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Smoker turned off - is my brisket safe?

ashbeef

Newbie
3
1
Joined Aug 8, 2020
Scoured these forums for answers and saw that Chef Jimmy seems to be highly respected and knowledgeable, so I asked him what he thinks about my situation. I figured I’d post here to help share the knowledge:


Hi there. I’ve seen you’ve help many people with food safety help and I’m hoping you can do the same for me. It would be very appreciated.

I let a full brisket sit in the fridge covered in a salty rub for 2 hours, then took it out and let it sit on the counter for an hour. I started smoking it at 195F, but noticed 3 hours later that the smoker was off.

Unfortunately, I did probe it from the start but didn’t inject. When I noticed the smoker was off, the internal temperature was about 98F and it was around 45F-50F when I started it.

I do not know how long the smoker was off. What do you think? Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

daveomak.fs

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Apr 11, 2018
Bacteria on food, is on the surface, knowing you didn't inject... The smoker at 195F for an extended period of time, killed all of the surface bacteria... The salty rub also contributes to killing bacteria...

I hope you got the smoker fired back up, as soon as you noticed the temp drop, to continue the cooking/smoking cycle... If you did, you will be fine....

The interior of a meat muscle, like brisket, is considered sterile, unlike a ground meat like sausage or meat loaf that has the surface bacteria spread throughout the meat...
 

ashbeef

Newbie
3
1
Joined Aug 8, 2020
Bacteria on food, is on the surface, knowing you didn't inject... The smoker at 195F for an extended period of time, killed all of the surface bacteria... The salty rub also contributes to killing bacteria...

I hope you got the smoker fired back up, as soon as you noticed the temp drop, to continue the cooking/smoking cycle... If you did, you will be fine....

The interior of a meat muscle, like brisket, is considered sterile, unlike a ground meat like sausage or meat loaf that has the surface bacteria spread throughout the meat...
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, my smoker is apparently broken, so this is a moot point now, but still good to know!
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,004
912
Joined Dec 1, 2019
Scoured these forums for answers and saw that Chef Jimmy seems to be highly respected and knowledgeable, so I asked him what he thinks about my situation. I figured I’d post here to help share the knowledge:


Hi there. I’ve seen you’ve help many people with food safety help and I’m hoping you can do the same for me. It would be very appreciated.

I let a full brisket sit in the fridge covered in a salty rub for 2 hours, then took it out and let it sit on the counter for an hour. I started smoking it at 195F, but noticed 3 hours later that the smoker was off.

Unfortunately, I did probe it from the start but didn’t inject. When I noticed the smoker was off, the internal temperature was about 98F and it was around 45F-50F when I started it.

I do not know how long the smoker was off. What do you think? Any help is greatly appreciated.
The food safety clock started ticking sometime during the 1 hour the brisket was on the counter top . The smoker must have been working for at least 2 hours in order to give you the 98° internal at the 3 hour mark. The outside surface of whole muscle meat is the playground for bacteria, and I would suspect the surface temp was above 140°, so they should have been killed.

Hopefully you moved it into the oven and all is well. One thing to consider was your initial smoker temp of 195°. This is an okay temp for a couple of hours for development of a smoke ring. It's even better if your meat went in straight from the fridge. The smoke ring stops forming around 140°, so cold meat and low pit temps keep the meat in the smoke ring zone longer. You probably figured this out, but a brisket will tender up somewhere +200°, so running the smoker at 195° won't let the internal get there, and you risk drying it out. You need to cook higher than your target temperature.
 

ashbeef

Newbie
3
1
Joined Aug 8, 2020
The food safety clock started ticking sometime during the 1 hour the brisket was on the counter top . The smoker must have been working for at least 2 hours in order to give you the 98° internal at the 3 hour mark. The outside surface of whole muscle meat is the playground for bacteria, and I would suspect the surface temp was above 140°, so they should have been killed.

Hopefully you moved it into the oven and all is well. One thing to consider was your initial smoker temp of 195°. This is an okay temp for a couple of hours for development of a smoke ring. It's even better if your meat went in straight from the fridge. The smoke ring stops forming around 140°, so cold meat and low pit temps keep the meat in the smoke ring zone longer. You probably figured this out, but a brisket will tender up somewhere +200°, so running the smoker at 195° won't let the internal get there, and you risk drying it out. You need to cook higher than your target temperature.
Thanks! I was going to cook it at that temperature until it hit around 150 internal, then increase to 250.
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
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I was worried getting back so late, you would have Tossed the Brisket. Glad to see you got Help. These guys are very knowledgeable...JJ
 

jss66

Newbie
2
1
Joined Aug 17, 2020
Hi all,

came across this post at 630 after waking up to a smoker that had dropped in temp.

Traeger timberline 1300 and not my first rodeo, but stilllike get bucked off from time to time.

13lb not injected with a rub went on at 1230 am at 225. When last checked at 330 am temp was 225 and internal was about 144. Decided to fall asleep.
Traeger wifi issues so not alarms.

woke at 630 to smoker temp just under 100 and internal brisket at 104

issue with hopper not feeding pellets - gravity didn’t seem to exist. Fixed quickly and temp was back up and internal to 137 by 730.

So I had a smoker failure and internal temp drop of 144 to 98 for, at most, three hours (almost certainly less), on a rubbed 13 lb non injected brisket that is now back up.



based on your comments, including chef jimmy, it seems like all will be okay.
Thoughts?

thanks
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
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Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined May 12, 2011
Your Golden my friend. Surface Bacteria are long gone and in the event the Beef was Injected, an IT of 145°F killed any bacteria pushed into the meat. Enjoy your Brisket...JJ
 

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