How long can you "Hold" a Pork Butt

Discussion in 'Pork' started by testar77, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. testar77

    testar77 Smoke Blower

    This is the first time I was trying to time a butt to be done for a specific event, and due to some circumstances I had to smoke it differently than I normally would have (circumstances are described here  ) But I wanted to make sure it was still done in time so I stuck to my original timeline.  Well it is going to be done waaaaaaay earlier than I was hoping/needing it to.  So I am curious how long it will hold triple wrapped in heavy duty foil and double wrapped in towels and sitting in a cooler?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    One Butt, 5-6 Hours easy. Multiple Butts longer...As long as your meat stays over 140*F IT you can leave it as long as you need...JJ
  3. testar77

    testar77 Smoke Blower

    Well I pulled it a bit later than I normally do, I let it get a bit over 200 thinking that it might hold longer that way.  It is wrapped with at least 4 layers of heavy duty foil (I lost count but know there's at least 4), I took a cooler and layed a towel in the bottom, then double wrapped the butt in two more towels, and then layed another towel over the top and shut the lid.  I left the cooler outside where it is currently over 80* and climbing.  How many hours do you think I have before I need to start keeping an eye on the internal temp?
  4. I did a butt last weekend that finished earlier than expected. It held for 6 hours in the cooler before pulling. I left my remote thermometer in it to monitor temps. It was 205 going in and 155 when I pulled it 6 hours later. Just watch your temps and it will be fine. If it gets down to 150 you may want to go ahead and preheat the oven so you will be ready to pop it in so you don't get below 140. BTW....... I think it was the best butt I have made to date! Maybe the extra long hold/rest had something to do with it.
  5. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  6. testar77

    testar77 Smoke Blower

    Cool, Thanks for the replies guys.  I guess this is where you really start to learn........... when things don't go right, and believe me if this one turns out I will be happy because very few things seemed to go right on this one.  I will say though, that when I pulled it from smoker to put in foil and put back in, that the color and bark was by far the best looking one I have done......... ever!  I have been laying down trying to take a nap since I had been up every minute of the night babysitting that thing.  Tired as I am I could only manage an hour....... that sucks lol
  7. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We have all been there. The cooks either go way too fast or they take too long.

    I had a cook that should of taken 14-18 hrs the other day get done in 7ish hrs. If I ever tried to plan on a cook that fast again I would fail.
  8. testar77

    testar77 Smoke Blower

    lol probably would.  This is pretty much the only really challenging smoke that I have had, for some reason all of them up to this point have gone pretty smooth overall (barring some small hiccups here and there).  So I guess it had to happen sometime, and I am sure it will happen again.  I can tell you for sure what WON'T ever happen again..............  I will never accidently buy boneless pork butts again............. lol

  9. I had it happen last night/this AM.  I planned for an overnight cook and put on a 6.5 pounder at 10 PM planning for it to be done between 8 and 10 AM (1.5 to 2 hrs per lb).  It was done at 0630.  So... I wrapped it and held it in a "cambro" until 1130 when I pulled it for lunch.  It was great!

  10. testar77

    testar77 Smoke Blower

    Looks tasty!  Only a little less than 3 more hours before I get to pull mine!
  11. testar77

    testar77 Smoke Blower

    Well I decided to plug my probe into it to start monitoring the temp(I should have put it in right away but forgot).  After a touch over 4 hrs it is at 169*  only an hour and a half left.  I think we will make it. :)  Thanks to all for the help.  I will post some pics after I get back from the BBQ.  I am really bummed that the camera batteries were dead when I put it in the foil, because appearance wise it was definitely my best so far.  It was everything I could do not to tear a piece off before I put it back in lol.

  12. cincyjames

    cincyjames Newbie

    Does the meat get mushy leaving it in the cooler this long? I'm kind of in the same situation and wanted to make sure I wasn't going to end up with mushy pork.
  13. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You have to balance time and temperature. If you are going to hold for a short time <1hr, I would pull the meat at 190-195 (most like 205, but for me that is over cooked). If you are going to hold >1hr it them becomes a guessing game for the carry over cooking and how much the temps will rise in the meat. I made some for a wedding a few weeks ago that I needed to hold for 4hrs before service. I got an IT of 170 and removed it from the smoker, wrapped it and placed into a cooler with towels to take up the extra space. After 3hrs it was still at 170 and perfect texture for pulling. Very tender and the bone pulled out clean. Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.


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