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How long can/should I keep butts in the cooler...? Input?


Fire Starter
Joined Sep 5, 2012
Hey guys! Couple of days ago I posted about smoking some Boston butts for my mother-in-law and timing, etc.

Party is at 4:00 p.m. today. I started the butts around 12:30 am last night with plans of it coming off around 12:00-1:00 pm. today.

Well, 7 hours (around 9:00 a.m.) my butts hit an internal temp of 190!!! about three hours too early...

OK, here's the question...I

have them wrapped and foiled in a cooler right now...as long as they are still hot/warm can they keep in the cooler until this afternoon, or should I go ahead and chop it and put it up in the refridgerator...

Just seeking a little input as to what YOU would do?




Master of the Pit
Joined Jan 29, 2010
I have wrapped and toweled butts in the cooler and they were still steamy and hot 4-5 hours later. I have also put them in the crockpot to keep warm after the foiling. You shouldn't have to worry about refridgerating them. Plus, you may still hit the dreaded stall anywhere up to 205 degrees which in my opinion is when it's best to pull from the heat. One thing is that the longer they sit in the foil in the cooler when you go to pull the pork it will just fall apart for you. You can probe it in the cooler with a candy therm. if you have one and keep an eye on it. 


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 16, 2008
Check . Keep the meat in the cooler for several hours as long as it does not get into the danger zone - below 165*F - best results are the oven or Crock pot.

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