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Thread: Would you cook it?

  1. #1
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    Would you cook it?

    I guess this is the right forum for this, since the Kruger Safety Sticky is here.

    We were gifted a piece of frozen meat, labeled "Pork Shoulder". Other than the weight 7.3 lbs, there is NO OTHER INFO on the label or the plastic wrap (which is not vacuum sealed!)
    I believe it IS pork, but that's all I can tell for sure, since it has been cut rectangular, with a piece of a bone in it. Not the regular shape of a Boston Butt.

    There does not appear to be any freezer burn, and I am aware that "Danger Zone" bacteria is found almost entirely on the surface of the meat, and will be killed while cooking. So perhaps it may be alright to smoke.

    So...would you cook it?
    Last edited by Charles Howse; 09-06-2018 at 02:16 PM.
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    TVWBB All-Star Russell Y's Avatar
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    If it looks like any of these PORK SHOULDER or any of these BOSTON BUTT, I'd cook it like this - PORK BUTT
    Russell
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  3. #3
    TVWBB Emerald Member Dustin Dorsey's Avatar
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    I'd probably toss it. They are pretty cheap. Mostly likely it's ok, but if you have doubts, I wouldn't want that in the back of my mind.
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    TVWBB Hall of Fame timothy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Howse View Post
    I guess this is the right forum for this, since the Kruger Safety Sticky is here.

    We were gifted a piece of frozen meat, labeled "Pork Shoulder". Other than the weight 7.3 lbs, there is NO OTHER INFO on the label or the plastic wrap (which is not vacuum sealed!)
    I believe it IS pork, but that's all I can tell for sure, since it has been cut rectangular, with a piece of a bone in it. Not the regular shape of a Boston Butt.

    There does not appear to be any freezer burn, and I am aware that "Danger Zone" bacteria is found almost entirely on the surface of the meat, and will be killed while cooking. So perhaps it may be alright to smoke.

    So...would you cook it?
    I've had butts which were more longer than wider like a rectangle so that wouldn't worry me, but if your worried about freezer burn, just remove the plastic wrap and smell it.
    Freezer burn has a pretty strong smell, and if it's alright you could always throw it in a crock and make chili or stew or a really good bolognese sauce.

    Tim
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  5. #5
    TVWBB Pro BFletcher's Avatar
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    Let's assume that what you were gifted was given with good intention. Then the questions become whether or not a) the giver is knowledgeable enough about food safety that they know it is safe and b) from where (or whom) did they acquire the item? I side with Dustin's opinion. Currently, our Kroger's has shoulders on sale for $.99. Case in point: for our Labor Day gathering, at the last moment, I had to quick-thaw ground beef for unexpected guests. Frozen beef went from freezer to a cold water bath. I overestimated what would be needed and had 3.x lbs extra ground beef. Two loving family members didn't understand why I wouldn't re-freeze it (or at least keep the raw beef refrigerated for a week or so). I'm by no means an expert on food safety, so I'll follow the FDA guidelines on that decision, which state that it must be cooked immediately after thawed by that method. In my feeble mind that makes sense.

  6. #6
    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Plus a lot of times you can see burn. Looks dried out, wrinkled as compared to what you know it should look like.

    If it wasn't thawed then frozen again, look at the exterior and decide. You can cut out parts if it looks dried out! It's not as if frzr burn migrates (if present).

    As said, a butt is cheap enough to toss for peace of mind.
    Last edited by Len Dennis; 09-06-2018 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Sp
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    TVWBB Hall of Fame Bob H.'s Avatar
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    I would cook it, as I do not believe in wasting food. If it is not right, then toss it.

  8. #8
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    Lots of great replies! Thank you all so much! I think I'll thaw it, smell it, and then decide what to do.
    Timothy, I like the idea of chili or stew. I make a mean Brunswick Stew.
    I'll reply to this thread when it's all said and done.
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  9. #9
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    I would cook it as well.
    From your description, it sounds like it looks fine.
    Besides that, even if it would have freezer burn, it is just freezer burn. It won't make you sick.
    I would defrost and use. Maybe smoke, maybe a nice stew or curry.

  10. #10
    TVWBB Emerald Member Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    If it smells “off” when it’s thawed, don’t waste the time cooking it. If it smells alright, cook as normal.
    BUT, if in doubt, throw it out!!
    It’s not worth sickness (or the time to cook) for a piece of meat.
    Distinguebant Sed, Ignoret In Particulari!
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease too big a skillet!" J. D. Clampett

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