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Sep 23, 2012 09:06 AM

pot roast left out overnight - safe to reheat and eat?

so we were following a suggestion by alton brown that you make a beef pot roast the night before, let it cool, and reheat it for dinner the next day. the thought being that heating, cooling, and then reheating the meat makes the connective tissue break down better and leads to a better tasting, more tender roast.

so, after cooking the roast in my enameled dutch oven with guinness and veal stock (along with assorted veg), i left it on the stove top to cool so it could be refrigerated. obviously an iron dutch oven takes a while to cool. and, sure enough, i forgot about the bloody thing and went to bed.

this morning, i put the whole thing in the fridge. so that was about 10 hours out of the oven (7 or 8 hours in the bacterial "danger zone," i'd guess).

it smells fine (really good, actually). i realize that reheating it will kill bacteria but not certain toxins that may have been left by the bacteria.

i would be curious as to any advice regarding the safety of this meal.

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  1. Basic set of questions:

    How hot was the air temperature in your kitchen overnight?

    Did you refrigerate it immediately upon discovering it this morning?

    If your kitchen was less than 70 degrees F overnight, and it sat in the covered Dutch oven cooling down, I would heat and eat it.

    If your kitchen temp was 76 degrees F (you live in a hot climate, or had the heat on high, I'd trash it.

    If it smelt fine, as you said. I think you're ok. I feel that there is a huge difference between leaviong something out on the counter uncovered, and leaving a fresly cooked roast in a sealed Dutch Oven to cool down before refrigerating.

    5 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      the ambient temp was about 70ยบ overnight.
      i refrigerated it as soon as i got up at about 6:30 this morning.
      it was in a staub dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, and the meat was submerged in the braising liquid (now covered with a thin fat cap).

      my instinct tells me it will be fine. after all, we'll reheat it to boiling for at least an hour before serving.

      1. re: bscepter

        If the lid was on when you turned the fire off and remained that way all night things have a hard time getting in.Your overnight temps and AM timing are fine with me.I would be of the thorough re-heat school,bubbles before serving.

        1. re: bagelman01

          update: the roast was amazing and nobody died.

          1. re: bscepter

            Big props for the update. I always wonder if posters of the "Can I eat this?" variety are okay after I or others say "Aw, go ahead". Glad it and everyone turned out well.

        2. I'd eat it without a second thought.

          1. thanks for the input. i think we'll be just fine.