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Ground beef food safety question

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    Ground beef food safety question

    I am cooking for an event coming up that is 2.5 hours away, I will be smoking a few things but I ran into a conundrum with the hamburgers. I have a solution in that I can take a Smokey Joe with me, but I am still curious.

    I like Meathead's steakhouse burger recipe which is basically low and slow to 20 degrees shy of target temp, then reverse sear. Is it safe to do the low and slow, travel, then heat to a final temp of 160? I would venture to say no, but the food safety post says you have a 7D kill rate at 140 degrees after 12 minutes which is the temp I would be taking them off at. He also states that a 7D kill rate would leave 1 bad cell per 10,000 patties. At 160 it takes 7.3 seconds to kill everything. So, mathematically speaking it doesn't seem like there is any chance of a problem if I do it this way. That unlikely cell could multiply en route, but the 160 should kill all of that too.

    If I pull at 140 and treat as though it were raw, and heat to a final temp of 160 will I be safe?

    It would probably be okay if you have a cambro, or some other device, to keep the meat warm during transportation.


      If I did this, I would put in a plastic container, wrap with my usual towels and cambro. If these hold heat as well as my larger cuts I wouldn't anticipate losing more than 30 degrees on the drive.


        We encounter this situation many time when doing banquets, at work. In my opinion, it's better to interrupt the cooking process, chill, then continue the cooking process at the "venue." I'm real wary of keeping ground beef at the temps you describe. The problem is, even if you kill present bacteria, the bacteria exist in the air, and will still multiply as their food source is still present and at optimum temps for them to re-colonize. If we tried this at work, the health department would kick our butts so hard, we would wear our cajones as earrings. If you are transporting hot food, you have to maintain a constant 140 or above. If doing this is "iffy," then the pre-cook and re-sear technique is indicated.
        Last edited by Strat50; January 7, 2015, 12:23 PM.



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