Is my Boston Butt rotten now? HELP!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by basstronics, May 27, 2013.

  1. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    I thought I would be smart and spend most of the 13 hrs sleeping.

    SO I fired up the MES 40 and got things rolling. Went to bed.

    Somewhere between 2am and 5am my MES40 shut off. When I checked at 5am the meat probe said 92 inside the meat and the box was 65...

    So I promptly fired it back up to 240 with 4 hrs left and went back to sleep. Now the 4 Hrs is up and Im sitting at 160ish.

    Is this butt junk? It might of coasted for a few hrs with no heat...??? I know you cant say for sure, but what kind of probability?
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Did you have the probe in the butt the whole time?

    It's hard to say how long that butt was below 140.  I'm not sure I'd chance serving it to my family.

    Someone may come along that is better informed about food safety than I, but if it was me I'd start over.

    Good luck,

  3. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's cutting it a bit close. Depending on how the meat was handled before it went into the smoker, how long it took to get to 135˚, and about a million other variables. If it was me, and I knew all the details and was confident it had been handled safely in all other regards, I'd probably keep it. However, I'm not you, and only you can make that decision. If you maybe didn't wash your hands, probed it at the start and maybe didn't sterilize your probe, maybe left it out on the counter to "get to room temp", or a host of other possibilities, you could conceivably be putting your family at risk. It's funny, we all hear the "I've had that happen a dozen times and no one got sick" stories. But the one in a hundred story where people do get sick doesn't seem to get told as much.

    Long story short, if in doubt, throw it out. And I mean ANY doubt at all. ESPECIALLY if there are old folks, little kids or anyone else who might be a little on the frail or sickly side who will be eating it.
  4. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    Probe was in the whole time. Between the Mrs outside smoking her last cig and the neighbor who has to walk by the smoker- not sure what happened.

    I was told at 2am (last cig) it was all plugged in and going.

    On the side note I just hit the 160 threshold and covered it and added some apple juice. Sure as hell looks good. I would hate to throw it out I got $20ish into the meat and all the smoke time. If its junk theres no BBQ today... :(
  5. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    It did go from the fridge into pan, rubbed and onto the hot smoker as quickly as possible.

    Never heard of sterilizing the probe before. I always give it a good quick cleaning before use every time though.

    Is there a way to tell if its rotten or is it a eat it and find out? Besides the obvious this tastes like crap?
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you started at 240, it was down a long time, because it takes a long time for the MES to get to 65, with a big piece of hot meat in it.

    Plus if the Butt never got to 140---That's bad.

    I would recommend you toss that butt, and buy another one.

    You could look at the one in my signature to see how I do mine.

    Also notice I start mine in the morning, and NEVER CLOSE MY EYES !!!

  7. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    If the probe wasn't sterilized (as MDB noted) then you could have potentially introduced bacteria into the butt which will grow between 40 and 140 degrees.  Your butt was at 92 when you saw it this morning...I would throw it question.

    That is why I don't sleep when I'm smokin'.

    I'm really sorry about your loss on this one, but better to learn a lesson than make everyone sick.

    Good luck,

  8. Personally I'd throw it out, because food poisoning is no joke. When you put the probe in right away you contaminate the inside with any germs from the outside of the meat. Most people wait a while to put the probe in so the outside is cooked sterile to prevent this. When puncturing the meat with the probe the 40-140 in 4 hours rule becomes extremely important. There is no guaruntee one way or the other, but i'd error on the side of caution and just make some burgers or something.
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  9. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, there's a very simple way. If this happens, it wasn't safe.

  10. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    There is no way of telling if it is tainted or not.
    What concerns me is you stuck the temp probe in it at the start. By doing that you compromised the surface and now fall into the 40 to 140 in 4 rule. By probing it you could have pushed surface bacteria deep inside the meat and the only way to kill it before it starts multiplying is to get the temp above 140 deep inside the meat in less than 4 hours.

    I never probe the meat until it has been cooking at least 3 hours so that the surface will be above 140 then it's safe to do. And with a large cut that I know is going to take at least 8 hours I really don't need to see the temp climb 40...50...60.....I just want to see the finish temp.

    I alway wipe my probes with alcohol immediately before inserting into the meat.
  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good thing she had the wedding dress to hide in!!

  12. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    OK So I took it out and Im tossing it.

    My neighbor is still sleeping but Im about to wake him and thank him for F'ing up my food.

    Rule #1

    Never mess with a fat persons food, especially BBQ!
  13. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm sorry man, that is a bit of a bummer. But it's is always best to mitigate any risks, even if it means $20 in meat and all the time and effort down the drain. However, it's early yet, you can still do something else like ribs, a fatty, some ABT's and/or some chicken. They don't take nearly as long and you'll be done by dinner time. Good luck and we're all waiting to see what you make next!
  14. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Sorry about the lost butt, but you're making the right call. None of us want to risk making people sick eating food we cooked.

    Live and learn, Brother...

  15. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sorry , but as stated , better judgment says lose the Butt and do some Burgers this time. Don't eat anything you have second thoughts about, it is for the best solution ,86 it. . .

     Or give it to Fido... at least someone will get to Celebrate good today . . .[​IMG]

    Sorry, I had to do that, [​IMG]  .

    Hope today is fun and treats you better, and as always . . .
  16. basstronics

    basstronics Fire Starter

    Well shoot. I got NY Strips for dinner so thats squared away.

    I think the worst part is I smell like smoke and delicious meat and I cant eat any... lol

    Im going to try a BBQ joint and see if they are open for lunch to get my now needed BBQ fix.
  17. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Do a reverse sear on those steaks and you will still get that smoky goodness you crave!!
  18. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    What Dave said!  

    I'm doing a reverse sear on a pair of really thick loin steaks tonight!!!

    Here's the process:

    Season lightly with your preference, smoke to an IT of about 110-115.  Pull off the smoker and put them on a hot grill - about two minutes or more on each side depending on how done you like your steak.  You could also take the IT on the smoker higher if you like your steaks more done.

    After pulling them off the grill you will have THE best steaks you have ever eaten!

    Good luck


Share This Page