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Old 03-07-2007, 11:25 PM   #1
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Holding Butts

I have two butts smoked, pulled and vac packed in two big bags. I have them sitting in the fridge right now.

I plan to dump them into a serving pan on Sunday morning a reheat for potluck at Church.

I am cofident that four days vac packed in the fridge is safe but how days would be pushing it without freezing ?
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Old 03-08-2007, 05:35 AM   #2
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I'd feel safe a week... probably a little longer.
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:52 AM   #3
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Well I'm anal and do not keep food after 2 days in the fridge. The pork will be fine in a vacuum sealed bag in the freezer and then just reheat in a pan of boiling water. Like I said I'm anal and I'd never eat food that's been in the fridge for a week. My father on the other hand would agree with Finney and Glenn..........
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennR
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Well I'm anal and do not keep food after 2 days in the fridge...
No freakin' wonder you're cooking all the time!
I trust my nose on anything under 7 days. After that it gets a bit scary...
LOL!!
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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I start to give it the sniff test after 5 days. If you haven't eaten whatever it was after 5 days chances are you don't want it anyway. I'll go with 5 days.
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Old 03-08-2007, 01:53 PM   #6
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I'm with the less anal majority ... up to a week, but still gotta do the sniff test and look for color changes.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:19 PM   #7
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Now I really feel anal! Oh well........................
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Old 03-08-2007, 03:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Well I'm anal and do not keep food after 2 days in the fridge. The pork will be fine in a vacuum sealed bag in the freezer and then just reheat in a pan of boiling water. Like I said I'm anal and I'd never eat food that's been in the fridge for a week. My father on the other hand would agree with Finney and Glenn..........
Just asking...how long would you keep eggs in the fridge? After all they have permeable shells and semi-permeable membranes on the interior!
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoEzzy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Wolfe
Well I'm anal and do not keep food after 2 days in the fridge. The pork will be fine in a vacuum sealed bag in the freezer and then just reheat in a pan of boiling water. Like I said I'm anal and I'd never eat food that's been in the fridge for a week. My father on the other hand would agree with Finney and Glenn..........
Just asking...how long would you keep eggs in the fridge? After all they have permeable shells and semi-permeable membranes on the interior!
I'll keep eggs a week after the expiration date.

I'm just funny about meat and another meat sitting in the fridge for more than a couple days. I'm not saying the meat goes bad, I'd just prefer not eat meat that's been sitting in the fridge for more than a couple days. What's left after two days either gets vac sealed or the dogs enjoy it!
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:02 PM   #10
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2-3 days TOPS for me...

But I too have the anal problem of meats in fridge.

I know where mine comes from, do you Larry?

I can remember when I was small and visiting my grandmother and her making sandwiches. She'd take out the sandwich meat...smell it...flip it around...smell it again...then run it under some water from the faucet...smell it again and then make us lunch.

Getting a little older I learned what she was doing and either didn't touch the sandwich or dropped it to the dog. As disgusting as she was doing that, I do realize that she was around during war time with food rations etc... I don't agree with what she'd do, but understand it.

I can remember seeing her cut slimy green off a roast before throwing it in the oven to cook.........it's a wonder none of us died! I don't ever remember being sick from ANY of her cooking though.

Anyhow....that's why I'm picky about the 2-3 day rule....Larry?
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by wboggs
No doubt none of you have eaten aged beef; you know, the stuff you pay an arm and a leg for in a fancy restaurant because it's the best meat you ever put in your mouth. You ought to see it before it's prepared....
MMMm air aged in the fridge for 28 days!
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Old 03-08-2007, 07:50 PM   #12
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One of my favorite memories was going back to the country where I was born...we went every year for a few days. My "fake" uncle Wink told me one Saturday night to go out to the barn with him to get the country ham
for Sunday breakfast. Sunday breakfast was a big deal, everyone got
stuffed before going to church. 4 meats, eggs, grits, fresh made biscuits,
red eye gravy, etc.

He pulled the string on a bare bulb that lit up this big hunk of moldy
crap hanging from a beam. He took out a machete and started hacking
off pieces of the thing, and salt was dropping all over the ground
with each whack.

I thought he was killing something that jumped up and got hung on the string. Eventually I asked him.."what is that?"
"Boy, that's your breakfast! That's country ham!"
"I ain't eatin that!"
"You will tomorrow."

I did.
Lord, thank you for the good country folk who helped me grow up.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:40 PM   #13
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in regard to eggs.... eggs, unrefridgerated ones, are carried by around the world sailing teams for the protein content.. they can last up to a year, unrefridergated.. and Cappy., that is a beautiful story... the green mold aint pretty, but the meat under it , sure is ... and cryovaced breisket.. there are people on that podcast thingy that keep it for 50 days in the fridge......
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:49 PM   #14
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General rule of thumb for meat is two or three days cooked or uncooked. Now I personally think smoking something tends to preserve it cuz I gave this fraulein beertender a heavy smoked brisket which had been in my icebox all summer wrapped in tinfoil and she ate it and say it was the best she ever had. I suspect it be just fine till Sunday. Be sure and pray over it. That should help.

