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Help! Low smoker temp for 8 hours

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    Help! Low smoker temp for 8 hours

    Hi all, I need some help. I'm new to the pit and I've been smoking for a while but tried a new wood today and my smoker hovered between 180 and 260 all day. The smoker struggled to get hot enough all day. I have 6 pork butts in there and they've been smoking for 8 hours. I just did my first probe temp check and the IT varied from 130 - 148 on the different butts. I'm concerned for food safety. If I cook them longer and try for higher temps are they ok or do I need to toss all 6?

    #2
    It seems that your cooking temps have been above 140 all the time and you are reaching the 145 mark on the current path. I would continue the cook and make sure all areas reach at least the USDA minimum of 145.

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      #3
      I believe that as long as you take the temp to safe levels, you should be fine. However, I suggest you wait for additional input from more knowledgeable members.

      And welcome to The Pit.

      Comment


        #4
        For my input I think you are ok, maybe wrap when you like the bark to maybe keep them from having too much crust and keep some moisture.

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          #5
          I’d wrap all butts and finish them in the oven. 8 hours on the smoker is long enough in my opinion. I usually finish my butts in the oven after I’m happy with the bark.

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            #6
            It sounds like either your outside temperature was really cold or the humidity in the cooker was really high. Maybe both. If you can’t get the cooker in the 250 range I would move them into the oven. As long as you get the IT in the 200 range you will kill the bugs. But it is a good question.

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            • fzxdoc
              fzxdoc commented
              Editing a comment
              But remember jecucolo that some types of pathogens produce heat-stable toxins that are not killed as the food is subsequently cooked to the "safer" higher temps. That's always one of the things that concerns me.

              K.
              Last edited by fzxdoc; February 16, 2019, 07:14 AM.

            #7
            Cooking really too low can produce some bitter food....I vote with the others Texas crutch it and put 'em in the oven!

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              #8
              I would also agree with the others here. BTW what are you cooking on? Do you have a temp probe at grate level? Or are you going by the smokers temp gauge.

              Comment


                #9
                As others have said - once you have good bark wrap and finish in the oven or on your smoker, assuming you can get temps up a bit.

                Comment


                  #10
                  United States Department of Agriculture

                  Food Safety and Inspection Service


                  Use Two Thermometers to Smoke Food Safely
                  To ensure meat and poultry are smoked safely, you'll need two types of thermometers: one for the food and one for the smoker. A thermometer is needed to monitor the air temperature in the smoker or grill to be sure the heat stays between 225 and 300 °F throughout the cooking process. Many smokers have built-in thermometers.

                  Use a food thermometer to determine the temperature of the meat or poultry. Oven-safe thermometers can be inserted in the meat and remain there during smoking. Use an instant-read thermometer after the meat is taken out of the smoker.

                  Cooking time depends on many factors: the type of meat, its size and shape, the distance of food from the heat, the temperature of the coals, and the weather. It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to smoke meat or poultry, so it's imperative to use thermometers to monitor temperatures.

                  Smoke food to a safe minimal internal temperature.
                  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook meat to higher temperatures.
                  • Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.
                  • Cook all poultry to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

                  Comment


                    #11
                    So, mbarker , what did you end up doing? I would have dialed 1-800-MEATHEADS WIFE, since she'a a PhD microbiologist and food safety expert and his #1 go-to for food safety recommendations, he says. Seriously, though, one of the great things about this site is the concern for food safety as we cook our BBQ feasts.

                    It's natural to be antsy when food sits anywhere between 40° and 140° for more than 4 hours, although the outside of the pork butts must have been mostly above 140° for most of the time. That was a heck of a stall.

                    Let us know what type of smoker you had and what the ambient conditions were so perhaps folks with similar setups can give some advice for avoiding a worrisome situation like this in the future.

                    And welcome to The Pit. You're really going to like visiting here. Everyone is so friendly and helpful.

                    Kathryn
                    Last edited by fzxdoc; February 16, 2019, 06:57 AM.

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