Already started smoking my butt but need help please.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by 12ring, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    Lousy picture, I know. One with a flash the other no flash.

    So I am doing a butt for today for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Michigan tomorrow. I was afraid i couldn't time it out right, being that it is my first try at one so I am doing it today and will reheat it for everyone tomorrow. "Hopefully" that is.

    I prepped the smoker at 3:45am and my maverick ET732 was reading 235 by 4:15. I pulled the butt out of the refrigerator at 4:15am, rubbed it with mustard and Jeff's rub. It was on the smoker at 4:30. I have my smoker thermometer and meat thermometer set on the same rack as the butt. The thermometer was probably 5-6" away form the butt and at the back of the rack. For what ever reason my meat probe was reading 15 degrees less that my chamber probe. I didn't let that bother me because I thought it had something to do with it being stuck through a small potato and the chamber one on a clip.

    Anyway after 3hrs and 45min the difference in the two started bugging me so I pulled the potato off and moved both probed toward the middle and right next to the butt. At that point the temps were reading the same but only reading 180 degrees. Only thing I can think is somehow the heat was running up the back of my chamber which gave me a higher reading.

    So now I'm worried about the butt getting contaminated. At 4hrs into the smoke I decided to probe the meat and it only read 100 degrees. Isn't it supposed to be up to 140 before four hours or I'm risking food born illness???

    I read a bunch of stuff about inserting the meat probe to soon and pushing bacteria into the meat but it had already been on the smoker for 4hrs. But the temp might have only been 180-190 in there. I just can't figure out if I made a mistake of if I should smoke on.

    Any help would be appreciated. If you need anymore details, please ask. I may have left something out because I'm frantically typing over here.

    Oh and it has been on the smoker now at 250 from the 3hr and 45min mark until the 4 and a half hour mark and the IT is now 120.

    So quick recap. Meat out of fridge 15 min then into a 180-190 degree smoker for 3hr 45 min. IT was 100 at the 4hr mark when I inserted the probe. Now IT is 120 at 4hr 30min mark. Am I ok or in trouble??????

    Go IRISH.
  2. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You are fine.  If you injected the butt....then that "rule" applies.  Enjoy the smoke time.  No fretting!  Keep the pics showing so we can enjoy it too!

    The main thing is HAVE FUN!

  3. Send JJ a PM..... I think your ok. It would take a while to get above 40° so that will take away part of your 4hours.

  4. spoolinaz

    spoolinaz Meat Mopper

    It's ok, you are good. The rule is more flexible for whole intact pieces. If you had injected, you would have good reason to worry.Just get your smoker temps up and let the butt go to 190+. Wrapping at 165 is a popular method, but by no means is it necessary. After the butt is done, let it rest for an hour or 2 minimum and then pull it. You mentioned that you will be reheating for another day, just make sure you cool the pork quickly (the same 40-140 rule applies here too). This is best obtained in smaller batches laid flat in ziplock bags. When you re-heat, make sure to take the temp up to at least 165 before you serve it.
  5. rattlin_ram

    rattlin_ram Fire Starter

    Prolly fine, if worried crank the heat as much as you can to get it up around 150-160 ish...   I've done some cold winter smokes before that took longer than I expected.  Haven't made anybody sick..... yet.... ;-)
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  6. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You are just fine, ride it out!
    The 40-140 rule only applies to intact whole muscle meat where the surface has been compromised by injections or some type of probing that can push harmful bacteria deep into the meat. Since you didn't inject and waited 4 hours before probing you are just fine. A whole piece of meat that big straight out of the cold fridge and cooking at that temp will take a long time to come up to 140*. After 4 hours I'm sure the surface temp was above 140* so inserting your probe is fine and good idea to wait.
    Your chamber temps probably dropped because you put a large cold mass in your smoker and it will take time to recover from that but just ride it out, the temps will come back up which you are already seeing.
    Let it smoke, you are on your way to some really good pulled pork!
    Keep us posted with Q-views and let us know how it's going, and remember we are always here if you need any more help!
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  7. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the quick replies. Oh man what a relief to hear that. I was losing my mind over it. I'm way paranoid about getting people sick. My wife on the other hand will leave stuff out forever and not worry. I'm over here washing with scolding hot water and clorox but she'll eat thanksgiving turkey at her moms that's been out all day.

    So about the reheating, I planned on pulling it then putting it in small, flat, vacuum packed bags into the fridge until tomorrow. Then boiling a big pot of water with the bags in there. Then pulling it out of the bags, pouring some auju juice (or whatever its called) over it and into a foil tin. Does that sound about right?

    Sorry for all the questions. I have read and read and read and read on here but sometimes it all gets jumbled up in my head and I can't remember what I'm supposed to do. Thanks again. VERY much.
  8. that sounds good. You might want to add the au-ju to the meat when you put it in the bags.

    Remember to post pics.

    Happy smoken.

  9. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Vac bags in hot water is one way to reheat. You can also put all the meat in a big baking pan, cover with foil and heat in a 350* oven for about an hour. You could also put it in a crock pot on high until it gets warm then cut it back to low so it stays warm for the duration of the party. Any of these methods will work!
  10. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    This was at the 5 hr mark. I had to look. Had to. Couldn't control myself. My temps rebound super fast so I had to peak. I'm using a GOSM 38gas smoker by the way.

  11. Looking good. Now for the peeking[​IMG]
  12. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looking good so far!

  13. spoolinaz

    spoolinaz Meat Mopper

    As for the Juices, if you end up wrapping, save the liquid leftover when it's done resting and pour that back into the pulled butt. Re-using the liquid truly does take the experience up another level!
  14. Looks like you are well on your way to some Pulled Pork heaven. If you aren't portioning it and freezing in vac bags, I'd follow what S2K9K suggested with the pan in the oven or the crock pot. Both work equally well. 
  15. rattlin_ram

    rattlin_ram Fire Starter

    I always reheat in a crock pot or a roaster with a bit of juices or just apple juice added to the bottom... 
  16. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    I will be using the crock pot for nacho cheese so that rules out the crock pot option. If I go the route of putting it in a pan in the oven at 350 for an hour, won't it start to cook more at that temp?
  17. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I do that all the time with frozen pulled pork that I have packed and it works out great. But I wouldn't want to waste vacuum bags for that short of a time. The other option is to just put it in a foil pan and cover with foil and into the fridge. Then reheat that in the oven. I cook all my butts a day or two in advance and that is how I reheat them. I do use a finishing sauce on mine and I put that on right after pulling.
  18. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    Ok here's another question. I hear everyone talk about resting it wrapped, in a cooler full of towels. Could I just use this Racheal Ray therma flect bag with towels in it? My wife uses it for keeping things hot or cold when we go to the zoo or park or just whenever we gotta keep something hot or cold. Seems to work great so i figured why get into my hot attic to get down a cooler if I can use that.
  19. 12ring

    12ring Smoke Blower

    Forgot the picture of it.

  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    How long do you want to rest it? If I am going to pull it right away, I just wrap in foil and let it res t for a hour, then pull. If I need to hold it for more than an hour then I put it into the cooler and towels. Like I said I do most all my butt cooks a day or two before, so I rarely need to hold the butt longer than a hour. If you need to hold it longer than a hour I would assume that your bag would work.

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