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Mar 15, 2013 12:11 PM

Meat internal temperatures

This is kind of a food science query: I remember getting up at 7a.m. one morning to start smoking a whole brisket for dinner party, and I kept it on smoke at 270 or so for about 5-6 hours. Then I wrapped it in foil and cooked it (?) 325-350 in the oven. The internal temperature just wouldn't rise to the desired 195 or so until 7pm, and I was even cranking the oven up before. The hoards were hungry and clammoring. It all turned out great, but I wonder to this day: what can make one chunk of meat so resistant to coming up in temperature, while another cut would be wrung dry in 1 tenth the time?

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  1. In the the BBQ world, that is called "the stall".

    It the point that the mass of meat reaches the temperature that water turns to steam. That phase change from water to steam (from 99 to 100C) requires more energy than the linear temperature rise up until that point would anticipate. It doesn't require that the entire mass reaches that 100C temp, just some of the water starts turning to steam.

    1. There's a good summary of "the stall" and evaporative cooling here:

      1. What helpful replies! Thanks.