Big Problems here! How long can cooked meat sit at room temp before its bad?

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Smoking Guru
Original poster
OTBS Member
Oct 18, 2007
West Fargo, ND / Northern MN
Ok I have a major issue going on this morning. Yesterday I smoked a great Prime Rib for Xmas and it turned out great. As the in-laws were heading home we cut the remaining roast in 1/3's so everyone could take some a nice chunk of meat for later. Well the meat was still hot so I wrapped min in foil and set it on the counter to cool. Well I come out this morning and what do I see on the counter???? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO the prime rib as been sitting out all night.  I know the safe and probably correct answer is to throw it so you don't get sick but hey this is some great prime rib. I wouldn't dare serve it to anyone else but do you think I dare eat it? At this point I am SO pissed that I don't even care if I get sick I just want to eat some more for lunch. Ok set me straight here should I just face the ugly truth and throw it or do I dare eat some. It was cooked to 140 and it was hot going into the triple wrapped foil so it would have stayed above the danger zone for a while but still we are talking almost 12 hours of sitting out on the counter. I know what the answer is but I just wanted to see what the rest of you guys would do in this situation?
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Personally I would error on the safe side but I dont have the scientific answer. I alway had heard that 4 hours was the safe time but not sure where I heard that
Man I hate when that happens! Personally I'd toss it...I know it's not easy to do but why take the chance...12 hours is a long time.

On a side note I use to leave meat out all the time and eat it the next morning but that was before I knew better.

I hope I was of some help to ya. 
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Sorry RB,

I would have to say the danger zone works in reverse too---4 hours from 140˚ back to 40˚, with maybe a little cheating on the edges, but 12 hours is much too long.

I would seriously miss your posts on this forum, so don't chance it!

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