the cuts then went into the freezer
9) A few days before party day, I will thaw in the fridge, and then reheat whole cuts in a sous vide at 165 for 6 hours to get back to a serving state. Then slice/pull, and serve.

Now my concern, I vac sealed the cuts while they were still warm (140-150 IT). Do you guys think my ice bath rapid chilled them fast enough? I would hate to propagate potentially spore forming, anaerobic bacteria like clostridium species. I’m less worried about listeria given that the reheating step will kill any of that off.

Thoughts and expertise are appreciated, thank you.
 

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You don't want it between 40° and 140°F for more than 4 hours - that's the environment, not the internal temp unless you injected or the meat was mechanically tenderized. If you internal temp was at 140°, you're good even if you injected or it was mechanically tenderized.
 
They are fine since they weren't in an anaerobic state until 150ish as you mentioned, then into an ice bath. If meat was intact and just rubbed with preservatives of salt, sugar and other seasoning and IT got to 200 with ribs, butts and brisket the outside where the bacteria is would be sterilized, being closer to the temp of your smoker for quite awhile. Can goods are sterilized meeting the 250 IT temp of the can held for 20 minutes and slowly cooled. The spores are dead so=Sterilizing. The anaerobic issue is more with the three spore formers sous vide the whole time at low temps and being in it's original vac sealed bag maybe left at room temp below 130, then finally going into the fridge without ice bathed and more concerning with non intact meat, being deboned rolled and tied meat, stuffed rolled and tied, spiked with blades to tenderize, injected with low salt, sugar, no alcohol or acids and if ground not ice bathed. Intact meat where the bacteria is on the outside cools first so that would be a benefit as well. These spore formering Clostridium Botulinum, Clostridium Perfringens and Bacillus Cereus need the anaerobic time, temp, water activity, ph and food substrate to revert from a spore into a vegetative growing bacteria to produce their toxin. If you remove one of these variables the growth totally slows down or can completely stop. The seasoned cooked sterilzed outside would need recontamination with poop/unwashed hands where foodbourne pathogens come from. Your temp was well above 135 when vaced and ice bathed and there just wasn't enough time even if you didn't meet the other variables being open to air. Also, packaging and vac sealing inhibits spoilage pathogens because they need air.
 
Last edited:
These safety threads are normally posted in our Food Safety Forum and may be moved there where we have pinned threads on most common questions. Like the link below. Heating food out of the fridge with the 40-140 in 4 hour guideline is for uncured non intact meat and most folks have it misunderstood and misquoted so we have a pinned thread of this guideline and others in the Food Safety Forum. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/40-to-140-in-4-a-guideline-and-what-to-consider.270191/

Once you have properly heated meat that is intact since bacteria is on the outside and doesn't matter how long it took to get from 40-140 and, properly heated non intact meat that is uncured needs to cook at 225+ and get from 40-140 in 4 hours, then you are now into the six hour two step cooling stage of safely cooling food for fridge/freezer storage. Once properly heated when food cools to 135 it needs to get down to 70 in two hours and then from 70 to 40 in four hours. This is mostly for large batch soup, chilis liquid dense vats. So portioning into smaller containers for quicker cooling and ice baths in sinks with pots in them gets you safe more quickly. This longer six hour cooling is because all Foodbourne illness bacteria are dead and gone forever. Only the three spore formers that quickly formed a spore and survive boiling water temps and 2.4 ph acids are dormant waiting for an anaerobic environment even though spoilage bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungus always fall onto food these are pathogens that don't cause foodbourne illness and eat what we eat so we smell, see and taste spoilage. That now needs their time, temp, ph, water activity etc to multiply because microbes don't mine, drill, corkscrew their way to the center of meat and cruise around. When you read FDA and USDA FSIS papers they are stock cover sheets and do not apply variables of food preservation before we had refrigeration plus having it now so it's using fear. They don't know if our food is meat and it's cured and cold smoked, or salted and sugared or dehydrated, pickled, fermented with acids etc. It's just a stock response of if over 90 outside then cook/cool in one hour or below indoors cook/cool in two hours. Yes we have way more time than what's in the paper because of them heavily siding on safety.
 
