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Heating Element Died - Danger Zone Question

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  • LeaningCy
    Former Member
    • May 2019
    • 2

    Heating Element Died - Danger Zone Question

    I am smoking three pork shoulders for my one year old's birthday party Sunday afternoon using Meathead's Perfect Pulled Pork recipe.

    I salted all three Friday night, rubbed with Memphis Dust Saturday night before all three went into my Masterbuilt electric smoker at 225 F around 6pm.

    Added wood chips every 30 minutes for first two hours, things were progressing as expected. Went to bed around 10:30pm at which point the shoulders were in the 130-135 F range.

    The Problem: Woke up this morning at 4am to check temperatures, expecting to be in "the stall" but the smoker was at 61 F and my meat in the 90-110F range. All control lights were still on the smoker, including the heat indicator light, but apparently the element gave out at some point between 10:30pm-4am, I don't know when.

    Upon finding this debacle, I immediately put them in the oven at 250 F as I cursed the smoker profusely. Now the question, did these spend too long in the danger zone, and is there any saving these at this point?

    I'm still planning to take them up to 203 F internal, it'll just be in the oven. Worried about serving these to guests but wanted to get expert opinions from anyone with a food science background.

    In the future, I'll never trust a smoker again and will be picking up a remote temp sensor with lower alarm limit, as well as a new smoker. For now, just interested in seeing if this meat can be salvaged.
    Last edited by LeaningCy; May 19, 2019, 04:11 AM.
  • RonB
    Club Member
    • Apr 2016
    • 12563
    • Near Richmond VA
    • Weber Performer Deluxe
      SNS
      Pizza insert
      Rotisserie
      Smokenator 1000
      Cookshack Smokette Elite
      2 Thermapens
      Chefalarm
      Dot
      lots of probes.
      CyberQ

    #2
    Welcome to The Pit. I think eating them would be iffy now, but I'm not the expert you need. You could try feeding some to your MIL. If she survives, they should be safe for everyone. And since you are new, the last two sentences were a joke...

    Comment


    • ComfortablyNumb
      ComfortablyNumb commented
      Editing a comment
      What? And all this time I thought you were dead serious!

    • RonB
      RonB commented
      Editing a comment
      ComfortablyNumb - sorry to bust your bubble
  • fttank
    Club Member
    • Dec 2016
    • 227
    • Huntington Beach, CA

    #3
    I've had nightmares involving this sort of thing. It's always good to have a separate temperature probe and alarm for cooker problems. Sorry you went through this.

    Comment

    • LeaningCy
      Former Member
      • May 2019
      • 2

      #4
      Update: I didn't serve them. A local BBQ place had 7 shoulders on hand for the day and let me buy 2 this morning. Plenty of leftovers. I also kept the other three from my smoker fiasco and froze them with the label "questionable pork" in case I ever feel adventurous.

      Comment

      • Spinaker
        Moderator
        • Nov 2014
        • 10533
        • Land of Tonka
        • John "J R"
          Instagram: JRBowlsby
          Smokin' Hound Que
          Minnesota/ United States of America

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        #5
        "When in doubt, throw it out." -Meathead

        Comment


        • smokin fool
          smokin fool commented
          Editing a comment
          Especially pork
      • Nuke em
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 738
        • Nj

        #6
        look at it this way. Would you want to be known as the one that got people sick? If ya don’t know how long it was in the danger zone (which I would estimate 2 hours after starting by the temp of 100 degrees) then always get rid of it. Most animals can handle it but not humans.
        It may cost ya more for more meat but it’s less expensive than the hospital bill or lawsuits.
        You made the right decision and did the right thing.

        Comment

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