Power outage during smoking w electric smoker. Is the meat salvageable?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by kdsbowl, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. kdsbowl

    kdsbowl Newbie

    I was set up for a nice low and slow smoke of a large pork shoulder on my electric smoker this evening and 4 hours into the process the power went out. Meat had reached an internal temp of 135 degrees. I didn't do anything to the smoker during the outage so there was some heat retained (The outside temp here in WI is about 35 degrees so I had it wrapped in a water heater blanket and covered in a moving blanket). Power is now back on but I am thinking the meat is no good. The internal temp of the meat dropped to 95 degrees. I hate to throw away $50 of meat but I also don't want to make everyone ill. Thoughts?
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    How long did it have heat before losing power, what temp where you cooking at before losing power, how long where you without power and did you inject the meat before putting it on the smoker?
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If the Meat was at 135*F when the power went out...Carryover would have taken it over 145*F and Held it there for more than enough time to rendered it SAFE even with Injecting and Probing...Beyond that the Slow temp drop would have no effect...Fire it back up and finish the Job, Worry Free...JJ

    FYI...Low Temp Long Time Pasteurization...Taking and Holding food items at 145*F for 30 Minutes or more...You would have gotten here in the above scenario...
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  4. kdsbowl

    kdsbowl Newbie

    It had heat for 4 hours. It was being smoked at 225 degrees. The power was out for 4 hours. The meat was injected with a fairly basic marinade of apple juice, sugar, salt and water.
  5. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you didn't inject or probe( sounds like you did) it may be salvageable.

    !35º in 4 hrs is cutting it close
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The injection is the "sticking" point.   Injected meats should reach 140 degrees in 4 hours.  I don't think you achieved that.  If you are serving to a susceptible population (sick or old people, the general public) I would toss it.  If you are a young healthy person not in any risk groups that a stomach illness could cause a great deal of trouble then I would go with it.  I think it would fail a health inspection because according to the OP it did not reach 140 but if everything else was clean and germ free you shouldn't have any problems

    Just curious,  did you bring your injection liquid to a boil before using and was the meat handled properly before going into the smoker?
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Like JJ said, you should be good.

    The 40˚ to 140˚ in 4 hours was actually changed to 41˚ to 135˚ in 4 hours, plus like JJ said, you had to have at least a little carryover. Then you did a wise thing and kept it insulated for those 4 hours, allowing it to only drop to 95˚. It should get back up to 140˚, and then to the finish in a short time. 

    Fire that baby back up, and "git-er-done"!

  8. kdsbowl

    kdsbowl Newbie

    I did not boil the injection liquid. I would consider the meat to have been properly handled prior to smoking, I am pretty meticulous about that. I am letting it run again while I monitor the posts. I figure I have about another 6 hours before I have to decide one way or another.
  9. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You should be ok, if you did indeed get to 135 internal you should be fine, enjoy your meal. 

    "I believe in the 4 hour rule  41 to 135"  just so much easier remembering 40 - 140 after using it all these years [​IMG]

  10. frosty

    frosty Master of the Pit

    What JJ said!  [​IMG]
  11. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hope it works out well for ya [​IMG]
  12. X 2

  13. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree with the guys. Under the conditions you stated. It's safe!
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I totally agree with you, Al. I usually state the 40˚ to 140˚ myself.

    I only mentioned the 41˚ to 135˚ because after the OP said his meat had reached 135˚, you replied, "Injected meats should reach 140 degrees in 4 hours.  I don't think you achieved that."

    Just wanted to ease his mind.


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