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Pork butt- low heat


Joined Dec 4, 2016
Attempted overnight cook. Traeger Pellet grill.  Temp malfunctioned & butt was on the smoker and the smoker temp was at 120-140 degrees for about 6 hours.  Internal meat temp 100 degrees when I found this. I put in a pan and foiled turning grill up.  4-5 hours later, meat temp is 200 degrees.  Later, I read that one should not have the grill temp below 180 degrees for more than 2 hours during the initial cook. Is there any need to worry that the long initial low temp has created unsafe meat?  Does the final temp of 200 degrees kill any bacteria or problems created by the low temp. I usually cook pork butt in the 180-225 range.



Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 27, 2008
Hmm, that is a stretch. A couple things to consider: bone-in, not injected or tampered with prior to cooking is to your advantage. I boneless, injected, poked to insert garlic cloves, etc, that stacks up against you.

How long after you dropped the pork into the smoker did the temps drop off? If it was exposed to ~225* for an hour, I'd say your probably still looking at a green light, if it was intact whole muscle meat,

This article is about poultry, ot pork, but the same principles could possibly be applied, depending on the critters the pork could have been contaminated with:


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