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HELP--I think I killed my Butt

edited 5:38AM in EggHead Forum
I think I'm in trouble. I started my first Butt last night around 9pm. The temperature was holding steady at 210 when I went to bed. I checked it a couple times in the night--the last time around 3:50am and it was still 210. So I wake up this morning at the temperature was down to 125. I've revived the fire--but the Butt temp is only 95. Have I ruined the butt? If so, I'm cooked!


  • I'm guessing you are ok, but why oh why are you trying to cook at 210 dome? You didn't get that temperature recommendation here. Crank your dome temp up to 250. A butt will take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get done at 210. Good luck. Mark
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Or even a little higher. 275deg never hurt a butt.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,617
    Chuck it!! Much to much time in the danger zone (40-140). Swallow your pride and not the pork!
  • I beg to differ. He said the dome was 210 at almost 4:00am. When he posted at 9:00am, he said the temp had dropped to 125. That means the dome temp dropped 85 degrees in 5 hours or approximately 17 degrees per hour only putting the meat in the "danger zone" for about an hour or so. And the "danger zone" IMHO is open to much interpretation. Meat sitting at room temperature for 4 hours is far more likely to go bad than meat sitting at or near 40 or 140 for 4 hours. Mark
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,617
    Hey, Sip on your best hooch and hope for the best! It's simply amazin' how some folks will challenge their longevity with a piece of rotten meat! I say go for it and enhance the gene pool!!
  • So it sounds to me like the internal temperature of the meat never even made it over 140 all night? So that is 12 hours between the 40-140 range. Sounds scary to me.
  • I expressed my opinion based on the information TASK provided and when you challenged my opinion, I explained my reasoning. Instead of stating your reasoning or viewpoint in rebuttal, you chose to be sarcastic and insulting.

    If TASK had left the meat resting on his countertop for 3 hours before he cooked it, I could be wrong. If his food preparation area was less than pristine and sanitary, I could be wrong. If his butt was de-boned instead of bone-in, I could be wrong. Many, many factors come in to play when making a decision like he had this morning, but based on what he told us and what we would expect from a prudent and careful cook, I expressed my opinion.

    If you have ever in your life drank a glass of unpasteurized cider, you would have been putting yourself at approximately the same level of risk that TASK is facing with his first pork butt.

    Sorry to be polluting the gene pool. Mark
  • It is not internal temperature that matters (unless it was de-boned), it is external temperature that is important. I have cooked well over 30 butts now and the vast majority of those don't hit 140 degrees internal until 10 hours or more on the egg.
  • Good point, I guess if the heat was enough to kill off anything lurking on the outside would be the main thing. I would be concerned about it, but I am just like that.
  • TASKTASK Posts: 5
    Thanks for your help. I think I'll chalk this one up as a learning experience. My pride has taken a beating--but I don't want to risk my family getting sick. I'll try again when my ego has recovered.
  • Cory430Cory430 Posts: 1,072
    Is there a reason that you were cooking the butt at a dome temp of 210? In my exp. a temp of 250 or so has been much easier to hold and the Q is amazing. I have seen a lot of posts about fires going out and it looks to me that most of them have been when folks are trying to hold these very low temps for long periods of time. Just my 2 cents :)
  • TASKTASK Posts: 5
    I gotta say, I kept cooking it (at 250) as i waited for some opinions. I took my first peak at it--it does look and smell good. I'm really kickin' myself about this.
  • TASKTASK Posts: 5
    I didn't do much research and decided to try it on a whim. I thought I was supposed to cook it at 220. I was affraid it would shoot up to 300 or 350 overnight. I'll know better next time.
  • Cory430Cory430 Posts: 1,072
    What time did you fix the issue this morning?
  • TASKTASK Posts: 5
  • Cory430Cory430 Posts: 1,072
    There is no way the exterior of the meat was in the danger zone for more than 4 hrs. I'd eat it!
  • Thank you Cory430. A few people on the forum think that just because they have several hundred or a thousand posts think that they have become authorities on all matters of the Egg. I still consider myself a newbie compared to dozens and dozens of other posters here; Celtic Wolf, Egret, stike, Wise One, AZRP, RRP, thirdeye, tjv and fishlessman to name just a very few.(Please don't feel insulted if I left several dozen of you out) I think TASK made the right decision for HIM if he tossed the butt. I don't know him or his age or who he might be feeding the butt to, and all of those factors need to weighed when making that decision on top of those I mentioned earlier. The very young, elderly and anyone with immune disorders or deficiencies are more succeptible to suffering the effects of food borne illness.

    I'm going to go drink a nice cold glass of my unpasteurized cider now. Mark
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Don't beat yourself up, you made the right decision to pitch it. The good thing is its still the weekend and you have plenty of time to start another. As was stated earlier, shoot for 250 dome temp and you'll be fine. -RP
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    That's correct and why I say boneless butts are for grinding into sausage, bone ins are for BBQ. -RP
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    not to mention the fact that RAW meat is the primary concern. after sitting in smoke and 200+ degree heat, the thing had all bacteria killed off. so that brief time (less than four hours) between 40-140 would be ok for even raw meat. but his meat would have to have been reinfected somehow...

    true, prepared (cooked) foods sitting out while being served need to be kept out of the 40-140 zone. but the concern about prepared (cooked) foods being between 40 and 140 isn't that it is dangerous because it automatically will go bad, but because it is assumed that served food can be contaminated by contact (or cross contamination) during serving. his food went through 200+ degree temps long enough to remove the concern for the original bacteria (if any). and i think worrying about it somehow going bad after that brief stretch in the a.m. is a bit over the top.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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