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Smoking meat at low temp

macdoesit

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I have been smoking meat on my offset smoker for about 10 years as hobby, off and on.
Been reading that it is very unsafe to smoke at 150 degrees, which is how I have been smoking for 10 years with no problem.
I smoke briskets at 150 to 160 degrees for 24 hours, then I up the temp to 225 for 5 hours, then I put meat in a 20 x9 x 7 aluminum pan covered tight with foil for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Meat turns out great smoke flavor, very tender. I have had people that travel all over the USA, that tell me, best brisket ever tasted. Also I never put a rub or any type of seasoning on the meat, it is totally naked.
I have yet to make anyone sick. Just wanted to say that theory is totally wrong.
Would like to get your thoughts on this. Thank you
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gmc2003

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I'm not sure if it's safe or not. Folks seem to SV food at lower temps for hours on end, and if it works for you then great. I don't have the patience to wait 31 hours for a brisket, but that just may be me. Also have you moved that smoker in the last 10 yrs. Those wheels look like they've settled just a tad.

Chris
 

kilo charlie

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Welcome to SMF!

I'm not quoting food safety rules to you or anything like that.. I've never heard of anyone smoking so low for so long. If it works for you then go for it.. Other's opinions will vary on this topic!
 

thirdeye

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I wonder if the 'unsafe practice' comments you have read were referring to the fact that when using pit temps of 150° to 160°, the surface of your meat will be just 10° or so above the 140° needed to kill bacteria? The average person, or average pit might not be able to maintain 150° for 24 hours.
 

Chasdev

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You are good to go and I bet the meat is tender!
I did a few briskets at 200 for 24 hours in a pellet spitter and the tenderness was outstanding but the wood smoke flavor was lacking, which being a pellet rig is normal.
 

tropics

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It is a pasteurization process that is making that meat safe to eat. That low temp at shorter times may have kept you from being able to make this post. JMHO
Richie
 

macdoesit

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I'm not sure if it's safe or not. Folks seem to SV food at lower temps for hours on end, and if it works for you then great. I don't have the patience to wait 31 hours for a brisket, but that just may be me. Also have you moved that smoker in the last 10 yrs. Those wheels look like they've settled just a tad.

Chris
HA HA, I knew the buried wheels would get a reply. 7 years ago put axle on blocks, bottom of tires were 3 inches off ground. Intend to lift smoker with my tractor loader that has forks I can attach to bucket to lift and change tires, so I can move it, lay a concrete slab, enclose the smoker so I can use in all weather. Yes it takes time the way I do it, but very worth it. The fire box filled with wood will smoke for 24 hours at 150 and blue smoke, don't have to monitor the smoker.
 

macdoesit

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3 shelves each door. Door behind fire box is for grilling. Top of fire box is for cooking with skillets and pots and pans. Other 3 doors will hold 15 whole briskets for 45 briskets or slabs of ribs, most I ever done was 10 briskets, 10 slabs of ribs and 7 bone in hams at family reunion.
 

edmonds

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If it works for you then great.
But the meat is cooking so slowly that its internal temperature spends a long time in a range that facilitates the growth of bacteria. I would not recommend this to anyone.
Sounds like you live on a farm. Do you raise your own beef or is this store bought?
 

macdoesit

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If it works for you then great.
But the meat is cooking so slowly that its internal temperature spends a long time in a range that facilitates the growth of bacteria. I would not recommend this to anyone.
Sounds like you live on a farm. Do you raise your own beef or is this store bought?
Do not live on farm, store bought. I always heard smoke kills bacteria. 10 years, never got sick. Bacteria is on the outside of meat, that is why you can cook a steak rare, rare.
 

bregent

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I always heard smoke kills bacteria
You heard wrong!! Botulism can thrive in a smoke filled, low oxygen environment.

10 years, never got sick.
These are the words we hear right after a food poising incident. 'I done it this for years and never had a problem - until I did'


Now I really don't think your technique is problematic and see no reason to change. But you do need to be aware that smoke does not kill Clostridium botulinum or it's relatives.
 

chef jimmyj

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WHILE YOU MAY DO AS YOU WISH, SMF MANAGEMENT SUGGESTS YOU FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES...
THE USDA FACT SHEET ON SMOKING UNCURED MEAT, RECOMMENDS SMOKING BETWEEN 225°F AND 300°F.
Smoke, as stated above, does not kill Bacteria, but it does have properties that Inhibit new Bacterial growth as Smoke is Antimicrobial.

