First cook tomorrow, question on when to remove brisket from refrigeration

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by storeman0913, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. I have dry rubbed a 6 lb piece of brisket (thick end) with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder and intend for it to be the first item on my smoker.  It is in a deep pan covered with foil. Question is:  should I remove it from the fridge tonight and let it come to room temp before putting on the grate in the morning?  Seems to be an extra challenge to bring it from 40 degrees to 205 when it could start at 65 or 70 degrees.

    What say you?
     
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Storeman, evening.... Bring it to temp in the smoker with no smoke.... usually an hour or so at 120/140 ish... then start the smoke and start raising the smoker temp...
     
  3. Thanks Dave.  Guess I'll put it on as I start heating up the smoker.

    Jerry
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  4. busmania

    busmania Smoke Blower

    Can I ask why to start them with no smoke? Doesn't the smoke 'stick' better when the meat is cold?
     
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cold meat will allow for condensate to form... IMO, smoke and water make "acid rain"... an acrid, acidic tasting covering that I personally don't like... Getting the meat surface up to smoker temp will not allow for condensate to form.....
     
  6. busmania

    busmania Smoke Blower

    Thanks Dave. I'm used to smoking on an egg so things may be different.
     
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    I’m bumping this thread rather than starting a new one because while Storeman received instruction/direction from Dave, the overarching question was not really addressed.

    I have this same question but will probably follow my own instinct.

    My thoughts,

    -It depends on where you are going to allow the butt to rest overnight and what the temps are in that space. A cold garage at about 50° would probably be fine if taking the butt out at say 11PM and starting a smoke at maybe 8AM. I use my garage in winter for “strategic” food handling all the time.

    -Also, I do not buy in to the fear of counter top thawing of frozen meat. As long as you catch the thaw before the meat gets warm and starts turning color it is fine. People are way too freaked out about food storage. Some people even throw milk out if the best by date has passed without even smelling it. BUT…this is NOT a thawing question.

    Now, cross contamination IS a threat. I am very careful when handling the raw meat. It’s not the meat in your smoker that’s going to make you sick, it’s the junk from the meat you unwittingly spread with your hands and by drip and splash. You should NEVER wash a chicken for instance…some people still do this and even I did years ago. The washing splatters tiny droplets of contamination all over the place that you don’t see. I saw a black light test on washing birds as well as just handling meat. You would be amazed at what you unknowingly spread around.

    You should treat the area you prepped your meat like a surgical room, wash your hands between every touch of the meat before you handle anything else other than your "dirty" implements like cutting board, knife, etc. and clean and disinfect your counter, sink and any nearby surfaces before preparing any other foods in the space.

    However on thawing, I just last night thawed a butt and a chuck roast on a towel on a table in my garage overnight. Garage was at around 60°. At 9 AM this morning they were perfectly thawed yet still cool to the touch. So I was able to get a rub on them and back in the fridge for a smoke tomorrow morning.

    -Food safety: The new FDA guidelines for pork has been dropped to 145 with a three minute resting time, same as red meats. Poultry is still 165° and ground meat other than poultry is 160°. Although for my hamburgers, I like a bit of pink or “medium” on my burgers. Here’s the catch; I grind all my burger meat myself from whole muscle chuck roast. That chuck roast is safe at 145…so my burgers are too. Meat ground by someone else could be cross contaminated…you don’t know, so safe bet is 160 for purchased ground meat.

    So, when we are cooking, in my case tomorrow a pork butt and a beef chuck roast, we are heading to the 200° range…WELL above safe temp, so even if your meat got to 85° before starting…it’s no big deal. You will know when meat has begun to spoil and it aint that gray color…your nose tells you.

    -Overnight “come to temperature”: Here’s how I see it. It gets back to what the temp is in the space your meat will reside. My garage is running around 70° right now/today, if I sit the meat out at 10PM there’s a good chance it will be 70° long before I want to get up in the morning. If it were still winter I would not hesitate to leave them out all night.

    What I plan to do is use a “reverse faux cambro” concept and put the meat in a cooler, but with no towels. This will slow down the “warming up” but still allow some chill to get out of the meat without me having to get up a 3AM to pull them out to rest.

    This will give me just slightly “cool” meat in the morning, a faster "come to temp" in the smoker and avoid the sweating or condensation issue…which I don’t really think is an issue.

    I am not arguing against Dave who appears to be a well-seasoned smoker chef. I am just giving my opinion and the logic behind it.

    Dave mentions that he believes that smoke and water make acid rain. An interesting point, but my Masterbuilt has a water pan for the specific intention of raising the moisture in the box as well as a drippings shield, but if all was needed was a drip shield why would it be a pan because there is a grease pan out the back for that...and page three of the user manual states “Close air damper on top of unit to retain moisture and heat. If cooking foods such as fish or jerky, open air damper to release moisture."

    All but the excerpt from the user manual is my humble opinion…your mileage may vary.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2015
  8. busmania

    busmania Smoke Blower

    So does this mean no water pan in my reverse flow too?  Would seem as though the water pan creates steam, thus "acid rain" like you said.  Thanks as always.
     
  9. A few years ago when I was still getting started and using my ECB I quit using water in the water pan and packed it with sand after a lot of reading on here. Also as for meat, I take mine out about an hour ahead of my cook to warm up a little before putting in the smokers I have now.

    Edit: the part about taking it out an hour ahead of time- thats only beef and pork. Poultry I don't take out till the smoker is ready and it goes directly in!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  10. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    This thread has me asking plenty of questions....

