Author Topic: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??  (Read 2708 times)

Offline ChristinaA

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What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« on: January 16, 2011, 06:42:39 AM »
This is just my third time using the smoker and I put a 6.5lb boston butt in last night at 12am. When i got up to check it at 4:40am the temp was at 185, ok temp for 40 degrees outside I guessed. But when I got up at 8:45 the temp was on 59 degress. Obviously broken... My question is what is going to happen to my meat. I put it in the oven at 220 degrees but I know the meat had completely cooled down as it was not even warm to touch... Is it still going to be tender enough to pull??? :(

Offline TedEbear

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Re: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 06:56:05 AM »
They say the 'magic' doesn't occur until the internal temp of the meat is 160-something degrees.  That's when the fat and collagens start to break down.  Then you need to let the meat rise to a temp of at least 185*F (I've read 190, 200, 205 - it varies, depending on whose recipe you're reading).  Anyway, if yours didn't get to those temps it will be tough and I don't think it would be fully cooked and unsafe to serve.  The whole process takes at least 15 hours.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 07:01:14 AM by TedEbear »

Offline muebe

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Re: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 07:04:20 AM »
I would worry about how long the pork was at low tempature due to your 5 hour window that you were sleeping and the heating element stopped working. There is a chance that you could get food poisioning due to bacterial growth in the meat during that time. I suggest you do not chance it and throw it out. For future smoking reference IMHO 200 degrees IT is the best for pulled pork. Everyone has a different opinion but a minimum of 185 IT for sure.
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Offline GusRobin

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Re: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 07:38:51 AM »
I would also be concerned about the time the meat was in the danger zone (40*-140*). My personal philosophy is when in doubt, throw it out. There are nasty things that grow in that temp and would require temps of at least 212 - 215* thoughout the meat to kill them. If you can get them all.
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Offline deb415611

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Re: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2011, 08:17:37 AM »
I would also be concerned about the time the meat was in the danger zone (40*-140*). My personal philosophy is when in doubt, throw it out. There are nasty things that grow in that temp and would require temps of at least 212 - 215* thoughout the meat to kill them. If you can get them all.

I agree with Gus,  it stinks when you throw it out but I'd rather lose a few $ rather than chance getting myself and others sick

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Re: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2011, 10:07:28 AM »
Did you find out why the temp fell?

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 10:26:37 AM »
The same happened to me once and I finished cooking it in the oven.

My Dogs had some great Pulled Pork but I didn't eat it.

I know it is a bummer but not worth taking a chance.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: What happens to the meat when the heating element fails??
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 01:25:08 PM »
Hi ChristinaA;
Sorry to welcome you to the forum in this manner.

I wouldn't take a chance with the meat either. In case you are not aware; the digital models automatically shut down after 9:40 hours. To over come this issue, you need to reset the smoker prior to going to bed.



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