• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

40 to 140 in 4...A Guideline and what to consider...

tallbm

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,719
1,838
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Fellas - One brisket turned out good, but the other is stew meat. I'd like to give/get feedback, but definitely don't want to hijack this thread any more than I already have. I know some admins are pretty strict on that stuff and as a new member, I don't want to go pissing in someone's Cheerios, haha. Where would be the best place to post the results and a few questions? Again, I really appreciate all the help. Overall, it was a great birthday.
Post under the Beef section about your brisket experience. I look forward to reading the details :)
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
39,004
11,609
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Fellas - One brisket turned out good, but the other is stew meat. I'd like to give/get feedback, but definitely don't want to hijack this thread any more than I already have. I know some admins are pretty strict on that stuff and as a new member, I don't want to go pissing in someone's Cheerios, haha. Where would be the best place to post the results and a few questions? Again, I really appreciate all the help. Overall, it was a great birthday.

Go here (below), click on Post New Thread (in box on right).
Then Start your own Thread, with Pics, if you have some.

Go here:
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/forums/beef.101/


Bear
 

Americo4

Newbie
1
0
Joined Jun 8, 2019
Newbie- and can’t figure out how to start a new thread. My question is:

Smoking a brisket. Started at 7pm last night at 225. Got up above 140. Smoker shut off a little after 4 am. Woke up at 7 am, internal temp was around 125f, internal temp now getting back up to 140 (8:00am)

Meat was not injected.

Toss it, or keep smoking?
 

JckDanls 07

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Group Lead
5,916
598
Joined Sep 10, 2011
keep smoking... and read above about starting a new thread
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
19,786
4,208
Joined May 12, 2011
Newbie- and can’t figure out how to start a new thread. My question is:

Smoking a brisket. Started at 7pm last night at 225. Got up above 140. Smoker shut off a little after 4 am. Woke up at 7 am, internal temp was around 125f, internal temp now getting back up to 140 (8:00am)

Meat was not injected.

Toss it, or keep smoking?
You are fine. Surface bacteria are long gone and nothing internally to worry about.

To Post, go to the appropriate forum, beef in this case. Top right, hit post new thread and follow prompts...JJ
 

Motorboat40

Meat Mopper
249
372
Joined Feb 5, 2020
I've never heard of that rule this a 1st for me, I've always smoked my pork butts which I usually inject with apple cider vinegar and apple juice mixture with spices the night b4. I smoke it around between215 and 230 preferably sometimes I get distracted and my temp has gone lower or higher but never been a problem. But I don't even start to check the internal temperature until about 6 hrs in, I just recently got a Ink bird wireless probe that can be view on a phone or tablet so now i set an alarm for when the smoker temp goes too low or too high. But I doubt the temp on some of the bigger butts reached 140 within 4 hrs amd we have never had any problems with the meat. My cousins wife is a food inspector and she said and the temperature I'm cook at and for the long periods of time any bacteria that might have been there have long been killed off but she was very pleased to see me use a meat thermometer to check if the meat was done or not.
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
39,004
11,609
Joined Sep 12, 2009
I've never heard of that rule this a 1st for me, I've always smoked my pork butts which I usually inject with apple cider vinegar and apple juice mixture with spices the night b4. I smoke it around between215 and 230 preferably sometimes I get distracted and my temp has gone lower or higher but never been a problem. But I don't even start to check the internal temperature until about 6 hrs in, I just recently got a Ink bird wireless probe that can be view on a phone or tablet so now i set an alarm for when the smoker temp goes too low or too high. But I doubt the temp on some of the bigger butts reached 140 within 4 hrs amd we have never had any problems with the meat. My cousins wife is a food inspector and she said and the temperature I'm cook at and for the long periods of time any bacteria that might have been there have long been killed off but she was very pleased to see me use a meat thermometer to check if the meat was done or not.

Yup----Very little chance of a problem if all other safety factors are taken care of.
However, just like what happened to the nicest Old Lady I ever met. I had bought 12 acres from her, which is how I met her. One evening she was catching a bus to go to one of those "Mystery Church Dinner" things, and she parked her car across the highway, and started walking past a parked Van along Rt 663, apparently not looking both ways, and a truck took her out right there.
I'll bet she crossed the street many times, without looking both ways, and she never had a problem before.

