Smoker turned off while smoking a brisket

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by ajax, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. ajax

    ajax Newbie

    Hello. This is my first post. I have never tried smoking a brisket before now. I have a Traeger.

    Last night I had the smoker temp running at about 150F and the internal temp of the brisket was at 122F. When I woke up this morning the Smoker temp was at 82F and the brisket was at 87F. Would I be crazy to finish the smoke?
  2. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    Where did you ever get the idea that 150 (typo?) degrees was a safe temperature to do your smoking?... Your brisket was doomed from the get-go. Toss it and try again at 225 degrees......
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  3. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ajax that does not sound good 40 to 140 in 4 hrs is the normal safe zone.Yours did not hit 140 smoking at 150* is dangerous unless using cure #1 Hopefully Chef JJ will see this

  4. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    No, not safe! Throw it out and start again. Tropics is correct, safe calls for it getting to an IT of 140° within 4 hours.  While there are a number of ways to get good brisket, either via low & slow or hot & fast, smoking at 150° is not one of them.  Good place to start for low & slow is 225°. Many do their's in the range of 250-275° others go higher. 
  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree with the above and would ditch it, however before you throw it out wait until Chef Jimmy J sees this.

    I also don't understand why you would smoke something at 150 degrees that has a finish temp of 195 or so.

    I PM'd him & when he gets on he will comment on this.

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup--I agree with the others. Gotta get that Heat up next time.

    Below is a Step by Step on a Small Brisket Flat, but it will give you some idea:


    Brisket Flat     

  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    First off guys, the 40-140 in 4 rule only applies to Ground, Injected and BRT meat. I spoke to Ajax and the Brisket was Intact. The " Rule " does Not apply. Next the beef was well seasoned with a Rub containing Salt. This goes a long way toward inhibiting Bacterial growth. While the USDA " guideline " recommends smoking at 225, that temp offers a wide margin of safety taking the above non-intact meats and mishandled meat by inexperienced cooks into consideration. Bacteria is also killed at lower temps. Look at Sous Vide cooking where Chicken can be cooked at 149°F for as little as 1 Hour... ...In an Oxygen Free Bag! The most dangerous Bacteria are Anerobic and only grow or only grow well in low Oxygen. For Decades, it has been common, in Restaurants, to Roast Beef at the desired finished IT. A temp controled oven that holds moisture is set to the desired IT, say 130°F, and the Beef is roasted for 3-4 hours per pound until the IT hits 130°F and the meat is done. Here is a published example using a Combi Oven but 25 years ago I spoke to a Chef that did his in an Alto-Shaam, which is basically a Holding Oven...

    Ajax Smoked the intact brisket for several hours at 150-160, the IT reached 122 and Bacteria was killed. Now the Smoker dies. Did every Bad Bacteria known to man see this and make a mad dash to recontaminate the meat? No, not likely...Ajax caught the failure and put the meat in a 225° Oven to finish the cook. In the event that some bacteria made their way into the smoker, they were killed in the oven. Yeah Chef but what about Botulinum TOXINS!?!  From the CDC...
    • Despite its extreme potency, botulinum toxin is easily destroyed. Heating to an internal temperature of 85°C (185°F) for at least 5 minutes will decontaminate affected food or drink.
    Should you smoke at 225? Yes, SMF recommends it because it covers a variety of errors, including smoker failures and mishandled meat anywhere from slaughter to smoker, and offers a broad margin of Safety. If you cook Intact Meat,  covered with a Salty Rub, at lower temps or the smoker dies for a couple hours will you create the next EPA Super Site in your Smoker? Not Likely! Each situation is VERY different and ALL the criteria and circumstances has to be taken into consideration before a recommendation of " TOSS IT! " is automatically made. There is a lot more to learn about Safe Cooking than just what the USDA Fact Sheets for Home Cooks recommends. The more I study the more I learn...There is no need to Toss the meat...IN THIS SITUATION...JJ
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
    ithaca1937 and chill n grill like this.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I Bow to Jimmy's knowledge on this.

    I know about the 4 hour rule not pertaining to intact muscle.

    However going by my sleeping hours, going to bed at 10 PM and getting up at 6 AM would mean the meat would have been in the Danger Zone for 8 hours after the couple hours it took to get to 122°.

    I should have know better, like Al did for saying "Wait for Chef Jimmy J to see this".

    Sorry Ajax,

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  9. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    I stand corrected and learned more from the master. Thanks Jimmy!

  10. damon555

    damon555 Smoking Fanatic

    If it were mine I'd still be to paranoid to eat it.....
  11. ajax

    ajax Newbie

    I could be way off, but I'm not too concerned as some people eat beef raw. However, I am concerned for others well being, so I started yet another brisket this morning and started it at 225F and will give the option. With all that being said, I'm not too concerned as calmer minds prevail. Thank you Chef Jimmy J!!!
  12. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Eating beef raw & eating a piece of beef that has been un-refrigerated for some time is quite different. 

    The answers you got to your question were based on the experience & combined knowledge of the people on here.

    When asked a question such as yours, we always error on the side of caution.

    Chef Jimmy J is the food safety expert on here and always has the correct answer.

    This is why I advised you not to do anything until you heard from him.

    From now on if you have a situation such as this happen again, I suggest you just PM him for an answer.

  13. edwardc

    edwardc Newbie

    remember that the internal temperature of brisket can increase by 10 degrees even after it's been removed from grill
  14. soxfan1983

    soxfan1983 Newbie

    JimmyJ, I had a similar situation this morning. I PM'd you. Can you let me know? Thanks

  15. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I got you covered and PM sent. Even with the smoker dying, you are good to go finishing the  cook...JJ

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