too low and too slow?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by jimmydean, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. jimmydean

    jimmydean Newbie

    20lb raw pork leg. I cured it myself so I'm already nervous. The minus 30C weather ruined my smoke, propane froze up after the about an hour. Meat was cold outside about 3 hours later when I got home and noticed. I modded my smoker by tearing out the propane guts and putting a mini wood stove in it's place.

      So this all got Mcgivered quickly, about 1/2 hour and started to cook again. I never cooked with wood or on this unit lol. It worked ok but I had a hard time keeping the temp at 200+. Average was 150 and there were constant spikes from 140- 250 as I attempted to learn how to use my new unit.

     So it's been cooked like this for 4 hours with the low and spiking temps. My int. temp is now only 96. Plan to finish in the oven as my wood supply is gone.

    Is this really dangerous? Any way to test?
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You did well with the "playing' with the Smoker . Keep playing with it , use Chicken parts (cheap) and tune into the machine...

    Also , start a "LOG BOOK" of all your cooks  , good or bad . . . an excellent learning aid . . .

    Have fun and . . .
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh, yes [​IMG]

  4. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If your meat was CURED, you should be OK.

    Otherwise we would need more info.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    What were you smoking? You mentioned " Cured it myself ". If you are talking about a Nitrite cured Beef, Pork or Lamb, any smoker temp between 65 and 82°C is optimum, you want the final Internal Temp (IT) of the meat between 62 and 65°C. An IT a few degrees higher is ok but any lower and the meat will have to be cooked before eating. With Poultry, you will want the IT at 73°C or higher...JJ
  6. jimmydean

    jimmydean Newbie

    Sorry guys I had a 20lb raw pork leg. I cured it for 10 days using what appeared to be a very trustworthy method.
  7. jimmydean

    jimmydean Newbie

    And I will proudly post pics of my redneck contraption once I can :)
  8. jimmydean

    jimmydean Newbie

    Chef Jimmy J thanks I don't want to toss this piece. I usually smoke @240 so being at  150 scared me I could be breeding bacteria/ toxins. If it were for me I wouldn't worry so much but I will be feeding this to elderly people and children.

     I used #1 cure in the curing solution.
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you were making a Brine Cured City Ham the brine only penetrates about 1/4 inch (6mm) a day. So unless you injected or deboned that leg, 10 days in cure is likely not enough. At 10 days anything over about 4-5 inches (10-13cm) will most likely not be fully cured to the center. A leg rubbed with a Dry Cure will take about the same and have to have a portion of the Cure mix applied every couple of days for the duration of the cure. A Dry Cured Country Ham is a whole different story. In any event the temp at which you smoke gives the best finished product if you get the IT to 145° to 165°F (62 - 74°C). Beyond that the meat will have a stringy dry texture. Since it is a leg, smoking at 140 to 250°F (60-121°C) is fine as long as the IT is taken no higher than that indicated above. The smoking temp of cured meat specifically Bacon and more importantly Sausage is critical to avoid having the fat melt out. So with the exception of folks who want fully cooked bacon, the temp you smoke sausage at should not exceed 170°F (77°C). In this case, either get the IT to 145°F+ or cook it before eating. So where are you at? Your cure recipe and procedure would be helpful to determine a course of action to make for a Safe product...JJ
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    With a cure being used, you can smoke at any temp over 38°F (3°C). If you do not take the IT to 145°F (62°C) you will need to cook the meat first. In this case the meat is safe for anyone to eat, handled as described. I am just not sure 10 days was enough to completely cure the average leg, front or rear. You and yours will still be able to eat it, after cooking, but it will taste like Roast Pork stuffed inside Ham. This has happened to others...JJ
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  11. jimmydean

    jimmydean Newbie

    You're last response was exactly what I needed, I'm sorry if it's been posted 100 times before but stress of the cook/ smoker breakdown set in and on top of this me and the mrs. bought a new car today.

    The cure was 3TBS #1 cure, 28 oz kosher salt, 2 cups white sugar, water to cover approx 3 gallons. Recipe as per

    I specifically bought a larger injector for this cook, a Westcon 4 oz commercial 6" needle and 10 holes for injection. I repeatedly stuck it in and changed direction 2 times before removing until it seemed the meat could hold no more fluid, and pumped around the leg bone as much as possible though not into the bone.

     Current- I ran out of wood so started in a covered dish in the oven at 300 with my own juice (soy, pineapple, honey etc) heated and injected  (didn't take much) any leftover juice went in the pan. Also slathered with mustard, honey, and brown sugar.

    Dropped to 275 as it was heating up nicely, aiming for 150 IT + will let it rest/ finish as safety is more important than quality this time,
  12. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Congrats on the new car. What you did was fine because of the proper curing. Even with the mishaps, that meat will be safe and tasty. Enjoy...
  13. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Or if you vac pack the leg you can apply the whole of the cure at the beginning. You then rotate the leg regularly to ensure that the resulting brine remains/comes in contact with all parts of the leg for the duration of the cure.

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