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Rib emergency

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    Rib emergency

    Hi all,

    Saturday was going to be a great day, prepping and smoking a rack of ribs.

    I usually do a 2-1/2 - 2 - 1 method. Partway through phase 2 (wrapped in foil) the smoker gave out due to the hopper being empty. I have no idea what temp was achieved since when I noticed it, everything had cooled down.

    Question is, how do I resurrect these ribs? What's the best method? Temp? Time? etc.

    Thanks in advance!

    So, this happened on Saturday? I've never known ribs to rise again on the 3rd day. Probably just need to toss that one and start from scratch, since you don't know that they were fully cooked to a safe temperature.


    • Draznnl
      Draznnl commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, smokyYank, I agree. Toss them and avoid potential illness.

    • smokyYank
      smokyYank commented
      Editing a comment
      I was hoping to re-cook them in the foil, maybe add some sauce to keep them moist, bring to temp? Or would they be tough as nails?

    • texastweeter
      texastweeter commented
      Editing a comment

    Save $20 bucks or spend 20 hours on the porcelain throne?
    Last edited by Old Glory; October 25, 2021, 03:42 PM.


      I agree with the guidance above. Just too risky given the unknowns. Trash them and be safe.


        Guys, I thank you. I just wonder, if cooked till 165F, what's the danger? I'm missing something...


        • tbob4
          tbob4 commented
          Editing a comment
          I started an answer saying “toss” then realized you had them in foil and could not have gone more than an hour without chips because of your method. Given that, I would keep them and reheat uncovered in the smoker. My wife might answer otherwise.

        Nasty bugs grow the best under 140 and your post mentions that the fire went out somewhere along the way. The part that gives me the heebie-jeebies is that the time it took to slooowwwllly drift it's way down to cool, and what could be happening in there during that perfect combo of temp and plenty of time. In theory - you're probably correct (but way smarter people on here than I will chime in) -if you hold it at 165 for several hours, you could get rid of them. But, it's sure to be low quality meat coupled with significant risk.

        I'll eat darn near anything, and I think I'd very reluctantly call that one $20 worth of stupid tax and move on. Best of luck!


          I would definitely toss them. Not worth the risk of food poisoning


            If you know that they hit 165, then I would be fine with refrigerating and reheating in oven, or simply reheating in oven. On the other hand, if you don't know that the internal temp exceeded 140-ish, then risky. On the other hand (Is that my 3rd hand?), I am a dog, and will eat almost anything.


              If you know they were under 140F for less than 2 hours, and you got them into the fridge, you may be ok. The problem is that you say you don't know how long they were not cooking, and they were cool when you found them that way. Was that 1 hour? 2 hours? 3 hours?

              I would almost guarantee they got past 140F in the first 2 hours before you wrapped and before the pellets ran out. So if you hit the fridge, or finished in the oven, and know they didn't sit around for more than 2 hours like that, I think they would probably be fine, but that's just me.


                Personally, I really don't see a problem from what you posted, stage two wrapped in foil. My guess is the ribs were still plenty warm. Finish them to an internal temp of 195-205*F and probe tender. Really how long were the rebs in a hot grill, an hour or two?
                But on the other hand, there are 4 fingers and a thumb.
                Disclaimer: Only my opinion on information posted.


                  I think what everyone was focused on was the line about "everything had cooled down."

                  Re-reading it, I think you are saying sometime in the middle of the 2 hours wrapped part of the cook, the cooker shut down and didn't continue cooking. So you have at most 2 hours of no heat being applied.

                  Assuming the meat was still warm and was cooked thoroughly when you went to wrap it, I think you are fine continuing to cook it through. Have no idea what a par-cook and then refrigerate and continue to cook will do as far as taste/texture though but it can't hurt to try.

                  To the extent the ribs cooled down enough to bring it into the danger zone, that's a different story and I'd toss them... same thing if I wasn't certain that they were cooked through. If its a guessing game I wouldn't risk it for a rack of ribs


                  • bbqLuv
                    bbqLuv commented
                    Editing a comment

                  Thanks, guys. All interesting info.

                  I could easily toss them, and perhaps I will. At the same time, I think this is a great learning experience.

                  Thank Meathead for suggesting a cook log. I just checked. They went in, from fridge to smoker at 220F at 12:45. Not quite 3 hours later (15:30) I foil wrapped and put them back in. Somewhere between then and 17:15 (when I checked back) the fire went out.

                  Does info this help? For learning purposes.


                  • IFindZeroBadCooks
                    IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Since at max they were left not cooking for less than 2 hours, I think you are okay to eat especially since the smoker temp did not fall to zero immediately. The fact that you wrapped would also preserve temps somewhat. I would cook to finish and add sauce.

                  OK, here's what I found.

                  While heat will kill the bacteria, the staph bacterium may have made toxins which will not be killed off with heat.

                  Thank you again.


                    Ribs is relatively 'cheap'

                    Hospital bills is NOT...


                      My first thought is that if you had been using a KBQ this would not have happened. 'Set 'n forget' turned into 'Bite 'n ass'. Something to be said for having to tend a fire.

                      Second is there are two camps when it comes to what is safe to eat. Some are very cautious, following time and temperature recommendations and toss any thing close to being suspect. The other is the 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' and eat anything short of rotten. Those in the former ask, those in the latter don't.

                      Personally, I would have given it a look, then a sniff, then a taste. If I found all of these acceptable, then down the hatch. But then I'm one who will eat pizza that sat out all night, a turkey sandwich that sat on the seat of a truck all day, and candy from an open dish.


                      • Dr. Pepper
                        Dr. Pepper commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I'm with ComfortablyNumb on this (and on many other things.) I would only add, to his "I'm the one.....' list, '...drink out of the toilet bowl.' 😜

                      • ComfortablyNumb
                        ComfortablyNumb commented
                        Editing a comment
                        new2smoking At least you flush first, my paws won't reach the handle so....

                      • ecowper
                        ecowper commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Compared to things I ate many many times in the Army, this doesn’t even sound close to questionable. But that’s me and my stomach :-)


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