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Pork Butt Saftey

smalljawssmalljaws Posts: 58
edited 7:12AM in EggHead Forum
I started two 8 lb Butts last night in my medium to be served to family, including kids, today. I clipped the thermo coupler of my DigiQ 2 to the stem thermometer on the big green egg and set for 249, but it looks like it ran with a Dome temp of about 230 all night - think I had the vents a little to tight. I put my meat probes in a few minutes ago and the internal meat temp is registering only 140 after about 8 h so the internal meat temp must have been between 40 and 140 for much longer than the 4 h rule. Would you consider the meat safe? Does the 4 h 40-140 only apply to the surface or the internal meat as well?



  • egretegret Posts: 4,110
    You're doing fine! 4 hours between 40 and 140 degrees is a concern of surface temp. The surface of your butts should be pretty close to the grid temp.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,944
    Agreed. The butts are fine. If it was ground beef or chicken parts, they might have become unsafe. But in an ambient temperature of 230, any surface bacteria were roasted long ago.
  • smalljawssmalljaws Posts: 58
    Thanks guys.

    The Dome temp might have actually been more like 220 the Stem thermo and the digiQ are about 20 degrees apart.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,944
    The outside of your meat might be as high as the ambient temp, so a dome of 220 would still be sterilizing the meat. It will just take forever to cook. By the time you get to pulling temp, 195+, anything that might have been alive inside will also be quite dead. If you had meat that had been cut up or perforated, bacteria might be within the mass, and that would be a problem. Butts only have a few outside cuts, so there is not much chance anything was living in the warm but not cooked meat.
  • EggtuckyEggtucky Posts: 2,746
    You know..I could use some clarification on this..I was at the golf course yesterday and was about to tee off right before lunch..decided to have a cheeseburger to keep off the dragon pains :) was a grilled burger wrapped in foil in one of those food warmer things.. I asked the girl when they had been made and she said fresh this I ate it..I realized neither the surface or interior of the meat was above 140...this is the case most of the time when you get food like this a dumb question or why doesnt this rule apply to served food? it due to limited exposure to air?..there are many anerobic bacteria..dunno.. just kinda struck me while I waiting to tee off..eheh
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    It is my understanding that if the butt was boneless, you would need to be worried. I.e. if the internal part of the meat has ever been exposed to air, then it is subject to the 40-140/4 hour rule. Otherwise, I agree, the interior of whole pieces of meat should be sterile.
    The Naked Whiz
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it does apply to cooked food. especially some casserole sitting out in the sun at a church picnic....

    but it especially counts with ground beef. if the interior never got to 140, then you'd have an issue, because the 'interior' of ground beef is interior mixed with exterior beef.

    if you make a chicken casserole, the prep time and the time it sits out at the buffet being served all count toward the 40/140 rule of thumb, even if there was a period where it was in the oven cooking.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    A question if I may. If the internal temp is bought up to 165. Does it effectively kill all the nasties? I'm sure there is a small chance that some airborn bacteria may contaminate a dish after it's cooked. I guess the question is can we safely cook food to 165 and expect all the bacteria (internal and external) to be killed?
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    no. the bacteria aren't what kill you, it's the toxins.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
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