Food safety question

Started by UNKYFUNKY, September 07, 2013, 09:21:44 PM

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Is anyone familiar with temp safety or guidelines?  I have been smoking two butts for about 12 hours and my Bradley has really struggled getting hot.  I used tips I received earlier in the week by other members but my concern is that once I put the two butts in  (about 35 pounds together ) my original smoker stayed in the 130-150 range for about 7/8 hours. I have a big party tomorrow and do not want to get anyone sick.  I used smoke for about 6 hours if it makes a difference.  Now (after 12 hours) the smoker is at about 210 degrees. My PID is set at 225.  I intend to remove them at about 190-195.  Will they be safe for consumption as they were cooking at such a low temp for so long? I understand that they will take some time to cook but they were so low for so long. Also if it makes a difference, they are at about 165 after 12 hours. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!
Bradley original smoker with Auber P.I.D. controler


sounds like everything is going as it goes when i do it and i haven't gotten sick yet. i haven't done that much in one shot but your temp looks like its on spot for the time.


Thanks Snoopy for the GOD speed reply!!!  It now 11:30 and I am concerned that the 60 people may leave hungry tomorrow.  You dont think that the low cooking temps for so long are a concern?  Thats my worrie
Bradley original smoker with Auber P.I.D. controler


personally no, but there is definately more knowledge then me here that may have better input.  if i recall right from reading on this forum your danger zones are from 40-140 but even if you were up to 220 your butt would still be taking that long to go through the temp rise from cold to hot so i don't see it being an issue.

you said you were going with suggestions you got from here so i'm assuming all the basics of- vent wide open-boiling water when you replace-and keep the door closed as much as possible


To me it looks like everything is normal.  You say you have 35 pounds of meat and got the IT to 165 in 12 hours.  You are in the stall zone so all is good.  It is 9:15am EST and I would bet that they are getting to the 180 range by now and may even be close to being done.  It is not uncommon to have a butt take 18 hrs or more to get to temp.  Just make sure the vent is open and you should be good to go.

Enough ain't enough and too much is just about right.



A foil wrapped brick in the bottom of your smoker (from the start) will also help with heat recovery.
Life is short, eat the dessert first!


I know I'll get jack-slapped for saying this...

But, Snoopy read it right. 
The danger zone is 40-140. 
That's when dangerous bacteria multiply like cockroaches in heat.
Hovering at 130-150 (pit temp) for 7 to 8 hours is not a good thing.

Folks will tell you it's ok, but it ain't.
Old folks and kids will be the first to get real sick from that.

Back to my corner.

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I kind of agree with Hal. When I say kind of, I'm leaning way towards his position. The only thing that may make it safe is that for 6 of the 8 hours you did apply smoke. In this case, if this was my cook, I would use the pulled pork for myself, but not serve to others.

Although salt from the seasoning may slow the growth, and smoke has antimicrobial properties, if 130 - 150°F was the true cabinet temperature for that long, then the surface of the meat could be up to 40°F cooler, and that is a long time to be in that area of the danger zone. If your probe was closer to the meat; within a few inches or so, and you were getting those readings, the I would say it was alright.

Are you smoking/cooking butts or whole shoulders? Thirty Five pounds is a lot of weight for two butts.



Here is what the USDA says about the danger zone in a reply to someone on another forum.

Dear Bill:
Thank you for writing the USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline.

As long as the smoker is at least 225 degrees F it is safe. The amount
of time it takes for food to cook in a smoker can vary widely, and when
it is cold outside it can take longer to cook as well. The most
important thing is that you monitor the temperature of the smoker and
the internal temperature of the food you are cookng. If the smoker stays
at 225 or higher, the food is safe to eat, no matter how long it takes
to cook.

We have more information at:

Meat and Poultry Hotline Webmaster
To speak to a Food Safety Specialist,
call the Hotline at 1-888-674-6854
e-mail: [email protected]

Food safety information is also available 24/7, by going to "Ask Karen,"
our automated virtual representative at You may type
your food safety question directly into the automated virtual
representative feature.

Source: Danger Zone 40-140