Bear
 
Last edited:

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
19,786
4,208
Joined May 12, 2011
Motorboat40, what you are doing is fine. The major point in that article is, 40 to 140 in 4, is a Good Guideline but not a Make It or Toss it Federal Regulation.
The most common use of this Guidline is, for example, determining if Injected meat is most likely still Safe when a you are smoking a Butt, you fall asleep and the Smoker Dies for X Hours.
Hit that 140 in the first 4 hours and there are Zero issues. If the Butt only got to 120 and the smoker was out 8 hours, you face a food illness risk from Bacterial Toxins. It is Extreme Situations that cause concern. If you are monitoring the IT and it takes 6 hours to get to 140 in a big butt, there is nothing to worry about because the IT was continuously rising and given Time, minutes to a couple of hours, Bacteria stops growing or Dies at 125 to 130°F. Death just happens fast at 140+.
What is Injected has to be taken into consideration too. Inject Acidic and Salty Liquids and they Inhibit Bacteria growth. The time to 140 is Less critical. Inject Homemade Pork Stock or Broth that has been sitting in the Refer a week and 4 hours may not be Fast enough to stop Bacterial Growth and Toxin production!
So 40 to 140 in 4 is a great Tool to use as a Yard Stick in many situations but is far from being a Black or White, Do or Die Regulation/Rule...JJ
 

Motorboat40

Meat Mopper
249
372
Joined Feb 5, 2020
Thanks I haven't fallen asleep for more than 2 hrs smoking before I have started at 2am before and set an alarm to catch cat naps throughout the night.
 

Bytor

Smoke Blower
132
68
Joined Jan 16, 2020
So, I have a 9.5lb butt that I'm going to smoke. I was wanting to take advantage of Mother Nature and her chilly weather to leave the butt on the smoker overnight and start things remotely around 3am tomorrow (I know, it does feel like I'm cheating some). The temps going to go down to 43 give or take and it's already 47 out now at 8:30. I figure I will put the meat out at around 11pm, so it will be out in the smoker for 4 hours at temps in the low 40's. Internally, I'm sure it will be alright, not sure about the exterior just wanted to see if there were any differing opinions.

Thanks
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
39,004
11,609
Joined Sep 12, 2009
So, I have a 9.5lb butt that I'm going to smoke. I was wanting to take advantage of Mother Nature and her chilly weather to leave the butt on the smoker overnight and start things remotely around 3am tomorrow (I know, it does feel like I'm cheating some). The temps going to go down to 43 give or take and it's already 47 out now at 8:30. I figure I will put the meat out at around 11pm, so it will be out in the smoker for 4 hours at temps in the low 40's. Internally, I'm sure it will be alright, not sure about the exterior just wanted to see if there were any differing opinions.

Thanks

I'm about as strict as they get, and even I would say it should be OK to be in the low 40s for 4 hours before you hit the heat, as long as you do everything else right. That's only a couple degrees above Fridge Temp.
If you want to be sure, just get ahold of chef jimmyj chef jimmyj , and see what he has to say.

Bear
 

wfc08

Newbie
4
10
Joined May 2, 2016
I wish I had seen this last weekend. I had what was labeled a 8# Picnic Shoulder(which may have been my problem) to make pulled pork. I've read its not the best cut but can be done. All that was available on the bare shelf so I had to make due. I just trimmed the skin completely off as I do not make use of it like some, having never smoked this particular cut before I tried to get me as close to a Butt to get as much surface area to apply some rub. Anyways on at 12am at 225, went to bed, checked it at 7am(dome still at 225) but the IT was 139. The other mistake I made was inserting my probe when it first went on. No Brine, No injection but I was worried about the 40-140 since I stuck it with a probe. I was smoking for my cousin and his young family so I didn't want to play around so I tossed it. 40-139 @ 225 in 7hrs seems very long. Was it the cut of meat or just a being a bastard? Luckily it was early enough that I just ran out and got the first in line at my Meat Market and picked out an actual Boston Butt( had to go smaller due to the time ) but it all worked out aside from tossing the first cut.

Very informative post JJ and any tips or comments would be appreciated for down the road.
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
19,786
4,208
Joined May 12, 2011
Assuming Bone-in and No Injection or holes punched in, 4 hours in the mid to low 40's is no issue. While some pathogens " Can Grow " at these low temps, it does not happen quickly. Days not 4 hours...JJ
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
19,786
4,208
Joined May 12, 2011
wfc08 wfc08 The leave in the meat, from raw, Thermometer is almost 100 Years old. Millions are in household kitchens. In modern times we have Probe Thermometers. The instructions for both say to, " place in the center of the thickest portion or muscle of the meat and place in the oven. ". There is not or never has been a single word about waiting X hours before inserting...
There is no Blaze Orange Warning Label explaining the dangers of Inserting from Raw. And, as Litigious as Americans are, if the was ANY possibility of an issue, there would be multiple Stickers and Safety warnings in the instructions and on the packaging...The reason there are no warnings?
There is not a SINGLE documented case with the USDA, FDA or CDC, of anyone ever getting a food borne illness from the Insertion and use of a Thermometer or Probe in Raw Meat...JJ
 

