SMOKE BREAK: Keep it real… Safe
Updated: Apr 9
Some of them may have it coming, but you don’t want to go down in local lore as the one who poisoned the party. Smoking uses low temps, so you’ve got to understand the Danger Zone – harmful bacteria multiply at temperatures between 40 and 140° F. You have a 4-hour limit in that window, including resting time, before you’ve given everyone a one-way ticket to the bathroom.
Insure your safety and the health of your guests by always making sure your meat is completely thawed before smoking it. Rest your meat in the refrigerator, and if you use marinade from raw meat or poultry never reuse it.
Always cook to the appropriate minimum temperature. Smoked meat will keep in the refrigerator for up to four days, so long as you refrigerate within two hours of taking it off the smoker. You can properly wrap and safely freeze it for up to three months. Also wearing good quality latex style gloves and an apron can help to keep you and your food clean and safe.
It’s best to err on the side of caution and follow minimum guidelines from the USDA regarding minimum cooking temperatures.