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Afraid I know the answer already!

ledmondledmond Posts: 88
edited 8:48AM in EggHead Forum
I have two butts about 4 lbs each on the egg overnite. Over about 8 hours unattended, the dome temp dropped from 260 to 180, and the meat temp was the same as 8 hours earlier, 120. I have cranked up since. Am I foolish for trying to salvage this meat since the temp may have been in the danger zone so long?? It would be my first loss on the egg, if so. Any past experience or history lessons would be appreciated.

Comments

  • smoky bsmoky b Posts: 648
    if I was cooking for others, i'd probably toss it. better safe than sorry!
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    A 4 lber should only take 6-8 hrs to get from 40 to 195. You say the butts have been at 120 all night? Something doesn't sound right.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Did you run out of lump? or did the fire go out?
    Kent Madison MS
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    Did not run out of lump nor did the fire go out. Extreme cold and condensation froze the lower damper in place but probably had nothing to do with it.

    As far as cook times, my butts have always taken 2.5 to 3 hours per pound @ 250 dome. Heck the plateau can last 3-5 hours sometimes.

    Anyone here disagree about cook time?
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Agree with cook time...
    What does the meat look like? Does it have bark? Are the edges fork tender? Has the bone started to show where the meat is pulling away?
    Kent Madison MS
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    Meat looks more raw, no tenderness. I would assume meat temp went higher than 120 during the night, then cooled back to 120 by this morning. I am nowhere near bark stage, unfortunately.
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Donuts to dollars your dome thermometer needs to be calibrated.

    The problem with the fire was most likely ash buildup.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    sounds like it's dog meat :angry: :angry:
    It's just not worth the chance...
    Kent Madison MS
  • egretegret Posts: 4,063
    I wouldn't hesitate to keep cooking these......I'd probably finish them off in the oven, however. If your dome temp. was still 180* you never were in the danger zone (40-140). It's not the internal temp. that determines the danger zone, it's the chamber temp. which is at, or very very close to, the surface temp. of the meat.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Spot on advice...
    I'm a lazy Egger and seldom start with all new lump or clean out the old. With that said, I do "wiggle rod" my fire grate real good before heading to bed. Amazing how much ash I get through the grate after it's been in low/slow mode for 3-4 hours.

    As for thermometer check, I often fill a measuring cup with boiling water and with lid in open position emerge the tip to see what it reads - then verify with the thermapen
    Kent Madison MS
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    Thus the subject title, "Afraid I know the answer already". Thanks for the input. Calibration is good. I have had trouble before stabilizing early on when using a water filled drip pan. Seems to need watching and fine tuning first 3-4 hours and I went to bed after 1.5 hours, again lesson learned.

    Thanks to all who responded.
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    spot on John,,,, where you been hiding?
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    I will hang in there, and be the guiena pig later.
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    Great advice - if his dome temp was correct....
    Kent Madison MS
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    If the temps you posted in the original post are correct and your thermometer is accurate if they were mine I would continue cooking. Your cooking enviroment was never below 180 so the surface temp of the butts is/ was fine
  • egretegret Posts: 4,063
    Hey Pat,
    Just lurkin' and remodeling the downstairs. We're adding another kitchen, bedroom, bath, living and dining area. Now I get my very own kitchen!! :woohoo: :woohoo: You just reminded me......I need to get info to PBM regarding the fest cookbook. I can't believe it's only 2 months away!! :ohmy:
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    ledmond, From what you are saying your two four pound butts were at 120° internal and cooking at 260° dome eight hours ago. So, it sounds like eight hours ago your butts had already been cooking maybe two hours or so. Then after eight more hours or now you have been doing this cook for approx ten hours. Now during that time your dome is at 180° and your butt is back to 120°. So, I can't see your butts and I know two four pound butts cooking in my egg cooks the same as one four pound butt. My thinking is the butts may have finished cooking but who knows. I say take one apart and eat at your own risk. As for me I'm not sure If I would want to eat at my friends house that had a mishap like that. I suggest starting over if your going to feed you family and friends. Sorry. Tim
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    Thank you friend, temps were correct. Meat back up to 160 or so now, headed for plateau zone shortly.
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    Wow your adding on just for me?? :woohoo: so when do I move in? :laugh: :laugh:
    You can call me at the office now and I can give you his #'s 321-254-4555 I'll be here until about 12:30
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Hey good luck! :)
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    Hey meat temp now at 176, 3 hours after discovery at 120, so hopefully I will make a nice recovery.
  • egretegret Posts: 4,063
    I just sent him an "e"! I talked to him earlier this week and have his telephone number.
  • cookn bikercookn biker Posts: 13,407
    I would toss the meat.
    Molly
    Colorado Springs
    "Loney Queen"
    "Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
    Bill Bradley; American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, former U.S. Senator from New Jersey
    LBGE, MBGE, SBGE , MiniBGE and a Mini Mini BGE
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Good on the calibration. 3 hrs sounds pretty long per/lb for butts though.

    Try Wicked Good Lump if you can get it. It is super dense and doesn't produce much ash because of it. Burns loooong and steady.
  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,670
    Mine seem to go at least 2 1/2 per pound,, never a problem I just start them early
  • ledmondledmond Posts: 88
    I usually smoke a 7-8 lb butt portion ham for 22-25 hours. Bought Boston Butt this time, got it on super sale 40 lbs. of it at $0.79 per lb.

    For my money, I have yet to beat a butt portion ham.
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