Beef brisket in danger zone after water level dropped to low

Hi everyone.

I’m new to the exciting world of SV. I am not new to nerd things (apparently :nerd_face:) so I’m not sure what has taken me so long to get here.

But I’m pleased to be here finally.

I’ve been reading through post after post, topic after topic but cannot seem to find an answer to my question. But apologies if the question had already been answered.

Using the app, I’ve been cooking a substantial beef brisket.

It was all so easy. I’ve been managing the connection issues discussed in this topic

I started the cook at approx 11am Friday morning. Using the app, the cook was for 68.3C (150F) for 24 hours.

Timing was going to be perfect. We have people coming over for 4.30pm on Saturday (today) so there was going to be sufficient time to finish it off in the oven.

Before I went to bed at 11.30pm, everything seemed fine.

I woke up at 5.00am to hear the alarm on the APC. The water level had dropped so it had stopped cooking.

The water temp was down to 38.3C (100F).

I have no idea when overnight the water level dropped and so when the cooking stopped.

The volume of water is quite large (20 to 25 litres) so for the water temp to drop this far I can only presume it was for longish period of time.

So at 5am I topped up the water and got everything going again. I have set the time to 10 hours.

My questions are:

  1. Has the meat been spoiled?
  2. Has it been too long in the danger zone?
  3. Will restarting and cooking for 10 hours plus finishing in the oven at 150C (300F) for 2 hours kill any bacteria that had become established?
  4. Do I bite the bullet and toss out the brisket?

Many thanks!

I can’t imagine the water level dropping enough in less than 6 hours to fall below the lower limit on the APC unless you just barely had the water over that limit to begin with…or have a leak in the container somewhere that you didn’t notice. Where was the original water level at when you went to bed? And how far below the minimum level on the APC was it at 5 AM? All that said and asked…

Is/was the brisket still completely covered in water? Also, I’m not sure exactly where the temperature probe is within the cylinder, but it’s possible that it’s situated such that it’s not sufficiently submerged to accurately read the water temp when the water falls below the minimum level. If that is indeed the case then we don’t really know what the temperature was when you checked on it at 5 AM.

Thanks @DParker

I’ve worked out that because of the shape of the lip of the container I have used, it was not possible to submerge the APC so that the water level was close to its max.

So the lessons learned are: get a different container for the water bath and top up the water before I go to bed.

Once I refilled the water, the temperature remained in the order of 38C. So I reckon that is a reasonably reliable temperature reading of the water before I tried restarting.

I have since decided to play it safe. I’ve aborted and we are proposing a different dish for our evening!

It always helps to cover a long cook so that you don’t suffer low water due to evaporation.

Agreed it is always good to cover a long cook especially if the temp is high (150f or above) as you will get a fair amount of evaporation. I use plastic wrap and it seems to work and has never caused me any issues.

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