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Food Safety question

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    Food Safety question

    I have a few cooks I want to do this week. I want to spatchcock a chicken on the grill, and if I remember correctly from Thanksgiving turkey, I was instructed in here to not cover it, and leave it in a refrigerator up to 48 hours (or so that is how I currently remember it). I also found on accident a great little chuck that had really good marbling, so I grabbed that as well. I am not certain, but, I feel like I can dry brine that uncovered for even 3 or 4 days in a good refrigerator. But, can you do both in the same refrigerator, and I transferring possible food illness? I certainly have more then one refrigerator, but, would like any advice given on this. Thanks in advance.

    Do you want to know what I KNOW, or what I WOULD DO?? Haha. Big difference..... Because I KNOW NOTHING!!

    But, I've salted and dry brined multiple meats at once, poultry and beef and pork in no particular order. I would think all bugs would get destroyed when you cook it anyway. Just be wary of the contact of hte raw meat on any other food products, or surfaces.

    On a taste note, unless you are cooking them together, I would do the bird first, as when i dry brine my chicken's too early, i feel it has too much of a cured taste. I only like 2 day dry brines on pork butt and brisket.


    • Richard Chrz
      Richard Chrz commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, no thoughts of cooking them together.

    Assuming you are going to cook both meats to recommended temps or beyond I cannot see any danger in cooking both in same smoker at the same time, but you may want to cook the turkey about 100* hotter than the chucky. If so, that would be difficult I expect.

    Dry brining for 3 or 4 days??? I would begin to be concerned for the number of days its been above freezing since it was butchered........assuming the grocer got it to you in say a day, plus the 3-4, now equals maybe 5 days. Don't let the total days above freezing get too much higher.......might be courting a problem if you do. Especially with the bird. 3 to 4 days in fridge for bird would I expect be for the thawing period which you did not mention and that should be ok. Just remember poultry does not keep well very long above freezing.
    Last edited by Alabama Smoke; June 23, 2020, 01:05 PM.


    • Richard Chrz
      Richard Chrz commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you, I had not figured in the time at store. I will bring it back down to 2 days. But, my question was not about cooking them together. I am wondering can you have 2 different protein sources dry brining uncovered in the same refrigerator.

    I'm not sure what the issue would be in keeping them in the same fridge, especially since you are cooking both. The only issue I ever come across with dry brining relates to turkey as at times the spatchcock turkey has been bigger than my sheet pan and some juices may drip off onto the shelf. But again, the bigger issue there is potential cross contamination of a product that will not be cooked. Just having it share the same fridge air with a chuck steak shouldn't cause the same concerns.

    For the chicken, assuming you want to go longer than overnight, I personally would only leave uncovered for one night. That's how I do turkey, dry brined for about 3 days with only the last night uncovered. The skin dries out plenty in that time period to really crisp up but I can't say for certain what the impact would be of uncovered for a 2nd night.


      IMO you will be fine. I've dry brined a roast up to 7 days before and it was actually one of the better ones i've cooked. For the chicken, I would spatch cock it and let it roll in the fridge for 48 hrs and not think about it twice. The one think you have to watch out for is cross contamination from the chicken to already cooked meat or anything else it might contact in that fridge? So just watch out for that and have a great cook.
      Oh, make sure to take plenty of pictures because otherwise it never happened right!!!


        The danger of uncovered meat is that a) it will drip or otherwise contaminate other foods or b) that something will drip onto it. Putting the meat on the bottom shelf avoids (a) and putting it where other things can't drip onto the meat will avoid (b).

        In terms of time... I'd err on the side of less time. I'm not sure that dry brining for days and days will accomplish much after the first day.


          Poultry always goes at the very bottom, even below Plutonium.

          Four days is no biggee at 34-36 degree temps.


            I'm a bit of a risk taker when it comes to food in the fridge. I take cross contamination seriously, and I take spoilage in the fridge very much less seriously. Maybe someday I will pay for it. Getting that out of the way, I've never heard of airborne cross contamination. If you have any drips, different story.


              Let me say this. I thought leaving poultry uncovered was to get the elusive crispy skin. So longer = better.
              But for the chuck? Does it really need to be uncovered? Yes, dry brine and let it sit is good. But being uncovered make any difference?


              • Jerod Broussard
                Jerod Broussard commented
                Editing a comment
                I typically lay plastic wrap over my skinless meats.


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