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My Smoker Died! Is my Meat Safe?

chef jimmyj

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My Smoker is fine but if I had a Dollar for everytime i answered this type of post. I'd be smoking on a $20,000 Kalamazoo!
Bottom line...If the meat is INTACT Bacteria on the surface is DEAD, HISTORY, KAPUT IN 30 to 60 MINUTES OR LESS AT 225°F!!! As soon as the surface gets to 140 or higher, the bacteria dies, always, everytime, and this will never change. There is then No Risk and No Reason to Toss the Meat. So restart the Smoker and Finish the cook.
" But it's been hours, what about bacteria in the Air contaminating the meat? "
Yes, there are Airborne Bacteria that could possibly get on the meat, but most smokers are pretty well sealed and besides, bacteria don't grow well on the Salty/Sweet surface of Rubbed or Dry meat, so AGAIN no risk.

Even IF the meat was injected, you have to know how hot the IT got before the smoker died. If the IT did or likely hit140°F+, no Risk.

This Info has written Hundreds of times around here, and the OTBS GUYS SHOULD KNOW THIS COLD!!!:emoji_rage: :emoji_wink: :emoji_laughing:
Everyone else reading this, Please memorize it, both for yourself and when giving Newbies advice.
There are VERY FEW CIRCUMSTANCES where Tossing the Meat is necessary, and they usually involve Smokers dying while smoking Ground Meat or Chicken. In this case, see the 40 to 140°F in 4 hours Guideline....JJ

 

Brokenhandle

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My first impression was...why is Chef jimmyj posting this...then after reading it's like...ok now that makes sense! Most of the more experienced smokers should know this, the newbies not so much.

One question i have is...is there a sticky about these guidelines? I didn't take the time to go look and can't remember if there is one. But it is good safety information and if there's not a sticky about it can some of our food safety experts get one posted? I'm not a newbie and sometimes suffer from CRS and can't always remember everything. But when I was a newbie, navigating the site and finding the info wasn't easy for me all the time.

As was mentioned, I don't feel anyone should be doing overnight smokes or unsupervised ones without probes with temp alarms! But with a sticky the information would be readily available and maybe cut down on people asking for our more knowledgeable food safety experts for advice.

A big Thank you to chef jimmyj chef jimmyj for all the advice you do give!

Ryan
 

GaryHibbert

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Great post,,JJ. I agree with Ryan--we need a sticky on this subject.
I'm from Saskatchewan, and believe me, meat NEVER got thrown out unless it was so bad the dog wouldn't eat it. LOL With that kind of upbringing, and spending most of the last 50 years eating in Truck Stops, I tend to lean in that direction too. Mind you, I certainly wouldn't feed anything iffy to a guest.
Gary
 

chef jimmyj

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B Brokenhandle Ryan, this post is a Sticky. The info is based on the 40 to 140 in 4 Guideline that is also a Sticky. Is there a particular format you would like to see the info arranged in? Glad to do anything to make stuff easier to remember...JJ
 

chef jimmyj

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I edited my original post for clarity, thought I lost it for a minute there, eh? I also added some additional info...JJ
 

justplainbob

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injecting is the usual example of how meat is not intact
what else makes it not intact?
seems like a silly question but is there a definite list?
i buy deboned trussed up butt and while it has surface area i treat it as not intact
butterflied breast or chop?
rolled loin?
cloves in a ham?
thanks
 

chef jimmyj

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Yes Sir, This info is in the Link above...

Non-Intact...Injected, Boned, Rolled and Tied, Ground meat, and meat Stabbed all over to insert Garlic or other seasoning.

Butterflied meat is considered Intact because the Cut Surface is Exposed, unlike BR&T roasts.
Cloves on a Ham are a shallow Surface puncture and will heat above 140°F quickly.
A single puncture of a Thermometer Probe is inconsequential. Not enough bacteria to have an effect. There are also No documented cases of Food Borne illness from a thermometer inserted in raw meat, ever. Hope this helps...JJ
 

Jabiru

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Good info there Jimmy.

My question is how does a smoker die, do you mean run out of fuel or ? I have been really drunk and run out of fuel once, just popped it in the oven :emoji_wink: Never ever thought of chucking it.
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the post and clearing up things for us.

Warren
 

Brokenhandle

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B Brokenhandle Ryan, this post is a Sticky. The info is based on the 40 to 140 in 4 Guideline that is also a Sticky. Is there a particular format you would like to see the info arranged in? Glad to do anything to make stuff easier to remember...JJ
Thank you! I didn't know it was a sticky already. It's much appreciated! :emoji_thumbsup:

Ryan
 

dr k

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This is one of three threads pinned at the top of Food Safety forum.
 

chef jimmyj

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Good info there Jimmy.

My question is how does a smoker die, do you mean run out of fuel or ? I have been really drunk and run out of fuel once, just popped it in the oven :emoji_wink: Never ever thought of chucking it.
Yes Sir. Electric smokers can quit, trip a breaker or experience a power failure. Same for Pellet smokers plus run out of pellets unexpectedly. Propane tanks run out or a gust of wind can blow out a flame. Of course, falling asleep is a big cause with Stick and Charcoal Smokers. Basically any thing that causes your smoker to stop cooking...JJ
 

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