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Smoking diaster - or is it? Please read ASAP!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Okay so last night I got my cooker up to 350, hosed it for a steam clean, let it try and come down to 300 and put on 2 10lb briskets at 11:PM and 2 butts at midnight.  Cooker temp was between 220-275 and around 3 I drifted off to sleep.  I set my alarm for 4 and I awoke to the cooker temp of 125F with only a few coals left.  I immediately threw on a few small chunks of wood and got the fire up to 275 within 15 minutes.  I think checked the temps of the brisket and butts and found that the brisket was at 125F and butts were 115F.  I ended up throwing the butt away because it had been 4 hours with 30F still to go to make it past 140F.  I tossed one of the briskets and left 1 to keep cooking.  It reached 140F at 4:30 AM - 5 1/2 hours in to the cook.   I then ran to the local 24/7 store and got a nice 8lb brisket flat and 10 lb butt to replace what I tossed.

 

Did I do the right thing?   Was I over conservative?   I read that 140F in 4 hours is the mark to hit and I clearly didn't hit that with the shoulder and was close on the brisket.

 

I am now cooking the new meat (starting at 5:45) at 275F - Steady!

 

Thoughts?

post #2 of 4
Better safe then sorry. Although my big smokes never hit 140 in 4 hours. I don't probe or inject either.
post #3 of 4

IMHO you did the right thing.

When in doubt, throw it out. Food poisoning can be deadly.

post #4 of 4
If the meat had not been poked or prodded or injected, it was safe to finish cooking and eating.... Whole muscle meat is considered sterile and as long as the surface bacteria is killed, as you did with initial high temps, low and slow cooking to finish is acceptable....
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