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Boston Butt question

Bama EggerBama Egger Posts: 137
edited 2:51PM in EggHead Forum
I have two butts that hve been on the egg for 14 hours at 200. Meat temp is at 130 and doesnt seem to be moving. Problem? or dont mess with it?


  • RumrunnerRumrunner Posts: 563
    Paul, a 200° temp is too low. Try bumping up to 250°. [p]I'm afraid the butts are also in danger of being "not safe" due to being under 140° (40-140°=unsafety zone) for more than 4 hours. This is a personal judgement call on your part.

  • MakoBBQMakoBBQ Posts: 230
    I'd bump up the temp to 230 - 240. I cooked 2 butts this weekend and it took 20 hours. It will seem like forever to get past 170 degrees internal meat temp but be patient during that plateau time.

  • Paul,
    first check the obvious things
    - first - did you check & calibrate both temp devices?
    - where are you measuring the 200* - on the grid or in the dome? The tempo would vary a little this late into the cook (maybe ten degrees or so)
    - 130* meat temp - have you moved the probe around a do you get a different temp?
    - 200 is kind of low for pulled pork - you may want to get it up to 220 - 230. This will push it a bit
    - did the pit temp drop during the night thus making your cook time longer?
    - maybe you have yourself one of those stuborn pigs that don't want to follow the general time & temp guidelines??? Some turbo cook while others take forever.[p]By the way what is the individual weight of each butt? Bone in or no bone? Maybe some additional info may help us dial in to the solution???[p]Joe

  • MakoBBQ,[p]Agreed. Mine from Saturday night took 21 hours.....I finally bumped it up to 275 for the last 1.5 hours to kick it on in to 195 internal.[p]Cheers![p]- Mike

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    isn't the 'unsafe' question with regard to those areas of the meat exposed to the salmonella risk?[p]the outside will have been safe, and the internal portion of the meat will not have been exposed to the salmonella risk during slaughter.[p]my understanding is that only ground meats introduce the external surfaces to the interior of the meat, and if there were any salmonella exposure during the butchering, it would then have had a chance to be introduced INTO the meat.[p]but if the meat interior (which does not harbor the baddies) is otherwise protected, you are safe.[p]no?[p]and again, the exterior of the meat this guy was cooking was fine, since it was in 200 degree temps th whole time

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • RumrunnerRumrunner Posts: 563
    stike wrote "....but if the meat interior (which does not harbor the baddies) is otherwise protected, you are safe.."[p]once the probes and stems have been inserted, re-inserted, etc...your safety net is all gone.[p]Again...I said it was a personal call. I, myself, would not serve family and guests any meat that had been sitting under 140° for 14 plus hours, internal external or whatever.

  • Smokin Joe,
    Thanks for the reply.
    Since my posting the meat is now at 145, and I just increased the heat to 235. My plan was to bump it to 260 once I reached 160 for the last part of the cook.
    Both butts were a little more that 7 lbs and had the bone in them and I am using a dome reading on temp.
    My alarm went off about 4 hours into the cook because the dome temp reached 300+. I messed with it for a while and I got it back down to 225 or so. This morning it was holding strong at 210. I am now concerned about some of the postings regarding it being safe to eat or not.

  • Paul,
    This is always a tough call - no one ever wants to get family or friends sick. The guidelines for food safety are there for a reason - personally I practice them closely. That being said, I have taken my chances on a butt cook or two and have not had a problem. [p]You can only imagine what goes on in restaurants etc - not saying it is right, but it happens. I also think the food safety guidelines are conservative - time etc in the "danger zone".[p]My thoughts - and others may not agree! You are probably okay provided that you did not inject these butts with a marinade. If you did inject there is substantially more risk of bacteria growth. If you didn't, and all you did was use a temp probe, you are probably okay. If you fire went out I would suggest you toss it. Since you said it spiked up I again would say you are probably okay. [p]Again, this is only one man's opinion. I'm sure others will differ big time.[p]Your call. Joe

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    you didnt mention if the butts where bone in or out. if the bone has been removed you now have exterior meat rolled up inside of the butt doing its thing with those low temps. next time you do one of these try starting at higher temps. i like to start the cook over 275 until the internal temps are nearing 140 and then drop the temps down during the plataue stage. ifeel more confident in the cook this way. also its a good idea not to put the probe into the meat for the first hour of cooking. i have eaten butts cooked similar to your cook, but at the time i didnt really understand what was going on in there.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    injecting, with the multiple sticks and all, seems to be a chance for introducing bad-boys, but i can't imagine worrying over the insertion of a clean probe.[p]i just find that we hold to rules of thumb as tho they are gospel... and we (not 'you' specifically but 'we' as in, folks-in-general) don't usually understand anything about the logic behind them.[p]for example, guys here have freaked out over the "4 hours at 140 rule". i bet they'd be horrified to learn that the USDA recommends TWO hours at 140 or less as the cut off, and yet there is much authoritative preaching about 140/4 hours.[p]my wife through out three day old chinese food, but couldn't tell me why. hahahaha[p]i am the guy who pulls a george-costanza and eats it out of the trash....

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    stike,[p]This might be as good as a time as any to bring up this question: I caught the tail end of a discussion on the Basso Forum and it sounded like there has been a change in either the safe zone or the time allowed in the zone. Have either you or Rumrunner heard any of this?? (just when it is confusing enough)[p]~thirdeye~

    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
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