Smoke Pork Butt - Lost Flame

Discussion in 'Grilling Pork' started by ejc00, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. ejc00

    ejc00 Newbie

    I would appreciate any help anyone can provide on this, as I seem to see contradicting information every where I look. I started smoking an 11lb butt around 8:00 last night at 225. Everything was smooth until around midnight when fire got down to 200. Stayed around 200 until I took the butt off and re-built the fire. By 1:30, the temp was around 270 - internal temp was around 126 so i went to sleep. Woke up at 4am, fire was at 90 and internal temp was at 133. The internal temp got down to 129 before it started to rise again. I set the temperature to 250 at that point and continued through the rest of the cook to 195, pulled it off the pit, let sit 30 minutes and then pulled it. The pulled pork is actually to be eaten tomorrow (driving with it cross-state, thus had to cook last night), so after pulling it apart, I put it in the refrigerator (after cooling for another 30 minutes or so).

    My question, is the meat safe to eat? I've read about the "danger zone" rule of not being below 140 for longer than 4 hours, but for a butt that size, my internal temperature has never gotten to 140 within 4 hours - the smoke usually takes closer to 15 hours, sometimes longer.

    At this point, I'm leaning towards trying some tonight to see how I feel before sharing it with a group tomorrow, but really hoping to get a definitive go/no go from someone who knows.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Let me be very clear and preface my answer by stating that I'm not a big stickler to the "danger zone" thing like some people are.

    That said, I'd say that it's fine.
  3. ejc00

    ejc00 Newbie

    Thank you for the response!
  4. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    General rule is to get thru the danger zone in 4 hours. That's below 140.
  5. ejc00

    ejc00 Newbie

    How do you get to 140 in 4 hours at 225 for a 10+ lb pork butt? Do you start higher than 225?
  6. geerock

    geerock Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    There is no advantage to cooking large pieces of meat like brisket, shoulder, or butts at 225. Go to 250 to 265 no problem. Just as juicy and tender. And it will help drive thru the stall much quicker. Now if you must smoke everything at 225 then, yes, cook at higher temp to start and then reduce heat and wait....... and wait.......... and......
  7. ejc00

    ejc00 Newbie

    Thank you geerock! Still learning the ropes.. I appreciate the advice

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