Will my butt thaw??

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teebob2000

Meat Mopper
Original poster
Sep 8, 2011
201
18
Hi all - I'm smoking a 9 lb butt on Saturday for a party for "The Big Game" on Sunday.  I took it out of the freezer on Friday and popped it into the fridge to thaw.  However, I'm getting concerned because it doesn't seem to have gotten too far yet thaw-wise.  It's still feeling hard just below the surface.  I initially removed it from the plastic vacuum seal bag I froze it in and loosed the outer foil a little bit so the air could circulate better around it.

Will I be OK or do I need to speed things up somehow, and if so, how??  I'm worried about ending up with a raw center come smoke day!

Thanks for the help!!

Tom
 
I would think that you should be good by Friday without any tactics to speed up the process.  However, there are several other admins that are much better with the food safety info who would likely know more than me.
 
It takes awhile to thaw. Should be fine by Saturday. If not put it in a pot full of cold water.
Change the water every 30 minutes. Or run cold water over it so fresh water is always circulating in the pot. As far as a raw center that won't happen because your going to smoke it until the center is at 200 to 205 degrees. Even if the center still frozen some put it in the smoker . It will just take longer to get done .
 
Thanks Ed.  I was wondering whether the water thing would work like it does with turkey, but I thought perhaps not because it's solid and the water can't get to the center to help it thaw.  I know to let it go until the center is the right temp but I'm worried about everything else on it drying out to shoe leather in the meantime.
 
The heat from the smoker will thaw it out quick.
I would wait at least 8 hours before probing the butt. That way you don't have to worry about the 4 hour rule.
 
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I took a 4.5 lb.er out last Wednesday and smoked it Saturday. It was still semi-frozen but not rock hard. I couldn't inject it a planed because the needle kept clogging up. Other than that it came out fine.  It seemed to have little or no effect on the cooking time.
 
The heat from the smoker will thaw it out quick.
I would wait at least 8 hours before probing the butt. That way you don't have to worry about the 4 hour rule.
ROTF.gif
 
Thawing under refrigeration is the preferred method but stuff happens. As Ed pointed out defrosting under water is the next best solution but should only be used when you are prepared to Smoke/Cook the meat immediately upon the completion of the thawing process. You should be golden by Saturday in the refer...JJ
 
If you need to thaw under water, a trick I learned with Turkeys will help you. Set it in the sink under your faucet and turn on a SLOW drip of cool water, one drop every couple of seconds, so that the drop hits the meat and rolls over and off. works like a charm in a couple of hours.
 
If you need to thaw under water, a trick I learned with Turkeys will help you. Set it in the sink under your faucet and turn on a SLOW drip of cool water, one drop every couple of seconds, so that the drop hits the meat and rolls over and off. works like a charm in a couple of hours.
Sorry but this is Not Safe...The meat MUST be Completely submerged for the thaw to happen fast enough. Water is 24 times more Thermal Conductive than Air. Even if that air is more than 200*F...JJ
 
Sorry but this is Not Safe...The meat MUST be Completely submerged for the thaw to happen fast enough. Water is 24 times more Thermal Conductive than Air. Even if that air is more than 200*F...JJ
JJ is absolutely correct!!!  And where food is concerned you are way better safe than sick...

Bill
 
Thanks for all the advice, guys!!  I'll update on Saturday with LOTS of Q-View!!  
biggrin.gif
 
Sorry but this is Not Safe...The meat MUST be Completely submerged for the thaw to happen fast enough. Water is 24 times more Thermal Conductive than Air. Even if that air is more than 200*F...JJ
Hmmmm, it's not safe? Someone should tell that to Alton Brown because pretty much where I got that from and I've never had a problem with it. If it wasn't a safe process, I'm sure food network wouldn't have allowed him to air that particular episode during the holiday season. Just saying so you know where it's coming from.
 
Hmmmm, it's not safe? Someone should tell that to Alton Brown because pretty much where I got that from and I've never had a problem with it. If it wasn't a safe process, I'm sure food network wouldn't have allowed him to air that particular episode during the holiday season. Just saying so you know where it's coming from.
Which episode are you talking about?

Here is the entire Romancing the Bird Video from Thanksgiving...Start watching at 6:30...He is Specific about keeping the Bird Submerged...Check out the Chain and adjusting the water flow to keep it under water... So it really is not safe to let water drip/trickle on the bird, too much of the bird is exposed to room Air. The little trickle is also not sufficient to produce much Convection and thaw the bird quickly...JJ



Here is the USDA on the subject...http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FACTSheets/Turkey_Basics_Safe_Thawing/index.asp#5

http://Cold Water Thawing  
Allow about 30 minutes per pound. 

First be sure the turkey is in a leak-proof plastic bag to prevent cross-contamination and to prevent the turkey from absorbing water, resulting in a watery product. 

Submerge the wrapped turkey in cold tap water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. 

[Top of Page]

http://Cold Water Thawing Times
  •  4 to 12 pounds …… 2 to 6 hours
  • 12 to 16 pounds …… 6 to 8 hours
  • 16 to 20 pounds …… 8 to 10 hours
  • 20 to 24 pounds …… 10 to 12 hours
A turkey thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately. After cooking, meat from the turkey can be refrozen.
 
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I'll have to find it when I get home since I can't see crap like that behind a government firewall so I have absolutely no clue what you're showing me at the moment.
 
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