Reading meat temps

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Mo Smoke
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Reading meat temps

Post by Mo Smoke » June 12th, 2018, 9:13 pm

I use a thermapen to check for temp on meat to be sure it’s done. Sometimes I never get the desired temp but I feel the meat is done. Biting into it proves I’m right. Any longer and it’s dry. This also happens when I’m finishing chicken and my fire is low. It just seems that the temps stop climbing at some point and I’m still 20 degrees short of my goal.

Do u always wait until u reach “safe” temps before u pull meat off?



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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Big T » June 12th, 2018, 9:34 pm

I also use a thrermopen and I cooked some chicken a few days ago and it never got over 152 degrees. I cut into them and they were definitely done, almost over done. I normally trust the thermometer but if I feel that it's ''done'' I will trust my gut and pull it off the grill.


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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Dirtytires » June 12th, 2018, 11:29 pm

I swing the other direction on this. Meat never hits my table (from the smoker, grill, over or skillet) that hasnt hit temp. Food safety, esp with poultry, is so important and if my thermapen doesnt say its done, its not done.

Had a thanksgiving day grilled turkey at a friends house a number of years ago. He was cooking and “thought” it was done. It was actually pretty good too. 11 of the 12 people at that table got sick. I wont eat at his house again or risk putting my friends and family at risk.

Might i suggest, for your chicken, that you turn up the temp a bit so it spends less time in the smoker? Poultry doesnt have enough fat tissue to get a “stall” so I’d bet your fire was just a bit TOO low.



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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Mo Smoke » June 13th, 2018, 1:18 am

Exactly what I’m saying Big T...Dirty..I get it but let me ask u this, do u cook chicken breast to 165? I respect the safety numbers and do my best to hit them but if u cook a chicken breast to 165 its so dry no one wants to eat it. I pull breast around 155. I have read that meat continues to cook after u pull it but I have never seen temps continue to climb. I also read that recommended done temps are based on time in a way so that a lower temp for an extended period of time is equal to a higher temp at a shorter time.


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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Dirtytires » June 13th, 2018, 12:22 pm

I pull at 160 if im going to let it rest (before shreding) in a covered pan as it comes up to temp in the warmer. Cook to 165 if serving immediately. Chicken is hard to cook....but i promise that you can have super juicy poultry cooked to proper temp. I usually cook whole birds and either spatchcock or half them.



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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Mo Smoke » June 14th, 2018, 12:30 am

Yeah i leave chicken wrapped in foil pan too. I love cookin whole birds and splitting them in half. Leg quarters are great too because u can push the. Temp even higher and not have to worry about over cooking them.


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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Rodcrafter » June 14th, 2018, 12:33 am

I like 1/4 pieces they seem to raise in temperature better than small pieces. I smoke them till about 125 then finish on some hot coals if I can to 160 then in a covered pan in the warmer and they seem to do well.


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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Mo Smoke » June 14th, 2018, 7:52 am

U do that with the breast/wing quarter too Rod or is that just for leg quarters.


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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Heatermeter builder » June 14th, 2018, 4:17 pm

Mo Smoke wrote:
June 13th, 2018, 1:18 am
Exactly what I’m saying Big T...Dirty..I get it but let me ask u this, do u cook chicken breast to 165? I respect the safety numbers and do my best to hit them but if u cook a chicken breast to 165 its so dry no one wants to eat it. I pull breast around 155. I have read that meat continues to cook after u pull it but I have never seen temps continue to climb. I also read that recommended done temps are based on time in a way so that a lower temp for an extended period of time is equal to a higher temp at a shorter time.


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If that was the case then, the birds should be done even before you put them into the smoker, since they have been at a lower temperature a fairly long long time =)) .

The temps are based on when most of the bacteria are killed. They may be less bacteria at a lower temperature, as some of them have already been killed, but it's not totally safe until it reaches 165° as none of the bacteria can live at that temperature.

If your chicken is drying out before 165°, then it sounds like your smoker is not hot enough. Poultry does not benefit in low temps. Lower the temperature, the longer it takes to smoke and the more it has to dry out


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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Mo Smoke » June 15th, 2018, 6:41 am

If that was the case then, the birds should be done even before you put them into the smoker, since they have been at a lower temperature a fairly long long time =)) .

Now that’s funnyImage.


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Re: Reading meat temps

Post by Mo Smoke » June 15th, 2018, 7:05 am

Check out this chart.. below it I posted a link to the whole article that gives a lot more details. It’s based on a document from USDA explaining how they came to select 165°F as the minimum temp for poultry.

Minimum Pasteurization Times For Selected Meat Temperatures*

Chicken & Turkey With 12% Fat

136°F (57.8°C) 82 minutes
140 (60.0) 35 minutes
145 (62.8) 14 minutes
150 (65.6) 5 minutes
152 (66.7) 3 minutes
154 (67.8) 2 minutes
156 (68.9) 1 minutes
158 (70.0) 41 seconds
160 (71.1) 27 seconds
162 (72.2) 18 seconds
164 (73.3) 12 seconds
166 (74.4) 0 seconds

Beef, Lamb, & Pork

130 (54.4) 121 minutes
135 (57.2) 37 minutes
140 (60.0) 12 minutes
145 (62.8) 4 minutes
150 (65.6) 72 seconds
155 (68.3) 23 seconds
158 (70.0) 0 seconds

* For a 7D reduction in pathogens, rounded up to the nearest whole number.
Source: USDA Food Safety Inspection Service

https://amazingribs.com/more-technique- ... mperatures


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