There are a lot of factors that go into cooking beyond just the preparation and actual cooking. Proper food handling and safety are important to keep in mind, so you won’t become ill.
Foods such as meat need to be cooked to a specific temperature, which you can check with a meat thermometer.
One food people might check the temperature of is brisket. In this article, you’ll find out how to properly probe a brisket, what a brisket’s internal temperature should be, and finally, what happens if you eat an undercooked chicken.
What Is a Brisket?
Before you can probe brisket, you should first know what it is first. Brisket comes from the lower breast or pectoral muscles of the cow.
As you can imagine, this area of the cow is very tough because there are muscles in this cut of meat.
There are two different cuts for brisket. One is the flat or first cut, and the second is the deckle point of the second cut.
The main difference is that the flat cut is thin while the deckle point is on the thicker side.
What Should a Brisket’s Internal Temperature Be?
When it comes to finding out the internal temperature of a brisket, you first need to figure out whether it is red meat or white meat. Both need to reach different temperatures.
Red meat is considered meat that comes from a four-legged animal and is red in its raw form. White meat, on the other hand, comes from poultry like chicken, turkey, and duck.
Since brisket comes from a cow, which is a four-legged animal, it’s obvious that it falls into the category of red meat.
Brisket needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to be considered to be cooked well enough. If you are grilling or smoking your brisket, then the internal temperature is going to be very high.
It’s always good to cook brisket higher than the recommended 165 degrees Fahrenheit because of how chewy brisket can get.
This cut of meat is a muscle, which means it is going to be a cut that is on the tough side. The hotter it is, the less chewy it is going to end up being.
In the next section, we will go over how exactly you can probe a brisket properly.
How Do You Probe a Brisket?
Now you know what a brisket is, so you can start figuring out just how you can probe it in the first place!
With our simple directions, you’ll be able to find out the internal temperature of a brisket. To do this, you must:
- The spot you need to probe the meat in is in between the area where the two cuts of meat well… meet. This can be found near the thickest area on the flat cut.
- Grab your meat thermometer or whatever probe you are using and then insert it into the meat. You might want to consider checking several points on the brisket because not all of it is going to read the same temperature.
- Take notes of the different temperatures and make sure that they all eventually read the recommended cooked temperature. It is only then that you can remove the thermometer and start fixing up your brisket before digging in.
As you can see, it’s extremely easy to probe a brisket. You may have to do it a few times, as we mentioned above, because it might have different temperature readings.
Don’t worry because it won’t take long for you to have it reading the correct temperature all around.
What Happens if You Eat Undercooked Brisket?
If you eat undercooked brisket, you could put yourself at risk of the following:
- Salmonella can start a few hours to a few days after illness. Common symptoms include diarrhea, cramps, and fever. Normally, symptoms will clear up about 4 to 7 days after getting sick. You normally don’t need to go to the doctor or anything, but if it does get serious, you will have to seek help. In this case, you will have to go on antibiotics.
- Coli can be serious depending on the strain. Most of them aren’t fatal, but in the cases where they are, it could lead to serious issues such as kidney failure and death. However, most people are just going to experience some symptoms 3 to 4 days after eating the contaminated meat. Though in some cases, it can take as long as 14 days for them to show up. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and cramps.
- Shigella is another bacteria that can get into your system after eating contaminated brisket. Once you are infected, you’ll end up with diarrhea, cramps/pain in the stomach, and fever. Usually, these symptoms begin 1 to 3 days after eating contaminated food. Rarely, in some cases, you might not even show any symptoms.
- Finally, food poisoning is something you can end up with if you eat undercooked brisket. Most of the time, with food poisoning, you don’t have to seek medical attention and just need to rest at home for a few days. Typical symptoms affect your GI system.
With most of these bacteria, it isn’t usually fatal. You’ll end up with some gastrointestinal symptoms, which will keep you off your feet for a few days.
However, in rare cases, they can be fatal, which is why you would want to avoid getting any of these bacteria into your system whenever you cook brisket.
And there you go, all you brisket lovers out there! We first covered how to properly probe a brisket and check its temperature before going into the recommended temperature.
Last but not least, we had to cover what can happen if you end up eating raw brisket because it can happen.
Once you get used to proving meat with a meat thermometer, it will become second nature. If you don’t have one, then you better go out and purchase it!
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I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.