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I left two big pans of roast (about 20 lbs) in the oven at 350 over night - from 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. Is this still safe to eat and serve.

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    If the oven was cold (e.g. temperature dropped below 140°F) the answer is "no". If the oven was indeed on the whole time, though, that was too hot for bacteria to grow.
    – Erica
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 14:08
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    Safe...probably (see @Erica's comment) Tasty...hmmm, I doubt it.
    – Cos Callis
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 14:21
  • You can eat it...As in just you...But you can not serve it in a restaurant for example. I don't recommend that you eat it, just stating the fact.
    – Chef_Code
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 18:29
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    @Chef_Code why don't you recommend it? The meat has been well out of the top end of the danger zone for hours. Depending on the cut, it might be as tough as old boots, but it almost certainly won't be dangerous. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 9:33
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    Roast WHAT? Potatoes, chicken, beef, lamb....?
    – Vicky
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 13:28

2 Answers 2

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It is safe to eat, but not safe to serve.

Elaboration: Depending on your general cleanliness, there shouldn't be enormous amount of bacteria in the roasts: anything above 100°C (200°F) for an hour is sterilised and if you keep your pans and oven clean (with pyrolysing ovens: easy to do nowadays) it is perfectly safe for you, the dogs, the cat, and any other carnivores generally around the house.

However, it's going to be very dry and not very tasty, so I wouldn't actually serve it to any of my guests. What I would do is grind it up, throw it in your biggest pot, cover it in white wine with some nice herbs, put a lid on top and turn a towel around it (so no moisture escapes) and boil it on very low heat until it soaks up a ton of the wine, then add tomato juice until it becomes tender again. Freeze it in small batches so you can re-use it as pasta sauce...

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it's safe, and if it's dry (probably is) I'd try making BBQ out of it - pull it apart with forks or fingers, as pulled BBQ meat is always better, then simmer on very low in a lot of BBQ sauce. You can freeze portions of the meat for later, just add sauce and simmer when you want it.

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  • Hopefully it's a cut that's amenable to this; it might well be something that's irretrievably dry and tough at this point.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 20:42
  • Also see cooking.stackexchange.com/q/55464/67 for dealing with an over-cooked roast. (although this might be so far gone that you'd be better off trying to make soup from it).
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 1:06

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