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Think I Ruined My Butt -- Is it SAFE??

EggLuverEggLuver Posts: 64
edited 10:04PM in EggHead Forum
I put a 5lb butt on last night. Went to bed at 1:30 with dome at 220 and meat at around 63. Woke up at 7:00 with dome at 135 and meat at 1:31. Opened the lower vent and temp went up to 300 (dome). I closed it a little and got it at 235 right now, meat is at 167.

Have a completely ruined this butt??? My first worry was the quality of the finished meat, but since I've been searching the forum for similar situations I've noticed folks talking about a "Danger Zone". Now I'm worried about the safety of eating it. I'm planning to cook it to about 200 internal. Wouldn't that kill any bacteria?

Please HELP! Thanks.


  • BENTEBENTE Posts: 8,337
    i would toss it

    happy eggin


    Anderson S.C.

    "Life is too short to be diplomatic. A man's friends shouldn't mind what he does or says- and those who are not his friends, well, the hell with them. They don't count."

    Tyrus Raymond Cobb

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    was me, i would eat it.... but i wouldnt serve it to others that didnt eat things like that :laugh: the internal meat temp doesnt matter much, its the cooking environment, pit temp below 140 for about 4 hours is bad (i think they changed that to 2 hours but with smoke and salty rub i wouldnt worry too much about that. for the meat temp to be 131 i think that the fire was going long enough that you didnt go past 2 or 3hours under 140
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    220° dome is about 185° - 195° at meat level and is commonly thought a hard temperature to maintain without a controller.

    According to USDA you are under the safety zone, way to long, probably the entire time.

    Consider the cost of 1 piece of meat vs. the possible cost of one or more emergency room visits and a long time fighting food poisoning.

    Of course the decision is your, but for me it wouldn't be worth the chance.

    Get another butt and do a fast cook or cook some chicken, cook, and pull that.

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    ive watched alot of butts cooked at 220, it takes around 6 to 7 hours to reach an internal temp of 140. thats why i think his dome temp recently dropped. still, i would eat it but not serve it, especially to kids or elderly or those always sick
  • Toss. A 5lb. butt is not worth it. Any meat that sits below 140 degrees internal for several (unknown)hours is not safe. Google Food Safety Danger Zone and read all about it.

    As GG says, the egg maintains 250 much easier for cooks without a temperature controller. Since I dont have one of those, whenever I do a low and slow cook, I start it early in the AM and check on it throughout the day. Good luck next time.
    Happily egging on my original large BGE since 1996... now the owner of 6 eggs. Call me crazy, everyone else does!
    3 Large, 2 Smalls, 1 well-used Mini
  • EggLuverEggLuver Posts: 64
    Thanks to all for the advice. I have already tossed it. Oh, it was so hard to do. It looked beautiful and smelled incredible!!!

    ANOTHER lesson learned. I had never heard of the "danger zone" until this fiasco!!

    Already have another butt thawing and will try again tonight!!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    when they say danger zone, its the temp external to the meat, not meat internal temperature, it refers to the temps on the counter, in your car getting it home, temps below 140 in the egg, you need to add them all up hour wise to feel comfortable. the internal temp of a big butt will NOT make 140 in 4 hours cooking at 200, 250, even 275 dome. no one ever worried about that til all the new temp probes came out, they just low and slowed the butt.
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Many years ago I got severe food poising, and have been pretty sensitive when food is questionable.

    The food cost was nothing compared to the results of food poisoning. :sick:
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    wondering... if a cut has been compromised would it be feasible to cut (no idea on how deep to cut) the outer edges of the meat off then cook without worry, thus saving most of the cut?

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    there has been post after post where folks age meat in their basements for a long time, I am guessing those temperatures are above 40°. I haven't followed those posts well enough to know if there is meat preparation for the aging. In some of the pictures the meat looks pretty, ummmmm bad.

  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    yes...external, and cooking the meat will kill most/all of the bacteria on the surface (assuming you didn't get bacteria into the meat by boning etc...) you had the external temp to 220 dome, so 190 grid....

    assuming some of those bacteria survived, or some new bacteria were introduced, they would've multiplied while the external temp was under 140....which would not have been very long if you caught the dome at 135.

    I would've eaten it and fed it to my family too.

    fishless is right though, people often forget about the time in the car, on the counter, prep etc....that needs to be counted as well, no just from when you start the cook.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    they are aging in the refrigerator, curing in the basement. (aging is done cold). never got my self poisoned but have in a resteraunt. last time was the worst, 4 hour drive to the airport and 8 more in the air from montana, dont eat at the grasshopper inn ;) now if i can leave cooked meat on the counter overnight and eat it the next day, leave chili stove top and add to it and eat from it daily for weeks, have to wonder what the staff in montana did to my chicken fried steak :ermm: :laugh:
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    or the turkey in the garage, the stock in the pot, the meatballs and sauce on the stove top for days, reheating and cooling, reheating and cooling....until all 5 lbs were gone.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    start with traditional turkey soup, then turkey and tomato soup, then turkey tomato and barley soup, then turkey tomato, barley and rice soup. then add some egg noodles, thats only good for a few reheats on the stove as the noodles tend to fall apart and turn into mush. the good thing about that soup when i was back in college is it was mine, no one would touch that soup :laugh:
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006 to eat the soup once the noodles go in or it is mush....

    I drove a truck and worked in a warehouse for a food distributor summers during college. I saw suppliers, restaurants, stores, warehouses etc, and if people saw what I saw they probably wouldn't eat again....

    I guess that and an old fashioned grandmother in New England gave me the constitution to try some things.

    Also had food poisining once...funny I think it came from a restaurant as well...
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    that would be called rough traveling...

    I understand the fridge, but I wouldn't think a basement would be much less than 60 or so degrees.

  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    EggLuver: USDA Foodsafety Links.

    They have many good tips/links.
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