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Crockpot, unplugged

gridder Sep 7, 2010 03:42 PM

So, one hour into cooking my beef stew in the crockpot (on low) I unplugged it accidentially. I realized it an hour and fifteen minutes later - took the temp of the liquid (138 degrees) and plugged it back in and put it on high. (Rationalizing that it hadn' t been under 140 for very long -- certainly not the 2 hours that most guides say. )

However, considering I did not test the meat itself, and doubt it was fully done after an hour, what do you guys think? I ended up chucking it, but I am a real germaphobe and I am just wondering what most people would have done.

  1. j
    jaykayen Sep 8, 2010 03:46 PM

    Huh? So it was cooked up to a temperature considered safe, and then held at this temp for over an hour.

    This is very extreme, it would have passed any standards for food safety.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaykayen
      gridder Sep 12, 2010 06:20 AM

      Being a crockpot, I am not sure what temperature it was held at. . . and for how long. That was the problem. And the whole 2 hour rule applies to cooked food only, not food that was not completely cooked. So, it is a little more nuanced than what you are allowing. But, I obviously I questioned myself or I wouldn't have bothered boring everyone with the story!

    2. John E. Sep 8, 2010 03:06 PM

      My guess is that there's no '5 second rule' in your house?

      1 Reply
      1. re: John E.
        gridder Sep 12, 2010 06:17 AM

        LOL - At least 5 -- I am most picky about meat-related stuff. I've seen too many documentaries, I think.

      2. dave_c Sep 8, 2010 09:51 AM

        I would have kept it.

        When you took the temperature the stew was at 138F (after 75 minutes) so obviously it was much warmer than that. Also, food safety guidelines are being updated where the hot end is now 135F instead of 140F. So hot food must be kept hot (135F).

        In other words, the liquid was hot enough to discourage bacterial growth and you resumed cooking when you found your error.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dave_c
          gridder Sep 12, 2010 06:15 AM

          This is excellent information!

        2. mels Sep 8, 2010 08:46 AM

          It was probably fine, I would have rolled with it. Like you said, it wasn't sitting out for hours. However I tend to toe the line with FDA's ridiculously strict guidelines, e.g. you won't die if you leave eggs at room temp., etc.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mels
            s
            sarahcooks Sep 8, 2010 03:40 PM

            I remember being flabbergasted when I studied abroad in the UK and discovered they don't refrigerate eggs in the grocery store there. They just sat there on a normal shelf! Of course, my college roommate studied abroad in the Bolivian countryside and she had a dead chicken hanging from the ceiling over her cot that got eaten bit by bit over several days, so it's all relative.

          2. blue room Sep 8, 2010 06:14 AM

            If you're really worried and willing to patiently determine if a food is OK you can try this:
            http://www.ehow.com/how_2156033_perfo...

            3 Replies
            1. re: blue room
              John E. Sep 8, 2010 09:36 AM

              I always thought the universal edibility test was to feed some to your neighbor and wait to see what happens.

              1. re: John E.
                blue room Sep 8, 2010 04:15 PM

                I know that if you have a pot or container that won't come clean you can put food in it and give it to a neighbor. When it comes back it will be spotless.

                1. re: John E.
                  natewrites Sep 8, 2010 06:49 PM

                  LOL!!!! John E. I've been guilty of that.

              2. greygarious Sep 7, 2010 06:31 PM

                Since you admit to being ultra-cautious, why even bother second-guessing yourself? It's a virtual certainty that the stew would have been fine, but you wouldn't have eaten it anyway.

                1 Reply
                1. re: greygarious
                  gridder Sep 8, 2010 07:27 AM

                  Agreed. But, as I didn't grow up in a cooking household, I was just curious what "normal" food-interested people would have done. When it comes to food safety issues, there seems to be the "germs are scary and food is a potential health hazard" group, and the "if it doesn't smell too bad it isn't likely to hurt you" camp. I'd like to not have a knee-jerk reaction to these things, which is why I was asking.

                2. Cherylptw Sep 7, 2010 05:50 PM

                  Considering that some people eat raw beef and the pot wasn't unplugged long enough, what a waste

                  1. natewrites Sep 7, 2010 04:53 PM

                    Was the beef already browned and mostly cooked before you added it? If so, I wouldn't have worried about it unless it was a really hot day. HOWEVER, having said that, I sort of take more risks with food than others do. It was probably OK.

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