wfc08

Newbie
4
10
Joined May 2, 2016
Thanks JJ. I was concerned that since i put the probe in from the start of the smoke and the fact that it took 7hrs to get the picnic shoulder to 140 that it may be questionable. Now I know I was misinformed. Good info, I should have just let it ride and did a little more research before tossing it(moment of silence please). The Butt I put on afterwards flew past 140 in no time, just two different cuts of meat I guess, or maybe just one of those long head scratching smokes. IDK. Thanks again.
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
39,004
11,609
Joined Sep 12, 2009
Thanks JJ. I was concerned that since i put the probe in from the start of the smoke and the fact that it took 7hrs to get the picnic shoulder to 140 that it may be questionable. Now I know I was misinformed. Good info, I should have just let it ride and did a little more research before tossing it(moment of silence please). The Butt I put on afterwards flew past 140 in no time, just two different cuts of meat I guess, or maybe just one of those long head scratching smokes. IDK. Thanks again.

Yup---Those Dang Picnic Shoulders always took me a lot longer than my Boston Butts.
I don't even buy the Picnics any more!!

Bear
 
13
3
Joined Jan 3, 2019
If the Meat, a Pork Butt, Beef Brisket, Etc, is INTACT, other than Therm Probe, it don't matter if the IT takes 4 hours or 24 hours to get above 140 if we want it there at all!!! The interior of muscle is Sterile, so there is no Bacteria to worry about. Additionally, at 225°F, the meat surface will pass 140°F in 30 to 60 minutes or less, depending on the size of the meat. All surface bacteria is Killed and there is very little that can change that.
I have a 40-140 in 4 issue and I think I'm OK, but I'm curious what the SMF brain trust might have to say.

I'm currently smoking two 8.5 lb each BONELESS pork butts in my MES 40 electric smoker. It's been 7 hours since meat went in at 32 deg. F and now it's at 132 and 135 IT for the two butts. I clearly didn't meet the guideline and normally if this was bone in, I wouldn't have much concern. Since these were boneless, there are some folds in the meat that are of concern for bacterial growth. My instinct is that the boned out areas are all likely well over 140 by now since I'm taking temp from the center of the thickest part of the butt.

Does SMF say press onward towards a full belly of pulled pork? Or take caution?

EDIT: All went well in the end. It took 19.5 hours total to get to 195-205 deg. F IT, but the flavor was great, pulled well, and no one got sick! I had two separate thermometers checking smoker temp and I was always around 235-245 deg F when I checked, so I'm not sure how to explain the long cook time, but it worked out in the end. I started pulling the smoker out of the garage at 4:30am on Friday morning and pulled the meat off at 1:30 am on Saturday. Chilled the wrapped butts in an ice bath to drop temp and then pulled before sticking them in the fridge. Reheated in the oven the next day with some of the saved juices and covered with foil.
 
Last edited:

JLeonard

Master of the Pit
1,154
733
Joined Apr 17, 2020
As far as Doing Things Wrong and you are still alive...Many of us have indulged in Risky behavior. The 80's was a blur for me! Cocaine, Unprotected Sex with many, many willing young ladies, Street Racing Muscle Cars, hell, we picked up a case of Beer to Cruse the streets or drive to the Beach. Drunk Driving was a Friday and Saturday Night event! And I'M still alive. But I know better now! That kind of behavior can Kill me, especially if my Wife found out, and stopped that silliness a long time ago. Back then I was Lucky! Now I am Smarter...JJ
Did we just become brothers?
Jim
 

chef jimmyj

Epic Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Group Lead
19,786
4,208
Joined May 12, 2011
I have a 40-140 in 4 issue and I think I'm OK, but I'm curious what the SMF brain trust might have to say.

I'm currently smoking two 8.5 lb each BONELESS pork butts in my MES 40 electric smoker. It's been 7 hours since meat went in at 32 deg. F and now it's at 132 and 135 IT for the two butts. I clearly didn't meet the guideline and normally if this was bone in, I wouldn't have much concern. Since these were boneless, there are some folds in the meat that are of concern for bacterial growth. My instinct is that the boned out areas are all likely well over 140 by now since I'm taking temp from the center of the thickest part of the butt.

Does SMF say press onward towards a full belly of pulled pork? Or take caution?
I think you are ok. 4 hours is not a magic number and as you said the Cut area is to one side while the probe is centered. The Cut side is hotter. If this was Meatloaf I would worry, but I'd keep cooking ...JJ
 

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.