How long can a full smoked turkey rest?

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Original poster
Aug 1, 2013
Hello all, long time lurker here. I am smoking at least one full turkey bird this Thanksgiving and I have a weird question for the choir. How long can I go before I've let the turkey rest too long? This is weird so I will explain below:

Dinner is at my in-law's house but my quite heavy smoker is at my house 10 minutes away. I would like to enjoy some pre dinner conversation with relatives plus appetizers, drinks, etc. So would it be ok to take the bird off, wrap in foil take it over there and let it sit up to an hour? Or am I going to affect the taste or be unsafe? It would suck if I spend 7 hours at my house smoking then go straight into having to carve it and eat dinner. Am I making sense?
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Reactions: JLeonard
Throw it in a cooler and some towels on top, it will stay safe for several hours
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Reactions: 801driver
No problem with an hour or so, if it’s going to be longer then I would just wrap it in foil & put it in a cooler with towels. It will be good for hours. In our case we think were eating at 5:00 and the adult beverages are flowing & it’s 9:00 & glad I kept it warm for everybody cause I’m going to bed!
Thanks guys, so I'll just wrap it and put in a cooler like I do a pork butt.
several options:
- as previously mentioned, wrap in foil in a pan, in cooler with towels (downfall, skin will not stay as crispy)
- on countertop with a hot pad, turkey in pan, loosely tented but not much air exposure, towels surrounding the pan to retain heat and a big dish rag or dish towel on top to keep top warm (not recommended but worked 2 years)
- turkey in pan, loosely tented with a bit of stock, place in oven on a low heat setting until ready to eat (I suggest a very low temp like 170-190 max) is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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