safe it of stuffed loin

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by smokeyjman, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. smokeyjman

    smokeyjman Fire Starter

    Just got a three and a half pound pork loin roast and cut it open in a "spiral" so that i am able to "stuff" it. What should the IT be with this? Ive heard both 145 & 160..... what gives?

    Its going to be stuffed w cream cheese...

    Ive heard somthin about muscle yhats beem pierced or cut or altered needs to be cooked longer to a higher IT. But i am not able to understand why? It
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    160F.  Once you spiral cut the loin the integrity of the internal muscle has been compromised, allowing any external bacteria into the insides of the meat.  You have to take the meat to the higher temperature to ensure the bacteria have been killed.  E-coli is killed at 155F.

    Here's an excerpt from a food safety guideline:  "...meats inevitably harbor bacteria, and it takes temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to guarantee the rapid destruction of the bacteria that can cause human disease-temperatures at which meat is well-done and has lost much of its moisture. So is eating juicy, pink-red meat risky? Not if the cut is an intact piece of healthy muscle tissue, a steak or chop, and its surface has been thoroughly cooked: bacteria are on the meat surfaces, not inside."

    I always inject pork when I'm going to compromise the interior muscle.  Injection also compromises the integrity of the interior muscle but the added liquid help keep it moist up to the higher temps.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2014
  3. Smokkey-man, if I may jump in your post I would likeNobondries to explain what is injected and for how long. Is it just a brine or with cure one. I make the cut as you describe a lot and stuff with peppers and such but always cooked it in the oven. Thank you both.
  4. smokeyjman

    smokeyjman Fire Starter

    What IT do you cook to?

    Is it safe to say all stuffed pork loins arw not moist cause you have to cook them longer?

    Im not completly following. It would seem that this piece of meat has been cut before by the butcher
  5. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The piece of meat has been cut by the butcher.  That is why we assume the outside of the meat has bacteria living on it.  You can cook to the lower internal temps because the outside of the meat has reached a higher temp for a sufficient period to kill the pathogens.  The inside of the meat is considered intact and no outside bacteria have been introduced.

    When you grind sausage, penetrate with a needle, cut and layer you introduce more surface to bacteria.  A temp of 145 or 150 is not sufficient to kill the bacteria that has been introduced to the inside of the meat unless it is left at that temperature for many hours.    I do not have the chart available but there is a guide that shows what temp for how long is sufficient to kill potential pathogens.  i.e. a lower temperature must be maintained longer then a higher temperature.

    A seared, rare steak is considered safe even if it has only been on the fire for a couple of minutes because the potentially infected surfaces are raised to a very high temperature even is for only a short period of time. 
  6. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I personally don't push any limits concerning food safety.  They are called food safety "guidelines" which can be followed or ignored.  I lean to the safe side.

    To answer GW1936's question if I inject pork with anything from curing brine to fruit juice I smoke/cook to an IT of 160F on the mere possibility I pushed external bacteria into the center of the muscle.  If injecting with curing brine, you can smoke to an IT to 145F as long as you intend to cook the cured meat prior to eating.  When I brine and inject a pork loin with curing salt I always smoke it initially to an IT of 160F because I like slicing a hunk and eating it cold after it is smoked.

    Back to the OP's question.  As far as the butcher cutting meat, look at it this way.  A loin can be cut into chops, say 1" thick.  Now you have a bunch of external surfaces instead of just one that could be contaminated with bacteria.  The external surface of the chop must be heated to 160F to kill the surface bacteria, which happens during cooking.  The internal muscle inside the 1" chop has not been exposed so it must only be heated to 145F to ensure any other bacteria are killed, like Trichinosis which dies at 137F.   

    Now you spiral cut the pork loin.  Basically that is no different that cutting it into chops.  If the spiral cut leaves 1" thick slices, external temp 160F, IT 145F.  But now you stuff it with cream cheese.  You are handling the outside of the meat where the bacteria live.  Chances are REAL good that cream cheese has touched the outside of the meat while it was being stuffed, or your contaminated hands.  The cheese is now contaminated with any surface bacteria.  You can roll the dice and cook it all to an IT of 145F, or cook it to an IT of 160F and not worry about serving something that will make people sick. 

    Now, having said all that, if you look up "stuffed pork loin" recipes online, some say 160F IT but most say 145F IT.  I'd still go to 160F but it appears the choice is yours.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  7. smokeyjman

    smokeyjman Fire Starter

    Okay. Im beggining to understand now.

    So if i wanted to cook to 145. And i also wanted to inject with apple juice the way to do it would be to let it cook for about two hours and then inject with apple sauce and probe...?

    Now back to turkey. Ive read on here that its only safe to smoke a bird under 18lbs as you have to worry about danger zones... i umderstand the concept your explaining no boundaries. But why is meat size limited with turkey specifically.

    I appreciate your explanations. Newbie here
  8. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    An 18 lb turkey is a big turkey.  By the time you get the IT safe the outside will be dry cardboard.   There are limits and interpretation to everything we do on this forum.  If you are serving all strong, health teenagers with good health insurance and a history of eating food sitting on the table for a couple of days at a time you may have a bit more flexibility with the rules.  If you are feeding the elderly. the sick, children or a pregnant wife I would follow the guidelines a lot more closely.  The guidelines are designed for "at risk" groups but we try to adhere to them.

    One of the most common discussions on the forum is the old guy who says we grew up eating like this .......... without a care in the world about food safety.   Hey that's fine, a lot of us didn't and food poisoning is not something to mess with.
  9. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Read ChefJimmyJ's post #7 answer in this thread:  Alblancher has some good info on that thread too.

    Turkey, and poultry, that's a whole 'nuther thread.  I know of 30 people who are inlaws of my daughter who all got food poisoning when one of the inlaws undercooked a stuffed turkey one Thanksgiving. I prefer to splatchcock or use a liquid filled turkey cannon (basically beer can turkey) when I smoke/roast turkey.  The liquid in the beer can/turkey cannon definitely makes a difference in the breast meat moistness.  I take it to 165F white meat, 175F dark meat, but I've seen the IT in the breast climb as high as 180F doing so.

    Brining a turkey and using the beer can or cannon method adds additional moisture that can allow the white meat reach a higher temp without turning into chalk.  I may try injecting a turkey next time I do one but I'll still use the same minimum temps.  I use the same temps regardless of the turkey size.  I also smoke/roast poultry at a minimum of 300F.  Others may do poultry low n' slow, but I NEVER low n' slow anything that could once fly.         

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