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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:07 AM   #1
jburch3
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Default Pork Butt "Emergency!

I'm smoking a pork butt on my big green egg as we speak. Put it on at 3:30 am set at around 250 or so. Checked back frequently until about 4:30 to make sure temp was holding. Went back to sleep and eventually checked it at 9am. Temp had gone down during the rest of the night to about 140 or 150. I just opened up the Egg, mopped the butt really well, and got the heat back up to 300.

Is this thing safe?
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:13 AM   #2
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What is the meat temp?
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:17 AM   #3
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I am no expert in this area. That said, if it were me I would feel fine about it once it got back up to temp. Just make sure the internal temp. is correct for any bacteria, if any, to be killed.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:20 AM   #4
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Checked the meat temp, after bringing the heat back up, around 9:45, and I got a reading of 140.

I'm thinking that its fine. It dropped during the night/early morning from 4:30 am to 9am. At 9am, the temp was around 135 or so, which means that was its lowest point for a period of no more than 4.5 hours (probably just an hour or so, considering that it had to have dropped slowly).
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #5
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...I would toss it. Sorry..prob. not what you wanna hear.like someone said in a similar thread $20 butt aint worth 3 days on the pooper.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:23 AM   #6
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My best guess is that it will be fine. As long as you get the smoker back up to temp, any bacteria and such will cook off as the meat temp rise and it should be good to eat. If it was in the range of 140-150 as you report, that is well outside the range for many bacteria to grow. A lot of bacteria thrive in the 60-105F range.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garzanium View Post
$20 butt aint worth 3 days on the pooper......

Or a $5000 casket......

I'd toss. This is the reason why I stay up for long cooks. You should always check temp at least every two hours. You went almost 4 hours with no temp check. Big no no unless you are running a temp controller. And even those shouldn't be considered 100% reliable.

Not trying to bash or anything. Just the cold hard truth..
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garzanium View Post
...I would toss it. Sorry..prob. not what you wanna hear.like someone said in a similar thread $20 butt aint worth 3 days on the pooper.
Garzanium--It is if I cooked it! Just kidding! Thanks for your feedback. You're right, not what I wanted to hear, but I understand why I should be cautious. That said, I've still got at least another 7 or 8 hours left in the cook. If I keep it at 275-300, will I not kill off any bacteria that may have been there?
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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It will be fine
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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This is what I was afraid of. A split decision. I talked to my bro in law, who is a chef at a high end steakhouse, and he says I'll be fine considering the small window of the time for the meat to have sat at the less than ideal temp. He also said that trichinosis isn't really a major concern in the US anymore when it comes to pork.

I'm very paranoid. And I've got another butt in my fridge that I could throw on. But I'm still wanting this one to be salvageable.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburch3 View Post
Garzanium--It is if I cooked it! Just kidding! Thanks for your feedback. You're right, not what I wanted to hear, but I understand why I should be cautious. That said, I've still got at least another 7 or 8 hours left in the cook. If I keep it at 275-300, will I not kill off any bacteria that may have been there?
I forget where I read it and I'd try to find the article if I wasn't on my phone but I read that the USDA advises against eating any kind of meat that was partially cooked under minimum internal temp, was interrupted to the point that it stopped cooking or even cooled, and then brought to a "cooked" point above minimum IT. They also mentioned that any slow cooked meat products should be brought to a temp of 145 IT within 2 hours of placing on the pit. This attributes to why the USDA recommends a minimum cooker temp of 250*.

Does it mean that you will get sick if you finish it and eat it? Not likely but why risk it.

I'll try to find the article but for now its information to consider..
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:45 AM   #12
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If you're cooking it to around 200* internal, I don't see how many bacteria could survive that On a side note, that's why I don't cook at night while I'm asleep-ruining the meat would be the least of my worries, I'd be afraid a big dog or something would knock my smoker over trying to get the meat and burn my house down.
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #13
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You'll be fine!! One suggestion though: Order a Maverick ET-732 and you'll never have to worry about it again! Cheers!!!
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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:46 AM   #14
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You were at a low temp for such a short period, it is not a problem.

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Unread 04-05-2013, 09:52 AM   #15
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my guess is the meat spent less than 4 hours in the danger zone. I'd eat it, but I'm a gambler.

The bigger question is why on earth did your super expensive egg crash and burn (or not burn)? I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how a ceramic cooker could fail like that.
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