Catastrophe ☹️

Okay, so I had started a 5lb roast last night at about 9pm. Expected to SV it at 138 for 21 hours. Get to my GF’s house at about 2:30 pm, and find out that my GF had accidentally turned it off at about 9am :frowning::frowning::frowning:
Now, I do have an insulating neoprene cover for my tank, and so i guess it still cooked for a while after, and in fact, was about 100 degrees 6 hours after the machine had been shut off.

So, is this just a complete throw away waste of a roast ? Any concerns with bacteria ?

Not knowing what else to do, I just got it all set again, and going for 8 more hours. No good way to calculate cooking times now. I mean, it went for 12 hours, then a slow cool down, and now 8 more ?
In the SV for 26 hours, but only 20 hours of cooking at the correct temp…
And dinner will be ready at mid night :open_mouth: Urggg…

What would you do ???

Update: So my GF and I decided that 1) it wouldn’t be worth the risk of bacterial growth, and 2) the finished product, even if it tasted good, would tell me nothing about how to make the next one…
So, what it comes down to, is that we have 4 very lucky dogs :grinning:

I ran over to the grocery store, and got another nice roast, albeit a little smaller. Trimmed the silver skin, seasoned it up. With black pepper, garlic powder, and salt, and I have it in the smoker right now for 3 hours.

And btw, after 12 hours in the SV machine at 138, it had just the right amount of pinkness… (Well I might go 136 this time?)… And it didn’t seem too tough, although I’m sure it’s going to more tender at 21-24 hours.

That kinda sucked, but chit happens, right ? If this is the worst thing that happens to me for the rest of 2019, then it will be a pretty darn good year :wink:

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Sorry to hear about that Chris, I guess the pinkness would be the same after 12 hours as it would have been after 21 hours, although from what the cat said in my post I would leave it for at least 24 hours or even 27 hours like I did mine, that’s assuming it is a similar overall thickness and the extra weight would be due to a longer piece rather than a thicker one.

Good luck with the second piece :yum:

Chris, just as in photography, attention to detail in precision SV cooking is important for successful results. I don’t think you took the correct steps with your Catastrophe and here’s why.

First, i don’t think you had sufficient information to make the correct decision and guessing can be harmful to your health. Details are important.

I plan and execute all my cooking as if i am working with a highly contaminated product. Under normal SV cooking techniques roast-sized pieces of meat don’t present a food bourn illness hazard when cooked above 130ᴼF / 54.4ᴼC to make your food safe. That’s called Pasteurization.

You don’t reveal the type of roasts you are cooking, nor their thickness, thus it’s not possible to recommend any cooking time adjustments to help you. The weight doesn’t matter when considering cooking times, but thickness always does. That’s because SV cooking occurs at significantly lower temperatures than in conventional cooking and heat diffusion is much slower. That gives us somewhat of a race as we cook to kill off enough harmful pathogens in the meat before they can multiply to a harmful level. This race is only ever 4 hours long. You need to get the core of the meat above 130ᴼF / 54.4ᴼF in 4 hours. If you have the danger of harmful pathogens producing heat-resistant spores in the product that can make you very ill. That’s why i limit my SV cooking to pieces of meat no thicker than about 3-inches. Any thicker and you risk losing the race.

In your Catastrophe you likely achieved Pasteurization, but not knowing how thick the roast we don’t know when. Your concern was, or should have been, - how long did the roast rest at a temperature below 130ᴼF / 54.4ᴼF? And if it did at all. You might have answered that question if you measured the roast’s core temperature at the 6 hour point after your circulator was turned off. I would have disposed of the roast if the core temperature was significantly below 130ᴼF / 54.4ᴼF. Too risky, particularly if was fabricated or roast that had a bone removed and retied instead of one solid piece.

How far below that temperature?
Again, thickness matters. We know that heat penetrates at about 1-inch per hour. A quick calculation of the temperature gap and thickness will tell you if it’s safe to proceed in order to get the core temperature back to where it needs to be.

One more thing about temperature and food safety. Those 4 hours below 130ᴼF / 54.4ᴼF are cumulative. It’s the total time spent between 40ᴼF / 4.4ᴼF and 130ᴼF / 54.4ᴼF while heating or cooking and while holding for service, or when chilling before refrigerated or frozen holding.

I regret this reply is overly long, but a detailed understanding of safe SV cooking technique will keep you well.

Thank you. I’m okay with long explanations :slightly_smiling_face: And since we decided to save that one for the dogs, I think we made the best decision.

But you bring up other concerns. So, with that roast, and it’s replacement, I cold smoked it for 3 hours. That probably didn’t raise the temp to over 110 degrees. Then, straight into a 136 degree SV bath.
I’d say that first “beef” roast was 4" thick, and this second one, is maybe only 3" thick… But I’ve seen 18lb briskets and whole pigs SV’d.

You don’t think this is ever safe ???

Oh, and one other thing… I could be totally wrong, but I’ve always felt that bacterial contamination mostly starts at the surface of the meat, and both of my roasts were pretty heavily ‘salted’ plus seasoned. I figured this might reduce the chances of surface contamination. No ?

Was just reading some cold smoking safety info, and saw where 2 hours was usually the safe limit. So I know I went a bit over.
Will stick to that next time.

But why are 48 hour, or even longer SV’s and as low as 129 degrees “ever safe” let alone, almost always ?

I know I’m bouncing back and forth between cold smoking and SV, but I’m just thinking about cooking temps and contamination here, which both cooking techniques involve…