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Jan 3, 2013 02:19 PM

Will re-cooking kill bacteria?

I made a brisket last night that requires cooking for 3-4 hours one day, removing from the oven and allowing it to cool, slicing and refrigerating overnight. Then...... you place it back in the oven for another 1 1/2 hours the next day before serving.

It came out of the oven at 11pm and I set it on a rack (wrapped in it's foil packet) to cool. Unfortunately, I went to bed and forgot to put it in the fridge until 6 am.It's now sliced and I am getting ready to cook it for the remainder.

I guess my question is regarding food safety. If any bacteria formed during the time it was not in the fridge, will cooking it at 375 kill whatever may have developed?

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  1. I am not an expert, but frankly, I would continue on with your recipe & not worry about eating that lovely meat.

    I've done what you've done quite frequently.

    1. Another non-expert, but I'm with Bacardi1!

      1. Im with the others, go on with your recipe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jen kalb

          + 1, but to answer your question, pathogens themselves would be destroyed by recooking. The illness-causing toxins some pathogens produce would not be destroyed and can make you just as sick.

        2. Cooking will kill any bacteria but won't necessarily inactivate any toxins the bacteria may have produced. Destroying botulism toxin, for example, may require about 10 minutes at 212F (e.g. see ). Even if you cook at 375F, the center of the meat is unlikely to reach temperatures/times to guarantee safety.

          Having said that, I would most likely proceed with the brisket ... though I'd not serve to guests.

          1 Reply
          1. Think about going to a deli and ordering a smoked meat sandwich. That slab is in and out of the steamer and survives. I think the pickling process offers some protection against bacteria building up in the meat. I think your slab should be fine based on the way it has been brined and processed.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ruthie789

              While I'd eat it regardless, keep in mind that not all briskets are brined/pickled. You're thinking of corned beef brisket.

              I could be wrong, but I think the OP may be talking about a regular/plain beef brisket.