Is my butt still good?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mike5051, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Hi Y'all,

    I put a 10lb butt on the WSM at midnight. My smoker temp was between 225 and 275, and the goal internal temp was 195.  Maverick thermometer was keeping an eye on things.  I awoke at 7 and smoker was at 263 and butt was at 167.  Three hours later it was still at 167.  I had plans with the wife and family for Mardi Gras parades at 1:00pm.  I increased the temp to 285 and watched it for another 1.5 hours, 171 degrees.  I kinda mentioned that I might have to stay home to monitor the pork butt, but got "the look", I had already missed yesterdays parades by having to prepare the butt.  So.....I decreased the temp to 260ish, added about 20 unlit kingsford briquets and hoped for the best.  The butt was at 176 when I was forced to leave the house.  We returned at 7 pm, the butt had been smoking for 17 hours, and the maverick said butt was at 140.  I yanked it, and pulled it immediately.  The flavor was great, some of it was a bit mushier than I like, but still good.

    Question is....should I serve it?  Is it safe to eat?  I put it in the fridge immediately after pulling, My plan was to make some sauce and serve it for PP sandwiches later on this week.  

    The butt was only 15 dollars, but the time involved in getting good pulled pork is priceless.  Mardi Gras is way too busy to try to smoke another.

    I appreciate any thoughts,

  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    165 is a well know stall point on butts. Some folks foil to help force thru the stall. Next time when you have to leave, put it in the oven. For any reason if you have a problem while cooking you can move the meat to the oven and proceed. Especially after it had already reached the stall. It should have had plenty of smoke. That way you know the  heat will be regulated.

    Bottom line, once you pasted 165 with pork it was cooked. 12 more hours after that......Thats just lagniappe.

    They are your guests, your's is always the final call, but I would probably serve it.

    BTW I thought for sure we was gonna get wet yesterday..... just skirted right around.
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Most people say that pork is done at 145. I would think that with the butt getting over 170 and most likely never getting below 140 (back into the danger zone) it should be fine. If you think for any reason that the temp dropped below 140 for an extended time than it would be questionable.
  4. questionable BUT SERVE IT, AND ENJOY.

  5. superdave

    superdave Smoking Fanatic

    The only thing at risk in serving it is your pride.  No other reasons for concern.
  6. mike5051

    mike5051 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the input folks!  I think it's my best butt ever!  I used jeff's rub and sauce recipe and have never had such rave reviews.  Joining this forum has  truly been rewarding, and it's only been a few days.  I am looking forward to many more awesome experiences, cooking and sharing.

  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Spot on answer, except the people that say 145 is done for pork is the FDA. The only reason to take a butt past that temp is to break down all the fat and connective tissues which will give you all that great porky goodness in your final product. Lesson here is don't plan on cooking a butt for dinner the same day, especially when there are other events going on. Pulled pork is one of the best meats to cook ahead of time and reheat. Gives the meat a chance to absorb all the flavors.

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