These safety threads are normally posted in our Food Safety Forum and may be moved there where we have pinned threads on most common questions. Like the link below. Heating food out of the fridge with the 40-140 in 4 hour guideline is for uncured non intact meat and most folks have it misunderstood and misquoted so we have a pinned thread of this guideline and others in the Food Safety Forum. https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/40-to-140-in-4-a-guideline-and-what-to-consider.270191/

Once you have properly heated meat that is intact since bacteria is on the outside and doesn't matter how long it took to get from 40-140 and, properly heated non intact meat that is uncured needs to cook at 225+ and get from 40-140 in 4 hours, then you are now into the six hour two step cooling stage of safely cooling food for fridge/freezer storage. Once properly heated when food cools to 135 it needs to get down to 70 in two hours and then from 70 to 40 in four hours. This is mostly for large batch soup, chilis liquid dense vats. So portioning into smaller containers for quicker cooling and ice baths in sinks with pots in them gets you safe more quickly. This longer six hour cooling is because all Foodbourne illness bacteria are dead and gone forever. Only the three spore formers that quickly formed a spore and survive boiling water temps and 2.4 ph acids are dormant waiting for an anaerobic environment even though spoilage bacteria, yeasts, molds and fungus always fall onto food these are pathogens that don't cause foodbourne illness and eat what we eat so we smell, see and taste spoilage. That now needs their time, temp, ph, water activity etc to multiply because microbes don't mine, drill, corkscrew their way to the center of meat and cruise around. When you read FDA and USDA FSIS papers they are stock cover sheets and do not apply variables of food preservation before we had refrigeration plus having it now so it's using fear. They don't know if our food is meat and it's cured and cold smoked, or salted and sugared or dehydrated, pickled, fermented with acids etc. It's just a stock response of if over 90 outside then cook/cool in one hour or below indoors cook/cool in two hours. Yes we have way more time than what's in the paper because of them heavily siding on safety.
Thank you!!
 
They are fine since they weren't in an anaerobic state until 150ish as you mentioned, then into an ice bath. If meat was intact and just rubbed with preservatives of salt, sugar and other seasoning and IT got to 200 with ribs, butts and brisket the outside where the bacteria is would be sterilized, being closer to the temp of your smoker for quite awhile. Can goods are sterilized meeting the 250 IT temp of the can held for 20 minutes and slowly cooled. The spores are dead so=Sterilizing. The anaerobic issue is more with the three spore formers sous vide the whole time at low temps and being in it's original vac sealed bag maybe left at room temp below 130, then finally going into the fridge without ice bathed and more concerning with non intact meat, being deboned rolled and tied meat, stuffed rolled and tied, spiked with blades to tenderize, injected with low salt, sugar, no alcohol or acids and if ground not ice bathed. Intact meat where the bacteria is on the outside cools first so that would be a benefit as well. These spore formering Clostridium Botulinum, Clostridium Perfringens and Bacillus Cereus need the anaerobic time, temp, water activity, ph and food substrate to revert from a spore into a vegetative growing bacteria to produce their toxin. If you remove one of these variables the growth totally slows down or can completely stop. The seasoned cooked sterilzed outside would need recontamination with poop/unwashed hands where foodbourne pathogens come from. Your temp was well above 135 when vaced and ice bathed and there just wasn't enough time even if you didn't meet the other variables being open to air. Also, packaging and vac sealing inhibits spoilage pathogens because they need air.
Thank you!!
 
You don't want it between 40° and 140°F for more than 4 hours - that's the environment, not the internal temp unless you injected or the meat was mechanically tenderized. If you internal temp was at 140°, you're good even if you injected or it was mechanically tenderized.
Thank you!!
 
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