Holding boston butts for extended periods?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by dummkauf, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. dummkauf

    dummkauf Newbie

    What's the longest you can hold a butt for, either in a cooler or in the oven?

    I have a 7Lbs and a 7.5Lbs butt that I'll be cooking for my son's birthday party Saturday, and they need to be ready at 11:00AM sharp. 

    I'm planning to start smoking Friday some time, but I'd also like to get a few hours of uninterrupted sleep Friday night if possible.  I'm thinking 12-14 hours to bring the butts up to 200F'ish before I wrap them and let them rest.  Ideally I'll pull them out of the smoker around 2:00AM Friday night, however that would mean a 9 hour rest til lunch.  If they get done earlier it could be a 10-12 hour rest.

    If I wind up with a 10-12 hour rest, would it be better to pull the pork, then put it in the refrigerator, and then reheat about an hour before the party?  Or could I keep them in a cooler/oven for that long?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2016
  2. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    That seems like a long time to hold it and it could get into the danger zone. Pulled pork reheats wonderfully so I would just reheat the next day. If I were in your situation I would smoke them the day before or even two days before, foil them when they get in the 160s IT with some apple juice and cook to 205 ish IT. Then save all the juices from the foil and stick them in fridge to defat them. Then pull the pork and stick that in the fridge too.

    The day of service take the defatted juices and mix into the pulled meat. Heat in the oven covered with foil until hot. I have done this at 250, 300, 350 degrees and I can't say one was better than the other. This method will give you great pulled pork and plenty of seep so you can enjoy the party.
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I agree...While timed to within 8 hours the meat will stay hot in a cooler, stuff happens, the cook goes long and you are wiped out at party time. Cook ahead then you are ready to attend to last minute details and guests...JJ
  4. dummkauf

    dummkauf Newbie

    Thank you for the advice. Depending on when it's done I'll either shred and refrigerate, or hold in the cooler.

    I got delayed this morning and didn't get them on a until just now(1:30pm). I planned to start around 11, so now I'll have to wait and see when they are done.

    Where would you say the cut off is between resting for X hours vs. referigate and reheat? I'm curious since if this takes 14 hours they'll be coming off at 3:30am tonight.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2016
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you finish at 3-4am, wrap in foil and towels, whole, and use the smallest cooler the meat will fit in...You will get 8-10 hours above 140 and will not have any safety issues. Even if the meat does drop lower, just reheat. A wrapped and coolered chunk of meat goes in sterile and ain't going to get contaminated until you open the foil...JJ

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