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HELP is it safe???

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
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?
post #2 of 14
Thread Starter 
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

post #3 of 14
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.
post #4 of 14

Don't sweat it and enjoy the meal!
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
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.
post #6 of 14
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
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
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.
post #8 of 14
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.
post #9 of 14
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
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
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
post #11 of 14

Dang that looks good enough to eat! Super Job!

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post #12 of 14
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.biggrin.gif I no longer probe pork shoulders (the other term would have made that sentence hard to take seriously biggrin.gif) until about 5 hours in and I don't probe briskets until at least 6 hours in.

post #13 of 14
Thanks for posting those DDave, very informative. Been putting my probe in too early all these years.
post #14 of 14
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 tongue.gif
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