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If someone places raw (moist) meat into a smoker between the temperatures of 40°F and 140°F (4°C. to 60°C.) called the "danger zone", it does not
and is an open invitation for the development of pathogenic bacteria.
Worse, when smoke is introduced, it becomes an anaerobic atmosphere
for two hours where conditions for the development of several types of bacteria may develop, including clostridium botulinum
. Smoke cuts off oxygen - it`s that simple.
Checkerfred, you "cooked"
the wings at 225°F
. Simultaneously you may have smoked
them, but 225°F is 85 degrees higher than the danger zone and that constitutes "cooking".
When I COOK a chicken in my oven, I don`t cure it first because I don`t SMOKE it RAW for two hours...
(a.) IN THE DANGER ZONE ,
(b.) in an anaerobic atmosphere. And because the chicken is raw, it is also
These three conditions comprise the milieu specifically to be avoided to prevent inevitable bacterial growth produced under these conditions. The first rule of basic sausagemaking - page 20 of "Great Sausage Recipes And Meat Curing" by Rytek Kutas states: "Don`t forget this one cardinal rule: IF IT CAN`T BE CURED, DON`T SMOKE IT."
You can bet Friday night's duck that if I "smoke"
a chicken (in the danger zone), I'm going to cure it with sodium nitrite first, most probably while I brine it in a salt solution.
Okay, now understand how spores work. Most bacteria are destroyed by the cooking process. If not, we would have perished long ago. However, Mama Nature is a pretty smart ol` gal. In order for her to protect certain strains of bacteria, she has developed a foolproof system - that of protective "spores". These "special" cells actually wrap themselves in a protective blanket or shell - sort of like a cocoon. This spore "cocoon" protects its host bacterium during unsympathetic environmental conditions such as extreme heat. In other words, spores are developed for surviving extended periods necessary for their reproduction. When environmental conditions improve, the cells return to normalcy. However, some spores are so resilient, even boiling water will not destroy them. Thus, once a spore has formed, even cooking may not protect us
against the toxins
produced. Thus, the case of clostridium botulinum
. Believe it or not, there are bacterial spores that have been on earth for millions of years and have even become hardened to radiation!
I'm sorry if I come off sounding like a teacher. I taught for years at a college and old habits are hard to break. Now I am old and cranky because I'm going bald. It's just a good thing I've got my "babe magnet" mustache to keep me knee-deep in chicks during my old age! Whew...