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Old 03-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
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Browning meat & then placing in oven

I'm wondering if the following would be safe to do (food safety wise)...

I have a recipe that calls to brown a pork tenderloin in a skillet on all sides and then remove from heat. Then, in that skillet, to saute some apples. Next, the browned pork is returned to the skillet and placed in a 425 oven for 12 minutes (or until done).

My question: after step 1 (browning the pork), can I return that pork to the dish that had the raw pork on it that (that I used to season it on before cooking)? I assume it would be okay since it is going back into the oven to finish cooking and any surface bacteria would be killed. Of course, once the cooking process is complete, I would move the pork to a clean dish and the old, raw pork dish, would go to the dishwasher.

Any thoughts? It seems like a hassle to use two dishes just during the seasoning/browning phase, but obviously safety is number one.

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Old 03-06-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crankin View Post
I'm wondering if the following would be safe to do (food safety wise)...

I have a recipe that calls to brown a pork tenderloin in a skillet on all sides and then remove from heat. Then, in that skillet, to saute some apples. Next, the browned pork is returned to the skillet and placed in a 425 oven for 12 minutes (or until done).

My question: after step 1 (browning the pork), can I return that pork to the dish that had the raw pork on it that (that I used to season it on before cooking)? I assume it would be okay since it is going back into the oven to finish cooking and any surface bacteria would be killed. Of course, once the cooking process is complete, I would move the pork to a clean dish and the old, raw pork dish, would go to the dishwasher.

Any thoughts? It seems like a hassle to use two dishes just during the seasoning/browning phase, but obviously safety is number one.
Absolutely not! That is cross contamination. And very dangerous. Place the piece of meat on a thick paper towel. Or use a paper plate. For myself, I would rather have a dirty dish than a trip to the ER with salmonella poisoning.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Even though the pork is going to cook in the oven? Wouldn't surface bacteria be killed by the time the internal temp is safe?
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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Usually you should not reuse a container that held raw meat for worry of cross contamination. In this case, I really wouldn't worry about it if hasn't sat out for hours (and that sounds unlikely since you are searing then going to the oven fairly quickly.).

I have reused a plate like that, though I tend to give it a quick rinse and a dry just because I don't want any wet following the meat I just seared.

I also tend to use a paper plate for a quick hold in this situation.

It would be inadvisable to use the pork bowl to hold some vegetables you were serving raw or blanched (for instance).
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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Gonna agree with Addie, it's just not a good idea to do. If one dirty dish is going to bother you, I would suggest the paper towel to pat dry and then season the meat. Ball it up and toss {this is on the assumption that the tenderloin is cryovaced}. With other packaged meats like steak or chicken, season one side in the container and then the other side when the meat goes into the pan.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:05 PM   #6
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I'm going to give you the logical answer and then say it's a bad practice. All bacteria is killed at the requisite minimum time and temperature. So, looking at it for what it is, one might as well ask if it was okay to season pork in a bowl and then cook it in the oven. The fact that it was browned before it was re-exposed to whatever might have been on it doesn't change what's in the bowl. What's in the bowl is exactly was was on the pork when it was unwrapped.

All pathogenic bacteria die when exposed to 160F. Note that meats are commonly cooked to significantly lower internal temperatures, but the interior is not the problem. Surface contamination is. Of course, ground meat has no "interior," which is why it's so worrisome in regard to contamination.

And all bets are off when meat is left unrefrigerated for hours or when a meat handling surface or bowl is left dirty for long and then used again, which is the same as leaving that portion of the first meat and its fluids out unrefrigerated.

My objection to doing as you describe is that it's a sloppy kitchen habit that can lead to problems when things aren't just as they are in this case. But doing what you describe, quickly seasoning pork pieces in a bowl, browning them briefly, returning them to the bowl, and then cooking them thoroughly in the oven presents no more hazard than seasoning them in the bowl and going directly to the oven, which is little to no risk at all, assuming some gross mishandling hasn't befallen the meat before you began.

And it's worth noting that a phenomenon of increased heat resistance has been observed under conditions that might actually occur in a home kitchen. The media bearing the bacteria was slowly heated to about 130F, enough to kill some but not all the resident bacteria. It then required a greater than normal heat to kill the survivors who normally would have all died if it had been taken immediately to the minimum 100% killing temperature. Bacteria are very adaptable and the ones we worry about reproduce most rapidly neat human body temperature. It appears that the bacteria adapted to the increasing heat stress by producing more heat-resistant individuals. Fortunately, nearly all of our meat gets externally exposed to much higher temperatures than the target interior temperatures.

This appears to be something like the adaptability that populates so many kitchens with bacteria resistant to antibacterial cleaning products when such things are foolishly used and where the inevitable survivors live to breed resistant populations.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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Since the seared meat is going back into a hot pan and into a 425º F oven, there is no issue with reusing that plate. A contamination that existed would be on the surface which gets more than hot enough to eliminate any problems.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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Since the seared meat is going back into a hot pan and into a 425º F oven, there is no issue with reusing that plate. A contamination that existed would be on the surface which gets more than hot enough to eliminate any problems.
+1 I agree with this. As long as the process of browning and sautéing didn't take more than like 30 min and then you cooked it again I do not see how bacteria will proliferate. If that was the case most people's meat would go bad by the time they got home from the supermarket.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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I'm lazy, but I wouldn't want any of those juices to get on my nicely browned meat.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:12 PM   #10
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+1 I agree with this. As long as the process of browning and sautéing didn't take more than like 30 min and then you cooked it again I do not see how bacteria will proliferate. If that was the case most people's meat would go bad by the time they got home from the supermarket.
No offense if you keep kosher, but if you saute/brown a pork tenderloin for 30 minutes, it's probably over cooked at that point.
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