Danger Zone for Pork/Beef When Defrosting

Discussion in 'Pork' started by john3198, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. john3198

    john3198 Smoking Fanatic

    I've been reading the last post from St Bernard about his butt taking too long to get to 140F and the fact that he let it sit out on the counter two hours to warm up before smoking raised a lot of concerns you guys because it took longer than 4 hours to hit 140 (or 135 as somebody pointed out).

    I have been thawing some butt pieces, about 2 lbs each, for a couple of days to make buckboard bacon using Hi Mountain cure. Being the impatient sort I am, I took them out of the freezer and set them on the counter for several hours yesterday. Refrigerated overnight and then did the same today. Now refrigerated again.

    Question: Have I screwed this up by trying to hurry the defrost because the meat, at least the outside, may have been out for a several hours? Will the ensuing cure with HM (basically Instacure 1 with flavors) fix any bacterial problems?

    Hope this makes sense. What do you guys think?
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I do it too to try and defrost something as quick as I can. But I guess you/we should defrost it in the refrig. You can also put it in some water to help speed up the defrosting time. The main thing is that you don't let it get to much above 40 while it is defrosting before you put it back into the refrig. Just remember 40 to 140 in 4 hours.
  3. bbally

    bbally Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When ever you are slacking a piece of meat, (meat not seafood, it has different rules) it is best to slack it off completely in the reefer. Certainly we all need to slack in a hurry at some point, if you need to force something it is best to use a slow drizzle of cold running water.

    You have not screwed up your piece of meat. But the method you are using presenly is not a best practice.
  4. john3198

    john3198 Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks, guys. I appreciate the quick feedback.
  5. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have done this on many occasions to quick-thaw meats, it is an acceptable and safe way of thawing out meats quickly.
    You need to be sure that the meat is completely sealed then put it in a bowl or bucket and fill with cold water then make sure that you have the cold water running, even a trickle is enough so the water will continually circulate and the temperatures will remain steady and under 41 degrees.
  6. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    john - your barbecue is going to be cooked to around 200 degrees, so all is good.

    just fix it and enjoy it! [​IMG]
  7. luvdatritip

    luvdatritip Smoke Blower

  8. newb

    newb Smoke Blower

    just don't do what I did to defrost 2 butts....wanted to set it out for a couple hours to speed up the defrost around 6pm and then back into the fridge...had a couple drinks, tv, movies and then woke up at 7am remembering the butts.

    Well instead of the fridge, it was the blue barrel with a lid in the garage [​IMG].
  9. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    He said he is making buckboard bacon.

    I don't think he is going to cook that to 200°.


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