    First of all, what is the theory behind taking meat out to warm up prior to hitting the smoker?  What are the advantages of coming to room temp?  
     
  11. WOW!  This one has so many different issues it's hard to know where to start.  But you know me; I just can't help sticking my foot in mouth.  [​IMG]

    Hello Jerry.  Go with Dave.  He won't steer ya wrong.

    Hello busmania.  I have never heard of a water pan in a reverse flow.  But they have a whole internet full of stuff I haven't heard of.  Many folks don't use the pan for water even in their bullet smokers.  Many fill it with sand and use it as a heat sink.  I have questions about the water pan myself.  The thought process is that it adds moisture which helps keep the meat from drying out.  BUT!  Other than bullet smokers most do not have a water pan.  So the rest of us who do not use a bullet smoker are producing dry meat?  I think not.

    Hello Chef K-Dude.  You are new here.  May I just offer some advice for you to consider:  Some of what you are saying could be DANGEROUS!  And here is why we MEASURE the responses we give:  We have members from all over the world.  We also have folks who monitor the site without joining.  When you start to ASSUME Jo-Jo the dog faced boy who lives on the moon has any concept of food safety and proper food handling skills you are in dangerous territory.  Jo Jo may not know how to boil water.  As an example for Jo Jo from the moon,  write down directions of how to wrap a gift; ASSUME NOTHING!   As a hint you must start with where to get wrapping paper.  You will be AMAZED at how complicated wrapping a gift can be.  I now live in England but am from South Texas.  I just SKIMMED your response.  Not read properly.  The temp in my garage in south Texas is about 100 in the summer but this guy said I could leave my meat out there for 10-15 hours.  See where I am going here??  "A" we don't know who is reading the response and "B" did they read it PROPERLY all the way through.  Just "food" for thought.

    Just my opinions and thoughts.  Have fun folks.  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    There is a difference between steam and condensate....
     
  13. I'm with you bruno.  I take out my meat, light the smoker, season the meat if not done night before and when smoker comes up to temp the meat goes on.  Keep Smokin!

    Danny
     
  14. If I may add one more thing.

    I use my Garage as a staging area also when doing a large amount of food in the WINTER. Its colder than my fridge but not freezing either.
     
  15. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Danny, you covered some of the bases that concerned me about this thread, as always you're on top of them.  

    Thomas also covered the bases there with his follow up as well, stating that he wasn't pulling meat out to sit in 100 degree heat.

    I will pull the meat out approx 1 hour ahead of time, season it, then back to the fridge, Cambro or ice chest until the pit is up to temp, but saying that, I have also in the past left the meat out for the hour prior to hitting the pit, with either method, I have noticed no change in the end result.  If anything, putting the meat on at a lower starting IT will help develop a larger smoke ring, giving it a longer period of time before it hits 170 IT or so.   

    As far as a water pan in reverse flows, I know several who use the RF plate as a water pan or at least run disposable pans on them filled with water.  The majority of the Myron Mixon smoker line comes complete with water pans.  Pitmaker vaults and safes come with the option of water pans as well, Backwoods comes with water pans also.  Personally I don't use a water pan, don't feel the need for it, but some folks do, it's a matter of choice, trial and error and what works best for you and your end product.

    Food safety as Danny has pointed out is always number 1 on this forum and should be.   
     
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    Thanks for the feedback Bruno and all. I have always tried to rest the chill out of most meats for most cooking. Probably picked up regarding steaks or something. As far as smoking, my theory is it would simply allow the meat to get warmer faster. But I do get the concept of that "slower to get warm because the meat is cold" can add to the smoke ring. This is the antithesis to my theory which is to speed up the process. A seasoned smoker probably has no issue with time and has long ago submitted his or herself that smoking simply takes time...a lot of time usually.

    The fact that you have done both and see no measurable difference is more experience than I have. Plus, I like to put my burgers on cold. This is where I change my methods. I like a medium burger, and I grind my own meat for safety of pink meat. Starting with cold burger allows me to get that good char/sear on the outside and still have a tender moist and preferably pink center.

    Danny,

    Carefulness is a good point. I thought the whole concept of this forum was to educate us all and remove as much of the ignorance of "Jo-Jo the dog faced boy who lives on the moon". How do we do this without facts, opinions and experience? I quoted the FDA then gave a scenario and described what I am doing, then appended my post by saying all but the quote from my smoker manual is my humble opinion. I would hope people realize "their mileage may vary" with any advice from a web site. I've had methods given to me by seasoned chefs that just don’t seem to work for me as well as it does for them.

    Cooking by nature is playing with fire and bacteria potential. A lot of opportunity to get burned and sick. I do appreciate and take your advice and advisement however. I know cooking and especially smoking and grilling can be contentious for discussion and I fully expected that coming here. Q professionals and aficionados are VERY strong in opinions and I'm OK with that. I just want to learn and share where I think I can help.

    Ken
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  17. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    The rise from 40 degrees to 165 will occur way quicker than the move from 165 to 205 on both briskets and butts, so I'm not sure that the bringing it to room temp helps much with cooking faster. I do set my steaks out, but not my burgers.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2015
  18. I have smoked more briskets than I can count and much more critical of what I smoke. Here is what I do and never have a problem. Take my brisket out of the Fridge, sit it on the counter, go fire up my smoker. Then I take the brisket out of the cryovac, rinse, trim and season.  I get full packers, trim the fat cap down to about a quarter of an inch and season with salt and coarse groung black pepper. Then when my smoker is at 225 I put it on.  That's it

    Gary
     

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