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Old 03-08-2007, 09:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Morgan
One of my favorite memories was going back to the country where I was born...we went every year for a few days. My "fake" uncle Wink told me one Saturday night to go out to the barn with him to get the country hamfor Sunday breakfast. Sunday breakfast was a big deal, everyone got
stuffed before going to church. 4 meats, eggs, grits, fresh made biscuits,
red eye gravy, etc.

He pulled the string on a bare bulb that lit up this big hunk of moldy
crap hanging from a beam. He took out a machete and started hacking
off pieces of the thing, and salt was dropping all over the ground
with each whack.

I thought he was killing something that jumped up and got hung on the string. Eventually I asked him.."what is that?"
"Boy, that's your breakfast! That's country ham!"
"I ain't eatin that!"
"You will tomorrow."

I did.
Lord, thank you for the good country folk who helped me grow up.
I thought for a minute fake Unkle Wink was gonna do something totally different with you!
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Old 03-08-2007, 10:01 PM   #16
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[quote=Nick Prochilo]
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Captain Morgan":1ka2rna7
One of my favorite memories was going back to the country where I was born...we went every year for a few days. My "fake" uncle Wink told me one Saturday night to go out to the barn with him to get the country hamfor Sunday breakfast. Sunday breakfast was a big deal, everyone got
stuffed before going to church. 4 meats, eggs, grits, fresh made biscuits,
red eye gravy, etc.

He pulled the string on a bare bulb that lit up this big hunk of moldy
crap hanging from a beam. He took out a machete and started hacking
off pieces of the thing, and salt was dropping all over the ground
with each whack.

I thought he was killing something that jumped up and got hung on the string. Eventually I asked him.."what is that?"
"Boy, that's your breakfast! That's country ham!"
"I ain't eatin that!"
"You will tomorrow."

I did.
Lord, thank you for the good country folk who helped me grow up.
I thought for a minute fake Unkle Wink was gonna do something totally different with you! [/quote:1ka2rna7]
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:01 PM   #17
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A few comments if I may:



On cooling foods; the 'danger zone'; temperature abuse, etc.

Pulled pork--or any bulky item or item in quantity--should be chilled thoroughly before packing (meaning spread shallowly in pans and fridge till cold first), or packed in such a way that cooling can take place fairly quickly (packed shallowly in flat vac bags, e.g.).

Packing hot or warm food in large bags and then fridging opens the door for pathogenic bacterial development as the time it takes for the interior to cool sufficiently is too long. The center of the meat (or other item) stays in the more dangerous part of the danger zone (85-105) for too long. This is particularly germane if the food item was handled prior to packaging--as pulled pork is. Staph aureus, which transfers from the skin--or from an errant sneeze or cough--grows easily at these temps and is a heat-resistant spore-producing bacteria. It is especially a concern with foods meant for reheating. There are others, e.g., Bacillus cereus, usually present in raw rice and, often, pasta (among other things) grows at these temps but needs the heat from cooking to first get it going. If these items are packaged in bulk while hot and do not cool quickly enough, the likelihood of a problem increases. One especially sees this when hot items are cooked, packed in bulk while hot, then served later cold--as in pasta salads, sushi, chicken salad, etc.

Remember--it is time @ temp which sets up the variable condusive to bacterial growth. A hot food item passing through the danger zone on the way to cooling (or a cold item that warms while it's sitting on the table) doesn't raise concerns if the time within the zone isn't unduly long. But one sees quite a few instances of food-borne illnesses occurring in situations where an eye to safety is not adhered to--especially picnics, family gatherings, non-professionally 'catered' affairs, etc., where the festivities circumvent attention to detail and, usually, insufficient equipment to maintain cold foods cold and hot foods hot is present. Couple this with relaxed food handling protocols (at picnics and gatherings people often take food from a communal bowl or platter with their hands) and/or the hosts getting the food out early so that they can socialize--and then leaving the food out too long before leftovers are packaged and fridged, and one has the makings for problems. We'd expect to see an increase in food-borne illnesses in the summer (when picnics and gatherings are most popular) and around food-oriented holidays--and this is precisely what we see: FBIs attributed to improperly temp-controlled foods causing problems for those at the gathering, or causing problems for the hosts (or for guests allowed to take food home) later, when leftovers are consumed.

[rant]I see far too many people on barbecue-related boards taking someone to task for cooking chicken over another meat. So long as both meats are cooked to proper temps this is a non-issue. What I don't see enough is people reminding each other of the importance of quick cooling, proper packaging to allow for continued cooling once fridged, and the importance of maintaining hot foods hot and cold foods cold--especially for gatherings and functions where circumstances like this are most important as time so easily gets away from the participants.

