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Fire went out overnight - Help!

Hey all. I've had my egg a little over 2 years now and have done plenty of smokes. Last night I put on two 6.5lb butts for a big birthday party for my wife today. I had the egg at 225 at about 11:30 pm and threw the butts on. I stayed up another half hour and made sure the needle was stuck at 225 and then went to bed.

When I woke up this morning at 6am, the dome temp was at about 130 and the butt temp was at 127. I've read issues with getting the butt up to 150 or so and then letting it fall back into the danger zone, but I can't find much information on what happens if the cook just ends up being a really, really low and slow. I have no idea if the temp of the butt reached higher than 127, or if it had just been rising very slowly up to 127.

I've got the egg at 300 now, and it is 7am and the butt them crawled up to 137. So the obvious question is whether or not the meat will be okay to eat. I plan on getting it up to 160 and then going turbo by wrapping in foil and taking the egg up to 350ish. I'll then FTC for a couple hours until the people show up.

I'll have about 30 people at the party, and that is a lot of people to make sick if this didn't turn out well. Thanks so much for anyone's input!

Comments

  • Forgot to mention - not going to pull the meat until it hits 197. I am hoping that since it will be so hot, any potential bacteria issues will be fixed.

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,200
    edited April 2013
    I might be the only one but to me it's not worth it. A couple of days wanting to die is not worth anything. If it were me I would head to the store now and get a couple of butts: TURBO BUTTS · Hot'n fast, 350 for 3 hours to internal to around 160, then wrap in foil and 2 more hours to 195 and then let it rest for an hour or so wrapped in towels in a ice chest. Falls apart and oh so good! Have fun! · Be sure you only get a 7lb butt or so (or a couple ) . Note: The butt box is not required. The rest is not required as well. Hell, the foil is not required but I always do it. Just season, rub with mustard (not required) re season and put on. Best to you whatever you do.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • flemsterflemster Posts: 247
    Since you are planning to take the meat up to safe temp and keep it there till serving it will be fine. The point of temp guides for safe meat serving is to reach and exceed the threshold temperature of bacterial survival. You are planning on many more hours of cooking and then holding at that temp. IMHO safe to go on.
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  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,237
    The butt should be fine.

    1st, way too many people have reported fires going out over nite when cooking at 225 dome. Go to at least 250 - 275F.

    The hazard should be negligible, if any. Pathogens can't grow above 126-ish. Unless the butt was bone out, any pathogens were on the surface, and died shortly after the meat was put into the Egg.

    I've measured temp drops after a fire is extinguished. Based on those measures, I'd guess your fire was out, or going out for about 1.5 hours.

    If bone-out, there is a very small chance something survived. But I've measured temp rises in various cuts, and the internal temp goes up an average of 1F degree every 90 seconds w. a dome of 250F, until the meat hits the plateau. I think you had a cooking heat for about 5 hours, which should have been enough to at least stop any pathogen growth deep in the meat.
  • Thank you all for the replies! I went ahead stuck with it and brough the butts up to 200 and pulled. FTC'd for about 3 hours and they were extremely juicy. There was none left when the party was over and they were a huge hit.

    A couple days have past and no one has reported getting sick so I guess all is well. If I had more time, I probably would have kept those for myself and gotten a couple new ones for the party guests. I just didn't have the time to do that though.

     

    Thanks again for the advice! I love this forum.

  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Watching an overnight cook for a half hour is not long enough for me! I would have started it earlier to get that part of the cook that the egg is unstable after placing the meat on the grill. For me, there is always a pretty good temperature drop off from the cold mass of meat being placed inside the egg?
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 916

    I had that happen a few times.....it was usually the charcoal settling.

    I made myself a better fire grate, a tiny "chimney" inside the firebox to always allow air through, and regulated it with a temperature controller.  Now, all I have to do is fill it up with good charcoal, and it will go upwards of 30 hrs at 225F without a single tweak to the draft door or daisy wheel.

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  • I might have considered eating it myself, but wouldn't have served it to others. If you've ever experienced 5 days of hell that is food poisioning you would understand why.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,237
    edited April 2013
    As I mentioned, try starting w. a somewhat higher temp. And what Charlie tuna says is right. Half an hour is not enough time. I give mine an hour. The dome temp usually does drop after loading in the meat, and it usually takes about an hour for it to come up to previous temp, and hold steady.

    I stopped using a remote thermometer after the first, and I don't use a digital pit controller. Being a light sleeper, I find it easy enough to get up once in the middle of the night and peak at the dome temp. Only had 1 fire go out. Recovering in the pre-dawn frosty hours was no fun, but everything turned out fine.

    FWIW, the only times I've given me or my family food poisoning was from re-heated leftovers. On one occasion, I had a 'fridge that was no longer holding to safe temperature, and I didn't have a fridge thermometer inside. There were places, I later found, that were no colder than 47 degrees. On another occasion, I failed to re-heated some ravioli to a high enough temperature, not knowing that bacillus cereus loves to grown on cooked pastas and grains.

