I've been reading the last post from St Bernard about his butt taking too long to get to 140F and the fact that he let it sit out on the counter two hours to warm up before smoking raised a lot of concerns you guys because it took longer than 4 hours to hit 140 (or 135 as somebody pointed out). I have been thawing some butt pieces, about 2 lbs each, for a couple of days to make buckboard bacon using Hi Mountain cure. Being the impatient sort I am, I took them out of the freezer and set them on the counter for several hours yesterday. Refrigerated overnight and then did the same today. Now refrigerated again. Question: Have I screwed this up by trying to hurry the defrost because the meat, at least the outside, may have been out for a several hours? Will the ensuing cure with HM (basically Instacure 1 with flavors) fix any bacterial problems? Hope this makes sense. What do you guys think?