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Wrapping Butt/Shoulder in towel and putting it in cooler?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

How long would i be able to let my pork sit wrapped in a old towel in the cooler? Usually I leave it for an hour or two but ive read reports that some people let it sit overnight?


I am starting my smoke in the evening and will pull them off the smoker at around 2AM or so. Would i be able to leave them sit until 8 am or so then pull them? I would imagine so but I figured I would ask the experts! 


Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 12

Really depends on the cooler and how well u stuff it full... Ive gotten 5 hours before in a good cooler stuffed with blankets.It was still too hot to pull by hand.....You are pulling them off at 2am? When are u starting and how big are they??

post #3 of 12

In addition to what Mike (Jax) said, I thought there was an issue with the 140° danger zone, where as, not letting meat stay in that degree range while smoking & afterwards.  Someone correct me if I am mis-informed, please.

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

See im having a BBQ on Saturday midday and I have some friends in town and am taking their kids snokleing out int he boat I ususally just get up around 4-5 am and start the smoke and its ready at about 3ish.


I want to have it all ready so all i have to do is reheat it.


I plan on starting the smoke at 6 PM on Friday. I am going to smoke the shoulders over hickory for approx  6 hours or until the internal temp is about 160. I then wrap them in foil and bring em up to 190 or so. So im thinking 2-3 am  they will be ready. My plan is to wrap them up in towels and put them in a small cooler. I was hoping I could leave them in there till I wake up around 7-8 am and then pull them?


Then I just planned to reheat the pulled meat later that day when everyone got there. 


Any other suggestions? Im all ears?

post #5 of 12

I have never let my smoke sit that long.  Someone else should chirp in with a recommendation.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

So what would a good plan be?

post #7 of 12

Well your plan sounds pretty close but if you are planning to pull the pork I wouldn't take it off till it was at least 200* if not 205*. Then you can hold it on the cooler with towels and make sure that you pack the cooler full. I would maybe set a thermo-meter in the meat inside the cooler to.I wouldn't let the meat get to much below the 140* mark either.

post #8 of 12

I routinely leave meat in the cooler for a few hours with no issue. You will want to make sure it doesn't go below 140 - no point in getting folks sick - not worth the trouble.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys! Appreciate the info! Ill post Qview once done.

post #10 of 12

Mattt, I'm going to do you a huge favor, I'm going to take everyone out in the boat snorkeling for you!  You stay home and tend the fire! LOL  If you're planning to pull at 3 a.m. and then pull at 7 or 8 a.m., as the others have said, if you wrap good and cooler I think you'll be ok.  Some folks have written they've gotten upwards of 6 hours in the cooler!


My last butt, I pulled after being double wrapped in foil, added one more tight wrap of foil, then tightly wrapped in 2 towels, put in the cooler and filled with blankets....at 4 hours I pulled from the cooler (older cooler) and the internal temp was still 180*!  Even if you could start an hour or so later in the evening, it'll give you less time in the cooler.  Though you may get a little less rest for the boat ride, but I have that covered for you!  Good luck and just wrap everything tightly and make sure you fill the cooler completely with blankets, towels etc.

post #11 of 12

If foiled and well wrapped, then placed in the cooler surrounded with towels, it will hold a long time.  As stated earlier, stick a therm probe in the meat and monitor temp from the outside. You could in theory hold at or slightly below 140 for a while because you have taken it to 200, but that is not recommended. Remember the meat will be at or below 140 during pulling, serving, and while leftovers are cooling before and inside the fridge.  That time in the danger zone seems to mount up with every step we take.  I read, surprisingly enough, that 80% of food poisoning cases originate in the home rather than in restaurants.  Err on the side of caution.  Good luck and enjoy!

post #12 of 12

Iver gotton 6 hours before and when I pulled the meat was still at 151 degrees. I just left the remote prob in the meat and wrapped around it. Then just monitor it and if its near 140 put in the electric warmer in the kitchen to keep it where you need it.

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