8 Pound Butt

Discussion in 'Pork' started by ohm, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. ohm

    ohm StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    I started an 8 pound butt last night around midnight and everything was going good. I had the temp about 225 - 230 plenty of coals and thought it was good for a few hours. I headed off to bed around 2 AM and woke up around 7AM. When I got up the temp on the smoker was 100 degrees......

    My question is should I toss the pork?

    I went ahead and got the smoker back up to 225 as quick as possible and everything is normal again. My only problem is I do not know how long the pork was below temp and how long. I am a bit worried.
  2. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What was the temp of the meat at 2:00 AM? and again when you got up at 7:00 AM?

    My thought is that the smoker blazed away from midnight till you went to bed at 2:00 AM, and probably for at least a couple more hours. It is possible that the Butt got through the danger zone within that time. Then the charcoal started to flag, maybe needed to be shaken to remove the ash, and the temp started to dip...but maybe the butt was resting at or above the top of the danger zone.

    I don't know the ambient temp where you are and what type of smoker you have, but If I apply a linear temperature regression to your problem with the assumption that your smoker lasted to 4:00AM without dropping in temp, I would have your smoker at 183° at 5:00AM, and at 141° at 6:00 AM, and then at 100° at 7:00 AM.

    There have been threads recently that drew a distinction between the danger zone on meats that have been pierced, indicating that meat may be safe much longer if it remained intact.

    Given my assumptions that the meat probaby made it through the danger zone, and that the temp of the smoker didn't hit the 140° mark trending downward until an hour before your found it at 7:00 AM, I would re-stoke that baby and then continue with your smoke.

    Having said that, I would learn from your experience and adjust accordingly for your next overnight smoke.

    This is my $.02, and not having all of the information at my disposal, please take this under consideration, and not as the gospel.
  3. ohm

    ohm StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    I am not sure what temp the meat was when I went to bed but I did check the meat before starting the smoker back up at 7 and it was 140. I got the smoker back up pretty quick and it is sitting at 239 now.

    Thank you for the reply. I guess I will have to wait and see if I get sick... hehe I hope not.
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I couldn't have said it better myself. Eat away in good mind, and remember that next time.

    The science part for further interest: It's also important to realize that if a piece of protein (meat) is in the danger zone for over 4 hrs, the bacteria does not receive an APB and spring to life in immediate full bloom. There is "lag time" during which they slowly begin to stir and come alive and begin to replicate. Over time, this blooming rate increases exponentially. depending on the ambient temperature (as opposed to the meats internal temp) this takes many many hours.

    With that said, you still want to be food safe and stay away from potential issues. This also may help you understand BBQ Engineer's excellent reverse engineering of the situation [​IMG]
  5. ohm

    ohm StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    Qview from this morning.
  6. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sure looks good. I've gotta a couple of fingers crossed for your intestinial safety. [​IMG]
  7. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    you need to get yourself an maverick Et-75 so you have a low temp alarm
    sounds like you will be fine this time, sure looks tasty!
  8. ohm

    ohm StickBurners SMF Premier Member

    Thank you all. Just an update to what I first posted apparently I did not go to bed until 2:30 ish and at that time the smoker was refreshed before I headed to bed. As of now everything is done and sitting in the cooler. I will update with pic's when I pull.

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