    So, over the past few years, I've read a lot of stuff about food poisoning. Lots of very scary stuff. But while I has made me a lot more vigilant, I've also learned enough that I can usually lessen the hazards. Most BBQ'd foods have better than average protection.  Many of the common herbs and spices used in rubs are anti-bacterial, as are the salt and sugar, plus, the smoke also leaves inhibiting residues. But the bottom line is to not ignore reasonable doubt, and have a plan "B" if the doubt is there.
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,329
    ?
    do-you-feel-lucky-punk1.png
    390 x 300 - 64K
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,200
    A reason not to do overnight.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • FearlessTheEggNoobFearlessTheEggNoob Posts: 451
    edited April 2013
    Consider getting a Maverick ET-732 for $60. It is supposed to warn you via a remote readout and alarm if your pit or meat temperatures are too far off.

  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,329
    Mickey said:

    A reason not to do overnight.

    here we go... some of us don't like to finish early... we like to go all night and into the morning
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • LoggerLogger Posts: 230

    I had that happen a few times.....it was usually the charcoal settling.

    I made myself a better fire grate, a tiny "chimney" inside the firebox to always allow air through, and regulated it with a temperature controller.  Now, all I have to do is fill it up with good charcoal, and it will go upwards of 30 hrs at 225F without a single tweak to the draft door or daisy wheel.

    Got any pictures?  You know, us kind of folk need pics.


    OKC area  XL - Medium
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,832
    henapple said:
    A reason not to do overnight.
    here we go... some of us don't like to finish early... we like to go all night and into the morning
    I'm with Lionel Richie here. Doing low and slow is fun for me sometimes. Almost like a cathartic experence.

    Me when I start:
    image

    Me at 0300:

    image
  • I  would have done the exact same thing (and I have many times), No way in the world would meat turn rancid in a few hours inside your egg. Not even 8 hours. it's totally sterile in there as it is heat sterilized every single time you start it up. It's not like your kitchen where pathogens are everywhere and ready to get to work right away

    I totally get it that people err on the side of safety but that is for their own reasons and that's good enough for me. The fact is there is no scientific evidence that your meat goes bad in your egg if the fire goes out for a few hours or even overnight when you don't know how long it was out. There are hundreds of posts on here where people's fires have gone out and not one single case of food poisoning when people decided to press on and finish the cook. If you want to be super careful for yourself or your kids or older people, or someone with a compromised  immune system, that's your call. It can never hurt to be careful. just know that there is absolutely no valid reason to think your meat turned into a pathogen covered puke generator after a few hours in your egg with the fire out.

    To err on the side of caution, that's anyone's call and I would never tell anyone that was uncomfortable to do something they didn't want. it's $20 so live to fight another day if that's your deal. It's not fact based but I do stuff that's not based in fact all the time. We all have our deals. This is not one of mine so i'd happily eat it and serve it 10 times out of 10 (and nobody would get sick 10 times out of 10) :)




  • Charlie tunaCharlie tuna Posts: 2,191
    Mickey said:
    A reason not to do overnight.
    Totally agree with Mickey. Get into turbo cooking, it is as good or better, more fun,less stressful and the finish time is predictable..

  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 916
    Logger said:

    I had that happen a few times.....it was usually the charcoal settling.

    I made myself a better fire grate, a tiny "chimney" inside the firebox to always allow air through, and regulated it with a temperature controller.  Now, all I have to do is fill it up with good charcoal, and it will go upwards of 30 hrs at 225F without a single tweak to the draft door or daisy wheel.

    Got any pictures?  You know, us kind of folk need pics.



    I have the fire grates on eBay if you want to check them out.  I'll ship them for free for any of the members here--just email me before you bid.

    The "chimney" is a rectangular piece of expanded stainless steel folded into a cylinder.  The "legs" are folded out on the bottom to keep it standing up; and folded in on the top to prevent the charcoal from getting inside.  Just send me an email and I'll send you a picture.  I have about 30 of them sitting here if you want one.  I do not sell them on eBay because they're not very pretty and most people do not understand the concept behind them.

    As far as the temperature controller goes, I'm a dealer for the Pitmaster iQue110 (my friend is the owner of the company that produces them.)

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  • wnbasacwnbasac Posts: 27
    stlcharcoal i would like to purchase on of your grates for my large, could you send me a link to your listing, tks lou
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 916
    edited April 2013
    wnbasac said:
    stlcharcoal i would like to purchase on of your grates for my large, could you send me a link to your listing, tks lou

    I'll email the link to you.  I try to avoid "advertising" on a BGE owned site.  In the meantime, if you just search for "Big Green Egg Stainless Steel Fire Grate", it will pop up on eBay.  Do not use "BuyItNow" though--you will get charged for shipping.  Send me your email address and I'll set you up.  Thanks.

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