Smoker may not have been at 225

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Original poster
Jun 8, 2024
Hey all.

I've lurked here for some time. I am thankful for the information you all put into the community.

I have an older Traeger. I set it to 225 and put a 13LB full packer brisket on after rubbing with a salt based rub.

2 hours in, I checked the smoker and it said it was at 220 and smoke was visibly rolling. I though that visible smoke at 225 was odd as it usually burns cleaner.

4 hours in, I get up and check the smoker. It's still rolling smoke and I felt the outside. It was definitely warm to the touch but not hot. I figured this is because it is around 55 degrees farenheit outside tonight.

6 hours in, my phone alarm goes off again and I get up to check it. Smoker is still on but the outside of the smoker is cold. No visible smoke. I hear pellets pushing. I open it up and the brisket is cold to the touch. The smoker is showing that the temp is at 150 degrees, but it is clearly not. I probe the brisket for the first time. It is at 113 degrees internal.

My question: Since my smoker's temp probe is clearly not working properly, I don't know if the brisket was in a 225 degree environment for 6 hours. It may have not reached more than 180 degrees for 6 hours. Is it safe to continue?

I clean the pellets out of the smoke bowl and restart the smoker. It immediately shows that it is at 150 degrees. I now realize that the smoker's temp reading is not accurate and something is wrong. I crank it to 400 degrees and it runs for 30 minutes and then says that it is overheating. It is not, but it thinks it is since the smoker's probe isn't working properly.

Anyway, I brought the brisket from 113 degrees to 140 degrees internal in 1 hour. Now it's in the oven cooking at 225 degrees. Any thoughts on safety since I'm not sure it was in a 225+ degree environment at all within the first 6 hours?

Thanks. And yes, I now believe that I need to have temp probes that I can remotely monitor. This is my fault and I'll fix this part of the process.


Edit: I have read the stickies. The only reason I felt it necessary to clutter the forum with another one of these posts is because I don't believe that the smoker ever went above 125 degrees Fahrenheit during the smoke. It looks like the smoker is 100 degrees lower than it thinks it is. Because of this, I don't believe any parasitic bacteria was able to form as the spoilage bacteria was likely never burned off of the outside.
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Sounds like you are on the right track. With a salt based rub and the meat wasn’t injected, I’d finish in the oven just like you are doing and would have no issues eating my self.

With whole muscle meats like butts or brisket, as long as not injected, for safety you really just need the surface of the meat at or above 140, the internal meat is sterile. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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