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When to place the meat?

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    When to place the meat?

    I always went under the assumption that you wait for the smoker to get up to temperature before placing the meat on the grill. However, when looking up different articles about the Minion Method, several of them mentioned placing the meat on right after you dump the hot coals in. This would make things easier with my vertical smoker, since I can just set everything up at once and walk away for a bit. Is there a downside to this? Is it bad for the cook? Does it encourage bacteria growth if it is cooking at a low temperature for 15-30 minutes?

    I use a vertical smoker too and have done it both ways. I don't see where it makes a hill of beans worth of difference!


      Some people leave their meat out at room temp while the cooker warms up, can't be much worse than that.

      Microbes grow on the outside (if it is not ground) and that gets plenty heat eventually.


        Like Jarod said, any growth would be on the surface. Due to the long cook time and the meat temperatures obtained throughout the cooking, I don't think there is any risk. No matter what temp the oven is, the meat will have to go through the danger zone for some period. You just don't want to be there for hours. Salmonella undergoes a 7 log reduction instantly at 158F. If the internal temp gets to 200F for most BBQ recipes, the surface is above that. Per USDA Appendix A, there are also time/temperature combinations that yield the same lethality. This is the guideline used in the meat industry. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/...Appendix_A.htm


          I've done both, but I tend to go with fully pre-heated smoker most times since by then I can regulate things much better. If you put a pile of cold meat on a half-heated smoker, you risk trouble getting it to your target temp, whcih then may cause you to adjust things to raise it, then it spikes up past where you want and then you have to back it down thus beginning a game of yo-yo.


            I dont know if its right but I place it when shes up to temp. Just seem natural


            • Huskee
              Huskee commented
              Editing a comment
              Universally accepted as the best practice.

            Thanks guys. That makes things a lot easier.


              I put the meat on when I dump the coals in...this way I can bring the cooker up to temp with everything in it and is controlled better. If the cooker is up to temp and you put a big hunk of cold meat in, it's going to drop the temperature...and BBQ folks being constantly impatient, will start to fidget with the dampers and screw everything up :-)


              • FLBuckeye
                FLBuckeye commented
                Editing a comment
                I use the Party Q from BBQ Guru so once I put the meat on, the Party Q will run until the temp rises to my goal of 225. Cold meat absorbs smoke better. From this article:


                "The same thing happens to meat when you put it in the smoker. If it is cold and wet it will hold more smoke. As it warms and dries out, less smoke is absorbed."


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