HELP is it safe???

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tld, May 16, 2009.

  1. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    I'm smoking 4 Butts 8 to 10 lb range. Smoking in an UDS. Put the meat on cold. (probe read 34ish) when I put all the meat in, the temp dropped to 170 which didn't surprise me and it took about 30 min to get back up to 240 in the center of the drum about 200 3" in from the edge. I've got 2 shelves in the uds. Guessing around midnight meat hit 40 on the lower shelves didn't check the meat on the top shelves. Plan was to switch the shelves around after a couple hrs. Well I didn't make it. woke up at 5 am ran out and this is the problem. Meat on the lower shelf not a problem but the meat on the top shelf reads between 138 to 148. The higher temp of course where the meat was toward the center of the drum. I know the 4 hr 40 to 140 guideline. This is my 1st true cook in my drum, its for my dads 80th bday and the last thing I need is to get people sick. So the question is do you think the meat is safe as some areas of the meat took around 5 hrs to hit 140. If you smoke to internal of 200 wouldn't it kill the bacteria?
  2. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    didn't get pic's before I started but here's some well into the cook. 8 hrs in meat temp is all over 150 to 172. Dang wish I didn't fall a sleep but got up at 4:30 to go to work Friday and I guess 20 hrs was all I could take.Got drum @ 260 at the center between the 2 shelves.

    Top shelve 1st one wrapped

    bottom shelve these 2 in the 150 158 range
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well the X factor is that we do not know what the temp was at the 4 hour mark. Also since they were 4 when you put them on we do not know how long it took to get to 40. I think you will be fine. The 4 hour thing is a good guideline to go by but I wouldnt get concerned if its a little more than that. Now if we were talking 6 hours+ then I would have my concerns. Wrap and take to 205ish then rest in the cooler then pull and enjoy some great Q.

    Looks good so far.
  4. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Don't sweat it and enjoy the meal!
  5. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    bmudd, Rivet, thanks . I was thinking the same thing. I'm quite confident it was no more than 5 hr 15min tops where all areas of the meat I checked was 140+(checked several areas per butt). I need to get more therms. now that I'm smoking more meat. Just got the 1 plus a pocket one.
  6. wutang

    wutang Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I have also read in posts by BBally (resident food safety expert) that because the butt is a cut that is left whole the meat that is on the inside is at a much lower risk for contamination, so it is more critical on cuts like this that the external meat surface stay out of the 40/140 zone within 4 hours. If your INTERNAL temp was close then I am sure the EXTERNAL meat probably got out of the zone in time.

    Keep on going, should be fine
  7. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    wutang, thanks.

    the temps I was getting was at least 2 to 3 inch into the meat. the outside had pretty good bark starting. So I would guess the surface had to be at least 160 in the 5 5 1/4 hr time. Feeling a lot better now. The last thing I wanted was to make a bunch of old folks sick.
  8. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'd eat it. You'll be good to go. One thing to remember is to not over fill the drum. It looks like you should have good air circulation in that cook. The uds needs good air to cook well.
  9. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Not sticking probes in the meat early also helped as an intact meat will extend the 4-140 rule by a bit. Personally if it was in the 5 hour range I wouldn't think twice about it should be fine
  10. tld

    tld Smoke Blower

    bday party went great. I use Jeff's rub and SoFlaQuer's finishing sauce. Everyone loved the pulled pork and my homemade BBQ sauce on the side.
    1 of 4 butts

    ready to pull

    all pulled
  11. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Dang that looks good enough to eat! Super Job!

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  12. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    But he DID puncture the meat early violating the "intact muscle rule".

    Sounds like it turned out okay but it may be a good idea to read this thread.

    Particularly this post.

    It is very informative and changed the way I do some things, that's for sure.[​IMG] I no longer probe pork shoulders (the other term would have made that sentence hard to take seriously [​IMG]) until about 5 hours in and I don't probe briskets until at least 6 hours in.

  13. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks for posting those DDave, very informative. Been putting my probe in too early all these years.
  14. bman62526

    bman62526 Smoking Fanatic

    Another rule of thumb for me, is this: if I'm dealing with pork or beef, and the cut is fresh - I don't even take the time or effort to worry about the 4 hour window, assuming of course that I'm following normal, common sense cooking methods. For example, If I accidentally let a whole beef tenderloin sit on the counter a little too long before throwing it on the smoker, then I'd maybe watch it a little more closely. Other than that, I try to be real careful w/ poultry - but beef and pork...I've been cooking for 20 years and haven't harmed a soul yet [​IMG]

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