Too much in my crockpot -safe to eat?
August 7, 2017 2:17 PM   Subscribe

I packed two whole chickens in a crock pot and cooked it overnight. I know the chicken took a long time to get hot, and chose not to risk eating it the next day. Was I wise or too did I throw away good food?
posted by Metzbower to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If it eventually got up to 140F then you thew away good food.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:20 PM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I think you made the right choice. 140 doesn't kill ALL the bacteria. And the time it was in the warming phase allows for an explosion of bacteria. Then, any bacteria that survive the higher heat spring back into action any time the food is in the 'danger zone.'
posted by bilabial at 2:24 PM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

People smoke chicken all the time, they can even be approved by regulating agencies to serve it to the public. The same low temperature, slow warming environment exists in the crockpot.
posted by humboldt32 at 2:33 PM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

The low setting on a crockpot is like 190 F though. Here's the USDA's take.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:46 PM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I've had problems with... something... growing in and spoiling a full crockpot of chicken-containing stew, when I cooled it by simply placing the crock pot outside during the winter (at a temperature lower than that of my refrigerator, to avoid defrosting everything in the fridge) and it evidently cooled too slowly. Despite the bits of chicken apparently being fully cooked by themselves over the course of hours. So I would say that you did the right thing.

Now when I cook large quantities of food in a crockpot, I split it up into separate containers afterwards so that it cools more rapidly, and I haven't had the problem occur again.
posted by XMLicious at 2:53 PM on August 7, 2017

You did the right thing. It took me a long time to figure out I was routinely giving myself food poisoning by putting too much chicken in a crockpot.
posted by FencingGal at 3:56 PM on August 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

I think you did the right thing.

These days I make sure the liquid I add to the crock pot is boiling, I figure it helps the contents come up to temp faster even if the meat itself isn't hot.
posted by fingersandtoes at 5:29 PM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Wise. There are toxins that cooking do not kill. I had a friend who spent an unhappy week of diarrhea after nuking the hell out of some suspect chicken. She was quite sure she had killed any bacteria in the chicken and she had. But she had not killed the toxic waste the bacteria had produced during the time it was festering un-refrigerated...
posted by Jane the Brown at 8:29 PM on August 7, 2017

All soups should be cooled rapidly using an ice bath method once cooked to reduce growth during cooling.

The cooking part was probably fine. Better safe than sorry though.
posted by AlexiaSky at 10:42 PM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

When in doubt, throw it out. (Peg Bracken)
posted by wittgenstein at 9:44 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

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