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Sep 7, 2010 03:42 PM

Crockpot, unplugged

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.

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  1. 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.

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

      1. 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

          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. If you're really worried and willing to patiently determine if a food is OK you can try this:

          3 Replies
          1. re: blue room

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

            1. re: John E.

              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.

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

            2. 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

                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.