The difference a single degree makes

*Note: this is an old post from another blog that I wrote a couple of years ago, but felt it was good information to include here.

This morning I woke up early to put 2 pork butt’s on the Big Green Egg (BGE). I pulled the pork out of my garage fridge, soaked the hickory chunks in water, filled the grill with natural lump charcoal along with wood chunks…then lit the fire. I have a digital temperature probe that I place in the meat and I always check before placing the meat on the grill. Usually, the meat temp reads at 38°F or less and I noticed the reading stated 41°F. This concerned me, but I continued preparing the cook and placed the meat on the BGE. I then check the USDA safe food handling website and found out my perfect barbeque Saturday morning was just about to be turned upside down. The site states “Danger Zone” (40 °F – 140 °F). If meat is stored above 40 °F, for more than two hours, a handful of nasty bacteria can multiply.

Two weekends ago, I cleaned out my garage and noticed that my garage fridge was running excessively long. I proceeded to clean out the fridge and turn the temp up a bit…(note to self, don’t do that again). I’m planning for 11 family members to eat BBQ at our house for dinner and I’m now faced with a major decision to make. I’m asking myself if that one little degree is really going to make that big of a difference? Well, peace of mind is worth everything to me so I decided to trash $20 worth of meat, jump in my car at 7:15am and go buy more meat. As upset as I was to trash the meat, I felt so relieved to get back from the store and place the new 38°F meat on the grill. I sure learned a big lesson today, one degree makes a HUGEdifference.

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