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xmas dinner in trouble

remdogremdog Posts: 22
edited 4:57PM in EggHead Forum
Strated my pork butt at 3PM yesterday, by 12:30 it was doing well with internal at 135. 7 hours later, i get up and find fire is out. internal at 85. i closed the vents too much!

i have the fire back up now and internal is starting to climb again.

i need this tihng ready by noon. what temp should i go with--i'm thinking keeping dome at around 275--will that do it? can i go any higher without messin up the meat?


  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    I could be wrong here, but I think your butt has ventured into the DANGER zone. :pinch:

    Others will chime in and confirm or correct me.
  • remdog,
    You're gonna get a variety of responses on this. Some folks will say throw it out. You've been below 140 for an unknown number of hours. Surprised the internal got all the way down to 85 so quickly, even in a dead egg but I'm guessing you are in the Boston area and it's cold here this morning.

    I would bump the temp to 300 and get the internal up to 150-160 asap. You may have time for an hour or so at the plateau level. Then I'd bump to 350 and bring it to 195 or so. This one may not pull as well as it would if it was held in the plateau longer. But worst case, you can slice and chop it. It will be good.

    Again, some may be concerned with food safety here. I am sensitive to those issues. But if it was my butt, I'd go with it. I think you've killed the bad guys on the outside and the inside should be sanitary even if the temp was not maintained at 140.

    Good luck!
  • I would agree... Not worth the risk! Just my view... Go by your local BBQ rest and pick up some pulled pork!

    No worries my friend... This has happened most at one time or another!

    Have great get together and enjoy the company!
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Your problem started well before your fire went out. It should have been way above 135&deg after 9.5 hours of cooking. My guess is you either started at too low a temp or your thermometer was off - or your fire died even before 12:30 and was on the way down when you last checked it.

    Food safety aside (that's your personal decision to make)- it's too late at this point to get it done by noon unless you crank it to 400&deg or so, and it most likely won't be real good pulled pork. You could always pull it in the low 180s and do sliced pork BBQ.
  • remdog,

    There is a semi-phenomenon that occurs with some slow cooked meats. We call it the plateau. It occurs somewhere north of 150*. The intenal temp will stay at one temp for a number of hours. This can be upwards of four hours and you have a big piece of pork there. After that it still has to get to around 200*. I would aim at slicing it at 160* and try pulled pork next time.
    As Fidel said, the food safety thing is a personal choice.



    Caledon, ON


  • He has a piece of meat that is over 20 lbs.


    Caledon, ON


  • remdogremdog Posts: 22
    actually it was 8 kg before i trimmed the fat. so probably about 15 #.
  • Sorry, I must have misread your post yesterday, I thought you said there was no fat. Still you are not going to get pullable pork by noon. Sorry



    Caledon, ON


  • remdogremdog Posts: 22
    sliced it is then! :side:
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    remdog: Sounds like this cook was headed downhill before you went to bed. As Fidel said, internal should have been higher than 135* after almost 10 hours. That said, it sounds as though this pork has spent over 18 hours in 'the danger zone', without climbing to the kill zone. Your choice, but if it were my pork, it would be in the trash can.
  • ForniaFornia Posts: 451
    I'd agree...

    That dreaded saying,

    When in doubt....throw it out. :blush:
    IF!!! you are going to take a chance on using that piece of meat you can cook it indirect at 400° dome and it will come out fine. Watch for the bark to be overdeveloped. If the bark is getting too done use some aluminum foil to loosely tent the butt so it won't burn.

    Another option is to go get another butt or two and cook it for slicing. You can safely cook it at 350° dome until the internal is 145° and it will come out moist, tender and very flavorful.

    I have done a 8# buttin 6.5 hours at 400° dome - however, that is still not enough time for your deadline.

  • Reminds me of the time I had 2 rotisserie chickens on fire at the same time ... burnt to a crisp.

    As painful as it may be .... I would throw it out and sneak out the back door and get some local que. You should definitely tell your guests to eat it at their own risk, especially if you have elderly folks or kids coming.

    You could always continue to cook it low and slow and experiment with it (this time with ZERO pressure!)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,024
    im ok with the 135 internal, back when everyone was cooking at domes between 200 and 220 the butts took forever to reach 140 and with the size piece you have it would only take longer. now those 7 hours afterwards has some concerns, you do need to guess if that was 4 hours with a dome temp below 140, if you feel it was 4 or more below a 140 dome temp it really shouldnt be served, its really pushing it since you should also consider how it was handled before the cook.
  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,993
    It's fine unless you are serving it to your family or your friends.

    If you're serving ti to strangers make sure you have a nice insurance policy.

    The disappointment of a lost meal heals a lot quicker than a solid case of poisoning.
  • remdogremdog Posts: 22
    Well everyone has eaten, lets hope for the best. Its just the in-laws, so either way its a win-win! :laugh:
  • Bobby-QBobby-Q Posts: 1,993
    Now THAT is funny.
  • So how did it actually come out? Come on, you're leaving us in suspense!
  • remdogremdog Posts: 22
    Well, I got it up to 180+ and then took it off. By then it was just in time to eat so I sliced her up and then chopped up the slices. There were some parts that I could actually pull, but clearly the bone did not want to slide out effortlessly so it did not turn out exactly the way I had hoped. It did have a nice 1/4 inch smoke ring, and was tender and juicy nonetheless. It was definitely a hit, and once we all finished throwing up a few hours later, we had a few more drinks and laughed about it.


    Ok, just kidding--everyone left about an hour ago and so far we are feeling fine!

    How long does it usually take for the salmonella to kick in? :evil:

    Thanks for all your help, opinions and tips!
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