Temp Probes provide a method to guide you as to whats happening and when to make a change. Example,..Smoking a Butt the IT hits 165, time to Foil. A couple hours later, the IT hits 205, time to unwrap and start Probing for tenderness. However, if Dad, Uncle Friend, taught you a Tried and True method of 150°For 24 hours, then 225 for 5 hours, then foil at 250 for 2 hours and start probing for tenderness...Thats just as Good and No reason to change because somebody on the Net says I'm doing it wrong...JJ
 
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macdoesit

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WHILE YOU MAY DO AS YOU WISH, SMF MANAGEMENT SUGGESTS YOU FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES...
THE USDA FACT SHEET ON SMOKING UNCURED MEAT, RECOMMENDS SMOKING BETWEEN 225°F AND 300°F.
Smoke, as stated above, does not kill Bacteria, but it does have properties that Inhibit new Bacterial growth as Smoke is Antimicrobial.

Temp Probes provide a method to guide you as to whats happening and when to make a change. Example,..Smoking a Butt the IT hits 165, time to Foil. A couple hours later, the IT hits 2p5, time to unwrap and start Probing for tenderness. However, if Dad, Uncle Friend, taught you a Tried and True method of 150°For 24 hours, then 225 for 5 hours, then foil at 250 for 2 hours and start probing for tenderness...Thats just as Good and No reason to change because somebody on the Net says I'm doing it wrong...JJ
Thank you for the in depth reply. I did think more members here would have known that low heat smoking was safe.
I only made the thread because of the hogwash I read on google being unsafe.
Looks like Im the only one on here or maybe anywhere that has done this. I have never heard, read, or seen on TV any Pit Masters doing this, maybe they just don't know or they tried and did not like.
All I will say is try it, you will be amazed at the flavor you get with no seasoning at all. Don't knock it unless you have tried it. Do it with heavy blue smoke.
 
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Bob Sanders

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THE FOLLOWING IS A HAZARDOUS PRACTICE AND FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY! DO NOT ATTEMPT...

I ALMOST cold smoke my uncured meat.... like ground beef (burgers or meatloaf) I'll refrigerate the meat down to just above freezing, then I will smoke at maximum 100 degrees for 3 hours... sometimes longer. I try not to let internal temps crawl up higher than 105 or so during the smoke session.... then I will turn up the heat and slow cook at 225 until internal temp is 165 or better.
Been doing this for a few years now without issue and everything comes out with a beautiful smoke smell and tase. It's really important though to make sure your meat goes 165 or better to kill any bacteria which may have collected during the smoking period.

For red pieces of meat like t bone steak or ribeye I will follow the same procedure in smoking but I refrigerate again after the smoking session and then just grill on the gas bbq as normal till internal temp hits 135 (The inside of uncut meat is already considered sterile)

Some may not agree with this procedure, but it works for me!
 
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macdoesit

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I have never smoked ground meat at low temp, always heard it was unsafe, I guess it depends on technique. Sounds like it works for you.
I only low heat smoke , brisket, ribs, cooked bone in ham, bologna. Found out I don't like smoked bologna.
Ribs low heat smoke , 150 for 3 hours, up the temp 225 for 2 hours, bone in ham, 150 for 5 hours, 250 for 4 hours, whole brisket, 24 hours, at 150 , then up the temp to 225, for 4 hours, put in deep long pan sealed with HD foil, 250 for around 2--3 hours till tender. No rubs or spices at all.
 

SmokinEdge

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Never cold smoke ground meat without proper amounts of salt and nitrites.
When botulism was first identified, it was known as “the sausage disease “ don’t play with ground meat. There are other real bad pathogen bacteria too like, Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus cereus, and Staphylococcus aureus. All can be in ground meat if mishandled. Just don’t do it without proper curing.
 

SmokinEdge

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I suggest that you buy a copy of Stanley Marianski book “Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages “ the bacteria you are not worried about could grow from, say 10, to over 5000 in the time frame you are talking. Are you in eminent danger? Probably not, just because these bad bacteria are more rare in the U.S in meat, but you have been warned and given the resources to keep you and yours safe. Carry on.
 
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siletzspey

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The meat/egg supply-chain and safety has improved considerably in the past 20 years, but I would be reluctant to declare all regions or individual cuts 100% safe, nor assume the risk factor is equal across all people.
 

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