Cooking brisket with temp probe inserted

Discussion in 'For New Members' started by toddc, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. toddc

    toddc Newbie

    So as a recent smoker, I had not heard about waiting until internal temperatures reach 140 before checking the meat.  So, based on this, I take it that you shouldn't start out a cook (12 pound brisket) with the temp probe already inserted?  This is my first brisket and I'm starting tonight, so any advise would be helpful.  
  2. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I put mine in right from the start. That way, with the thermometer remote, you know what is happening without having to lift the lid or open the door.
  3. rob sicc

    rob sicc Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Hope you take a lot of pictures. 
  4. I wait till the 4 hour mark. you don't want to push stuff into the meat. In that time all of the surface bacteria have been killed.

    Happy smoken.

  5. You won't know the IT without a thermometer so go by time 4 hours.

    Happy smoken..

  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The stainless steel probe of the thermometer is an excellent conductor of heat and so the area immediately around the probe itself will heat up quicker than the main body of the meat itself. With thinner cuts of meat like Brisket the risk of contamination from pushing in a single probe just as it goes into the hot smoker is no more than you will get by simply trimming underneath the flap with a knife and letting it flap back before cooking. Even with thicker cuts of meat like rolled pork shoulder, even when it is un-rolled before cooking (which I know a lot of us do) the butcher has already done more introduce bacteria into the centre of the joint than a single probe will ever do.

    Yes there is a theoretical risk of contamination from the probe however when put in context with all of the other more likely contamination points in the preparation process that have already occurred, that risk is negligible. I am very aware of food safely and supervise it myself but in the environments we are cooking and with good hygiene this is really a bit of a non-issue - unless the probe is dirty or has been inserted hours before the meat is put into the hot smoker.

    There is nothing wrong with waiting the 4 hours, and I know people on here do, however it is really about assessing the levels of the actual risks involved. 
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2014
    lanshark42 likes this.
  7. I prefer to avoid as much risk as I can. I also prefer to keep as much juice in the meat as I can. You are correct that it is way down the list of ways to contaminate. But it does make the list.

    Happy smoken.


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