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Please help. Pork butt safety question

smokinbill1638

Meat Mopper
261
72
Joined Apr 6, 2014
I have never had a cook go this way. As best I have determined, the pork butt must have been partially frozen. So I am smoking 6 pork butts about 8lbs each on my wsm 22. The butts were frozen so i moved them to the fridge on Monday night. I believe they were thawed by last night. I started the smoker at 7:30 pm Friday night. Took the butts out, removed from cryovac, rinsed, trimmed, rubbed. No injection but I did cut the fat out that pretty much splits the butt. When I finished at 9:30 the smoker was at 245. I have a cyberq atc. Put the butts on and the temp dropped as normal. Opened vents and set cyberq damper full open. Could only get the temp to 215. I normally run 235. The temp finally came up at 12:45 am. The outside of the butts are only at 126. I know the guideline of 40 to 140 within 4 hours. Normally the outside will reach that without a problem but not today. I kept temp at 250 since 12:45. This is for a family event. My question is...... are they safe to eat when they finish tomorrow? And any ideas what happened? I would assume that the cold water rinse brought them above 40 at 7:30 but I don't know. Thank you for a
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ny help. Didn't get any pictures of them after prep and before wrapping. Finished building charcoal tray. Kbb outside and one row in. Royal oak lump near starting.
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Last edited:

cornman

Smoking Fanatic
350
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Joined Sep 30, 2016
I would say keep it running and you should be fine. Those butts should have definitely thawed from Monday night through Friday. Are you sure your thermometer is accurate? Also 6 butts at once could really drain the heat for a while, but it should be leveling out by now. Just a few items to consider...hoping everything comes out well.
 

smokinbill1638

Meat Mopper
261
72
Joined Apr 6, 2014
I would say keep it running and you should be fine. Those butts should have definitely thawed from Monday night through Friday. Are you sure your thermometer is accurate? Also 6 butts at once could really drain the heat for a while, but it should be leveling out by now. Just a few items to consider...hoping everything comes out well.
Thermometer is accurate. That was my first thought so i added a second one and stuck a thermapen in to check also. All 3 were within 5 degrees. I felt for sure that was the issue. It did level out about 12:45. I just wasn't sure if it took them from 7:30 to 12:45 to get above 126 on the outside of them, if they would be safe because of bacteria growth.
 

phathead69

Smoking Fanatic
620
442
Joined Dec 23, 2016
since you didnt inject i dont think the 140f in 4 is in play. lot meat absorbing a lot of heat. keep going it'll get there
 

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
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I see no problem whatsoever. If you didn't inject, the 40° to 140° in 4 hours doesn't pertain to this.
As for thawing---I usually take my 5 pound Prime Ribs out of Freezer about 3 days before Smoking day.

Enjoy!!

Bear
 

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