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Sep 25, 2012 07:08 PM

Can you save Underdone Pork and Chicken?

A grilling experiment gone awry.

I bought a small grill and chimney this weekend approriate for non Texas dwelling. I got a little ambitious with the menu and made 1) steak with Chimichurri, 2) Spicy Korean Pork Chops, and 3) Chicken (some of you know it as Jerk Chicken)

Steak came out fine. But both the pork and chicken are underdone.

Regrilling is not an option, especially since it's Tuesday and I grilled Sunday.

At my disposal in this infernal corporate housing is

1) an electric stove (but no oven),
2) a microwave.

How can I make my juices run clear? (i'm currently sauteing my chicken as we speak, but le sigh, it's not the same)

Thanks in advance


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    1. re: ipsedixit

      Yikes! Fire good, magic bad.

      I grilled some pork tenderloins to medium tonight. Good stuff, no worries. Of course, that doesn't work for chicken.

      With the leftover pork, i'll slice and make a sandwich with grilled onion, green pepper, provolone on some good bread. You could finish the chicken along with the onion and peppers before assembling the sandwich.

      Good luck.

    2. Just no.

      Particularly for the chicken.

      Undercooked poultry sitting around for days cannot be saved. Partially cooked and then stored chicken is a top ten food safety no-no.

      Next time microwave it right after . Do not wrap and store it if it's underdone.

      7 Replies
      1. re: C. Hamster

        What C. Hamster says is exactly correct.

        1. re: C. Hamster

          *checks for health insurance*
          *still non-existent*

          Well the rest of it gets tossed when I get home.

          Thanks C. Hamster

          1. re: C. Hamster

            why would that matter, just curious here as I have done this myself? Cooked 3 bone in breasts, one much bigger than the others that did not cook through, so I tossed it in a container into fridge and sliced and cooked next day. Surely the inside uncooked portion would cool fast enough, that is under the 3 hour time? Perhaps I am mistaken, however no ill effects so far!

            1. re: cleopatra999

              Hypothetically speaking, because increasing the temperature without killing harmful bacteria as you do when partially cooking actually increases the rate of bacterial reproduction. Waiting several days afterwards compounds the problem.*

              Getting away with something any one or two or a hundred times doesn't make something a safe practice.

              *This is also hypothetical, and not a recommendation - but I have seen some sources question whether the interior of meats harbor bacteria at all unless they've been pierced. And honestly, I don't think I've seen any strong evidence that it does. The is the same principle that makes steak safe to eat when cooked very rare. Perhaps when talking about meat that hasn't been pierced and that isn't prone to parasites, only the temperature of the outside actually matters - perhaps a chicken breast is safe when dipped in a deep fryer for just a few seconds. All the same, I'll wait for others to play guinea pig to answer that question.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                Just to be clear (for my own understanding), as I cook meat, IF there is already harmful bacteria in it, then as I cook it the amount of bacteria increases, because bacteria like warmth. Normally this would increase, until the internal temp is higher than what the bacteria can survive. However, if you don't reach that critical temp, all I have done is potentially increase the numbers.

                These numbers could potentially continue to increase even under refrigeration? why would that occur?
                Wouldn't the bacteria (even in increased numbers) die again once the safe temperature was reach on the next cooking?

                Thank you for the information, this is interesting.

                1. re: cleopatra999

                  Refrigeration generally slows bacterial growth. It doesn't necessarily stop it entirely - that depends on the bacteria in question and the food.

                  The problem is that when you've allowed more bacteria to grow before refrigeration, you compound the number of bacteria you eventually end up with because bacteria reproduce exponentially. Effectively, this means that when you put two foods aside and one starts off with a few more bacteria, that one will end up with a lot more bacteria after the same amount of time. And generally you don't get sick from ingesting just a couple bacteria - you get sick from ingesting a lot of bacteria.

                  Those bacteria can be killed by cooking the food later. But there are still two problems with that. For one, bacteria are also killed exponentially - it's not like bacteria all survive just fine until you hit 130 and then all die immediately. Instead, you can reliably kill off a given percentage of bacteria as a function of both temperature and time. Of course you could overcook to be safe, but there's still that second problem.

                  Some bacteria can make you sick not by infecting you but by producing toxins they make to discourage the growth of competing bacteria. Some of these toxins are easily denatured by heat. Some are somewhat resistant to heat - botulism is one example. Others are basically invulnerable to heat (at normal cooking temperatures) - staph aureus' toxin is the first example that comes to mind. Whether or not you cook your food well enough to kill the bacteria, these toxins can still give you food poisoning.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    got it, thank you. The clarification is in the point that it is not just temperature but time to get there and number of bacteria that need to die. I will take this into account next time the situation occurs.

            1. C.Hamster is spot on regarding correction right away

              Alternative to sauteing,bone side down or elevated etc in a pan,low to medium heat,uncovered until heated through and fully cooked saves you from soggy.