Dr of BBQ
Read the health code your county or city is using. There are some strange rules about cooking smoked food, including the coolng process.
If you’re in a rush to get a sauce, soup, meat product, or stew from hot to not so hot, so that you can put it in the fridge for storage, the best thing to do is get it out of the pot, smoker, or oven that it was cooked in and into a wide, shallow receptacle, such as a baking dish or large bowl. Don t dump 3 or 4 pork shoulders into the same pan. This increases the surface area, thereby speeding cooling. If you care to further fast-forward cooling, surround the food-filled receptacle with some ice water in the kitchen sink and rotate or stir the contents occasionally. Once cooled, the contents can be transferred to a storage container and put into the fridge.
Now there s more:
Stainless steel is attractive, non-reactive, lightweight, and relatively durable. It’s also a poor conductor of heat. Cool food down properly before storing, is simple: One of the most common mistakes when storing cooked food is to wrap it hot and put straight in the refrigerator. This is bad for two reasons: The food cannot cool down quickly enough when it is wrapped tightly, and the hot food warms up the rest of the refrigerator. This is particularly relevant with soups, stews, whole cooked or smoked large chunks of meat like pork shoulders or hams that hold heat much longer than other foods. Let hot foods cool down at room temperature first, before wrapping them and storing them in the refrigerator. To speed things along, portion the item into several shallow containers, loosely covered to let steam escape, and cool more quickly. For a pork shoulder pull the bone and tear the rest of it into smaller chunks. You ll be shocked at how quickly it will cool.
It s funny most health departments pay no attention to this what so ever. I have some other notes on this but I can t seam to locate them at this time, maybe because it’s beer thirty. LOL. If I run across them in the next day or two I ll post them. But you do not need special refrigeration equipment in order to be safe in this area.
PS. One other thought, it s common practice to wrap a pork shoulder or brisket in tin foil and then in bath towels or newspaper and hold it in a cooler for several hours in BBQ competitions. But I ve never heard of a health department complain about it. WHY? Do they think it s not falling (temp wise) into the danger zone? Of course some of them do. Been there done that. LOL