Smoker shut off overnight

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mattonthetraeger

Newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2023
4
0
Put 2 pork shoulders in the smoker at midnight. Set to 225*. Woke up at 9:30am and checked my app and it said the grill was in sleep mode. Ran outside and the grills probe was reading 130* internal temp and so were my other 2 added digital probes. I have no idea how long it had been since the grill shut off. The lid was still warm to the touch, not hot, just warm. I restarted the grill and they're still rolling right now. Are these safe to shred and eat? Or do they need to be tossed? I see so many conflicting info out there.
 
If you did not inject the pork shoulders, then you are good to go...keep on cooking and they will be safe to eat.

Remember that the shoulder is considered as intact unless you poke it with a needle or cut into it. Therefore, the inside is considered sterile and safe from the animal's own immune system at slaughter. Now the outside will be comtaminated, but as long as the surface of the meat got above 160*F, then all is well. When was the last time you checked on it before going to bed?
 
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^^^^This information comes from a one of our recently deceased Moderators, chef jimmyj. He was a certified culinary chef and very knowledgeable on food safety. There are many of his posts on this topic still posted on SMF.....
 
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If you did not inject the pork shoulders, then you are good to go...keep on cooking and they will be safe to eat.

Remember that the shoulder is considered as intact unless you poke it with a needle or cut into it. Therefore, the inside is considered sterile and safe from the animal's own immune system at slaughter. Now the outside will be comtaminated, but as long as the surface of the meat got above 160*F, then all is well. When was the last time you checked on it before going to bed?
I never checked it. In my 4 years of owning the Traeger I've never had this issue. I've always let it roll overnight. I did inject them with apple cider vinegar mixed with some of the rub. And they also have probes in them
 
My gut tells me you are O.K. if the smoke chamber temp. was @130*F. That is still at Sous Vide Temperatures and the temperature was falling to that point. Also, thermodynamics is at play here...the residual heat within the metal AND the meat helped keep the smoke chamber hot. I'd keep rolling smoke and keep on cooking were it me....

And from now on, check it before you go to bed. I recommend one of those temperature guns...fairly inexpensive....check the surface temp.; if it is above 160*F, go to bed. Fire goes out, relight and keep rolling.
 
Were it me, I'd cook it and eat it without concern....as long as you did not inject it.
As long as you sterilized the probe, all good there.

I recommend those single use alcohol wipes for the meat probe, or a spray bottle of Star San. Either will work.
 
My gut tells me you are O.K. if the smoke chamber temp. was @130*F. That is still at Sous Vide Temperatures and the temperature was falling to that point. Also, thermodynamics is at play here...the residual heat within the metal AND the meat helped keep the smoke chamber hot. I'd keep rolling smoke and keep on cooking were it me....

And from now on, check it before you go to bed. I recommend one of those temperature guns...fairly inexpensive....check the surface temp.; if it is above 160*F, go to bed. Fire goes out, relight and keep rolling.
Well, when I restarted the grill the internal chamber temp was 93*... I was saying the IT of the meat was about 130*
 
What kind of bark did it have on it when you checked it this morning? Remember that smoke has anti-bacterial properties and will help keep the surface kind of protected...
 
Ok, new info... called Traeger customer support... they said the grill was operating for 8 hours and 45 minutes. I was a little drunk last night, but I'm pretty sure I started the grill at 1030pm and put the meat on at 1130pm. Traeger customer support told me the grills probe reached an internal temp of 168* at its highest before the grill shut off... so that makes me think the grill shut down at roughly 8am and I caught it at 930am when I got up, but the internal temp of the meat had fallen to 130* before I restarted.
 
Ok, new info... called Traeger customer support... they said the grill was operating for 8 hours and 45 minutes. I was a little drunk last night, but I'm pretty sure I started the grill at 1030pm and put the meat on at 1130pm. Traeger customer support told me the grills probe reached an internal temp of 168* at its highest before the grill shut off... so that makes me think the grill shut down at roughly 8am and I caught it at 930am when I got up, but the internal temp of the meat had fallen to 130* before I restarted.
There ya go....you are good to go...keep on cooking.

I was a little drunk last night
LOL! That can happen to the best of us! Just make it a practice to check the INT before you go to bed for peace of mind....
 
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Glad to hear you're fine. Nice to have a company that can at least tell you what occurred. If an independent reporting probe was used to monitor the grate temp and set off an alarm (on your phone by the bed) when it dropped below 200º it would have been caught. Of course this also means to check the batteries prior to smoking. Always better to smoke over night with a true safety net in place vs rolling the dice.
 
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It's good to continue to cook and eat. The pinned threads at the beginning of the Food Safety Forum are good to read and the 40-140 in 4 hour guideline and what to consider pinned thread has you covered. It states that injecting with low salt, low sugar, no alcohol and no acids like beef broth or chxn broth is more of a concern. You injected 5% acetic acid vinegar with a 2.4 ph so you're good to go. You can also wipe probes with alcohol wipes or wash the stems. Bacteria can still ride sterilized needles into your body when you get an injection so the nurse wipes your arm with an anticeptic so nothing alive can ride the needle and the equivlent is hitting the spots you'll insert a probe with a torch a couple seconds, sterilizing that area of meat if you use several probes. One probe should be ok without the torch.
 
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