• 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.

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


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Oct 18, 2007
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?
Last edited:


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 26, 2009
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


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
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. 
Last edited:


SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
Joined Sep 12, 2009
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!


Latest posts

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.