Can you slow cook in two phases?
I put a pork butt in the oven at 200 degrees intending to give it six or more hours. But I was called away after three. So I put it in the fridge. Can I just continue cooking it as if nothing happened? Should I bring it to room temperature first? And what about internal temp? I was planning on going for around 180 degrees, but now I have no idea. Thanks - advice much appreciated.
I see no problem continuing to cook the pork butt. If it was cooled and refridgerated with in 2 hours there should not be a problem. I would bring it back to room temperature and continue cooking. If you want pulled pork....you need to cook to 190 to 195 degrees....best at 195 degrees.
Bringing your roast to room temperature before returning it to the slow cooker offers no advantage and may well generate a greater risk of contamination. How to handle it safely from this point on depends largely on whether it was cooled before refrigeration at the partially cooked stage, what it's temperature was when it was refrigerated and several other unquantifiable factors.
Assuming it's currently not overpopulated with bacterial growth from previous handling, simply putting it on the heat and finishing the cooking process to the point where the internal temperature meets or exceeds the USDA recommendations should work just fine.