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Is it safe to serve?


Joined Jul 13, 2016
Similar question: scenario; put dry rubbed 6 pound butt in 250• smoker at 5:30pm. Added charcoal at 8 and 11pm and temps range from 200-275. Went to sleep at 11:30pm and took warm to the surface touch (120• center temp) butt out at 5:30 am- smoker had cooled to touch, no idea how long fire lasted. wrapped in foil and put in fridge. Smells good. Is it ok to pull, reheat and serve in crockpot later today? Thanks, newbie, tommy.


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Man it took 6 hours to get to 120 IT. That's a long time. Then the fire went out. I wouldn't eat it until you hear from Chef Jimmy J.

Hopefully he will be along shortly.



Master of the Pit
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Joined Feb 7, 2015
Welcome to the forum Tommy!

If I read your post correctly, the butt was at 120 when removed at 5:30 am, 12 hours later.  The question is, did it get above 140 IT during the night and how long had it been below 140 before refrigeration.  I'm with Al about not eating it, but I'm no expert.  If the butt didn't get to 195-205 IT, it will be very tough to pull.  


chef jimmyj

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It does not sound like the Internal Temp(IT) got anywhere near 205°F and being tender enough to Pull as is. That said, IF it was not Injected or Boned, Rolled and Tied, aka Intact meat, then there should be no issue. Surface Bacteria were killed long ago and even at 120°F 12 hours later there was little chance of re-contamination and at 120, growth is very slow if at all. Cook/Smoke it at 225° or higher and stay with it...JJ

joe black

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Joined Jan 25, 2015
Welcome from SC, Tommy. It's good to have you here on this great site. You have heard from Chef JJ and that's all you need. He's the best at safety in meat and cooking.

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