I know that there are many here that understand and adhere to these protocols, especially the caterers, and I'm sure many others; I'm just stressing them.[/rant]

This brings up another thing regarding time @ temp. Though it is vital to cook foods to a safe internal temp to prevent FBIs, it is not the internal temp that is the issue when the food item is resting (think pork butt or brisket), or for hot or cold items arranged on a table for a outdoor picnic--it is the surface temp as the surface is most likely to cool quicker (think of the resting butt, or a pot of beans, or a hot potato casserole); and it is the surface that is most likely to warm on cold foods (think a pot of gazpacho, or Aunt Millie's big bowl of potato salad languishing in the sun). Though a probe inserted into the resting butt might very well show a temp well above the top end of the danger zone (which, btw, is 130--not 140 as is commonly thought and notwithstanding the info put out by ServSafe, or the FDA's consumer-oriented info) but the surface temp might well be below 130--and might well have been for some time. Likewise, the originally hot casseroles or Millie's potato salad--especially this thicker, well-packed stuff which can maintain closer to proper temps deep within while the surface temps rise or plunge quickly into the danger zone.

Foods correctly prepared for dinner, say, then consumed relatively quickly, the leftovers properly packaged and fridged relatively quickly, are not a concern, irrespective of time, because the time in this circumstance is not sufficient to cause problems.

None of this is to say that FBIs will occur if these protocols are not adhered to, but if safety is a concern then one needs to be mindful of circunstances that increase the likelihood of their occurrance. Though it is unlikely that any of us would move a butt from the cooker to its foil for resting in the cooler barehanded (thereby lessening the chance of Staph contamination), if you want to be sure the likelihood of bacterial development remains smaller during a long cooler rest then put your probe on the meat rather than in the meat.



On eggs


Eggs fresh from the chickens have fairly long shelf lives if they remain unwashed. Once eggs are washed-as is required prior to processing for retail sale--the eggs must be refrigerated. Many processors coat eggs with food-safe mineral oil. Retailers have 30 days to sell the eggs but, properly stored, eggs have a shelf life of 4-5 weeks after the sell-by date.

Though eggs have permeable shells and membranes these actually act as natural barriers to prevent bacterial growth. Components of the egg white act this way as well.


On spoilage and bacterial growth


The presence or inclusion of a relatively large quantity of salt during processing (common to country hams and much jerky, some sausages); or the presence of preservatives/anti-bacterials (common to many lunch meats, processed meats (like hams), some sausages), or smoking (as a component of cooking, common to country hams, some city hams (many just have smoke flavor added), some jerky, smoked fish, some sausages); low water activity (common to jerky and country hams, some sausages)--alone or in various combinations--can do much to inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria and spoilage organisms.

What combination of these factors, if any, determines the likely shelf life of the item in question. Lack of water activity--i.e., the dryness of the item--largely determines the refrigeration requirements: the drier the food the less likely it is to require refrigeration. Country hams, jerky, dried fish, some sausages, don't require chilling because they are so dry. In the case of sausages nitrites are often included; with many of these items a relatively large amount of salt is used both for its inhibitive capability and its ability to draw moisture, thus speeding drying. Of course, smoking is also part of the processing of some of these items.

If foods are properly processed at home or commercially, and if foods are properly stored, they are far more likely to 'spoil safe'---that is to spoil before becoming unsafe to eat because of pathogenic bacterial growth. Spoilage bacteria are not the same as the bacteria with which we are concerned with pathogenically. Spoilage bacteria cause loss of eating quality, off-flavors, malodors and the like. They are generally not harmful and will not sicken you. Foods, again, properly stored, will spoil long before pathogens are an issue because fridge temps are too cold to support rapid pathogen growth--spoilage bacteria grow much more quickly.

Spoilage can be smelled and, if molds are involved, seen. (Some molds can make you sick, especially if you are particularly sensitive to molds.)

Pathogenic and toxigenic bacteria cannot be smelled or seen no matter how much time they've had to grow.

Grandma, probably knowing that the lunchmeat had been constantly fridged, was not concerned with pathogen growth--and rightly so. She also realized that spoilage was most likely to start on the surface and, if she thought she detected an odor, rinsed the meat to remove it. Though I'll pitch stuff with an odor, her actions are not suspect.

Meats that are air-aged discolor from dehydration. They are aged at temps that do not support rapid growth of pathogens and, additionally, are destined to be cooked. Dehydration causes the flavors to intensify (and results in the roast losing as much as 20-25% of its weight, thereby increasing its price/lb). The dried discolored portions are trimmed off before the roast is cooked or cut into steaks.


While I'm thinking of it


Bi-metal therms shouuld not be used to check internal temps of thin items like chicken breasts and burgers. They are unreliable in thin items because they work by averaging temps over the lower 2-2.5 inches of the probe. Use a tip-sensitive thermistor or thermocouple thermometer instead.



Forgive the length. Just got on a roll.
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:28 PM   #18
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Amen to that Cappy!!!!

Funny how the city folk forget's where it all comes from!

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Old 03-20-2007, 04:30 PM   #19
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I have a friend that makes those country hams right here in Richmond. They look very unapealing during the curing process and it takes months to do.

I can attest first hand that they taste incredible and that includes eating super thin sliced raw pieces. It takes a lot of experience to cure one of those things.

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Old 03-21-2007, 01:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Morgan
One of my favorite memories was going back to the country where I was born...we went every year for a few days.
And here I thought you were an all American boy!

Good Q!

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