Keeping pulled pork warm for 24 hours...

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jul 6, 2008
Smoked an 8.5 lb butt today for tomorrow after the Titans game. My plan was to start it at 8am and then put it in the oven at 3 this afternoon (it's now 2:30). In my experience, smoking it in my Weber has always taken at least 1 1/2 hrs per pound, and sometimes more. It's usually taken me at least 12 hours for any butt over around 7 lbs.

Imagine my surprise when I opened up the kettle to find the butt done! I figured it would be at its plateau about now and I could just slow cook it up at 200 while I was at work. I was going to leave it at around 160 until I was ready to leave for the game around 9:30, at which point I was going to wrap it and stick it in a cooler.

Now I have to look at keeping it warm for a whole day.

What temp should I keep the oven at? I've loosely wrapped it in foil and I've kept it as intact as I could (the way I knew it was done without taking the temp is that it fell off the bone when I was taking it off the grill!)

I figure that I can keep it at 170 until I get home from work tonight around midnight. I was wondering if I could maybe keep it at 150 overnight without it drying up. If that's not feasable, I'll probably just pop it in the fridge and rewarm it, but I'd rather keep it warm until after the football game.

Any ideas?
I would pack it in a Ziplock and reheat tomorrow.  Safe some of the juices or use some apple juice to re moisten it.  If you keep it warm all day it will be dry by the morning.
I agree. Just a matter of reheating. We have even frozen it before using a vacuum sealer, then just threw the bag in a pot of boiling water. Came out great.
Back in October I smoked six eight # butts for a dinner for Amelia's students and their parents. I did them the day before, pulled them and wrapped them up in large foil pans. I used the ovens in the High Schools home eco room to reheat them in the foil pans. I preheated the ovens to 250 and splashed a little apple juice and vinegar bbq sauce over the meat and covered with foil. Within two hours the meat was at a perfect serving temperature and was moist and just as good or better than right after being pulled. Just food for thought.
Well, just got home from work (it's now 12:30). Just checked the butt and it's just fine. I flaked off a little piece and it's very tender. There was definitely moisture built up in the foil and to be on the safe side, I added some apple juice to the bottom. I;m going to risk leaving it at 170 at least until I wake up in around 7 hours. 170 is quite a bit below the normal 200 temp and so it shouldn't really continue to "overcook". It's only 10-20 above a safe holding temp and since I've kept it intact and foiled, I think it's going to be OK at least until around 7 or 8am. At that point, I'll wrap it in a towel and put it in the cooler for transport. I'm suppost to be at my friend's house around 10 and leave for the game around 11 or so. I'll have his wife pop it back in the oven at 170 around noon or 1pm and it should be fine around 3:30 when we get back.

My big test was going to be when I got home tonight. If it even showed the slightest bit of drying, I was going to pop it in the fridge. I think that because I left the fat cap on, it's staying moister than if I had removed it.

The only thing I'm going to have his wife do is to open the wrapping around 2 so that the bark can crisp up a little. It's pretty soft right now.

I'll report back with my results after the game tomorrow. I might also post in the morning when I check it again...

I'll be making Dutch's Wicked Beans tomorrow at his house as well...
I have kept them in a cooler for 7 hours & they were still 170 degrees internal, then pulled them tossed with sauce & put in 170 degree oven to keep warm for another 7 hours. The pork was still very juicy. It seems that if there is enough moisture in the foil & it is tightly sealed it won't dry out. I don't know about 24 hours though. Let us know how it turns out.
It's now 7am and I woke up to find that my oven had shut itself off (it was beeping). I don't know whether I accidentally had a timer on or whether it automatically turns itself off after a certain period of time. It was just barely warm in in there, so it's been off for at least an hour. So, into the fridge it goes. Didn't seem to be too dry, although it was a bit "soft".

I've definitely frozen pulled pork in the past and it works great. I used to heat it up in bags in the microwave and it worked great. But I wanted the effect of it being fresh out of the smoker and pulled tableside. That's why I haven't just pulled it and refrigerated it. I wanted to impress my friends <chuckle>. 

I guess we'll just warm it back up later today...thanks for all of the input!
have fun but go falcons
No problem with that, since we won't be seeing the Falcons this season (unfortunately). Falcons have been playing lights out football while we're just truning the lights out on the Titans...
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