Was smoking a 7lb butt today. Put it on at 5am and at 9am, the IT was only 110. The outer layer with the instant thermometer read 130. Smoker temp was 230 the entire time. From what I have read and been told, I tossed the butt. I don't think I ever had this trouble before, but it also could have been I never noticed the discrepancy before. I have smoked a lot of pork and never got sick, but perhaps I'm lucky. After throwing it away, I searched here and everyone seems to agree about the 40-140 in 4hrs to be safe. In searching the web, I found a lot of places that say it really doesn't matter as long as the smoker temp is at least 225 the entire time. I actually saw an email from a USDA official stating this fact and a link to the USDA web site here that says the same:
I am going to do another tomorrow and will just start at 250 and keep it there to be safe, but if you think about it, a 10lb picnic roast in there at 225, no way 140 in 4 hours.I am curious on others opinions and how they would have handled it.