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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:05 AM   #1
basspro05
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Default First attempt at pulled pork, how long will it keep in a cooler.

I am having a graduation party for my wife tomorrow, she finished up her college degree.

I am having a bunch of people over and smoking 2-9lb boston butts. I have never smoked a butt before, but from what I read they are hard to mess up...I hope...

The party is at 5pm.

I will be tied up from 9am-noon and not be able to check the meat, so I am thinking about throwing them on tonight and slow smoking for a while and then cranking the heat up to about 300 or so to speed the process up.

I have no clue how long they will take but I feel if I put them on around 7pm tonight they will be done before I have to take care of some stuff at 9am tomorrow morning.

My question is, if these butts get done tomorrow morning around 7am or so how long can I keep them hot in a cooler? And will they be ok to come off the smoker and be pulled up to 8 hours later?
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:20 AM   #2
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My most recent Pork went like this:

8.7 pounds
cooked at 225
Foiled at 165
Upped heat to 275
Removed at 205
Placed in cooler for 1 hour
Pull
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:20 AM   #3
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oh the question was how long can it sit in the cooler? hahaha sorry. I dont know. ha
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:23 AM   #4
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two 9 pounds butts, put into the cooler at around 200F, will hold for at least 4 hours in a decent cooler. In a good cooler, probably 6 hours. My cooler which is pretty good, the meat will be 185F after four hours. I do preheat my cooler with a gallon of boiling water first.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:26 AM   #5
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Probably a dumb question, but as long as it initially cooks to 200 degrees, even if it cools down a little in the cooler, it will still pull apart for pulled pork right???

Sorry I am completely new to the smoking world
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basspro05 View Post
Probably a dumb question, but as long as it initially cooks to 200 degrees, even if it cools down a little in the cooler, it will still pull apart for pulled pork right???

Sorry I am completely new to the smoking world
yes...the reason it pulls is that you've broken down the collagen, so once that's done, it will pull even after it cools. FYI, it's easier to pull when it's hot than when it's cold--but it will definitely keep it's heat for 4-6 hours in a cooler. Double wrap in HD foil, into the preheated cooler, then pack the rest of the cooler with towels to insulate.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:31 AM   #7
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Ive seen 8 happen, Thermo-Pen still read 164. Helps to have a good cooler that is about 2 butts in size though.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:40 AM   #8
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It will pull at anytime, as said above. I prefer not to pull too soon, as I believe the product dries when you pull above serving temperature.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #9
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If you put it in a standard preheated coleman/igloo cooler with towels and newspaper taking up the rest of the air space it will be able to stay hot for 6+ hours.

During my house warming party I had 2 pork butts in a cooler that were in a cooler waiting for the initial 2 pork butts to be finished. I kept them from 2pm-10pm. When I took them out of the cooler and pulled them, they were still nice and hot and were easy to pull.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 10:49 AM   #10
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Thanks alot of the advice guys, wish me luck!
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Unread 05-10-2013, 11:58 AM   #11
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2 hot butts wrapped in towels in a good quality cooler will keep for 4-6 hours no problem.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:06 PM   #12
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I like to preheat my cooler, and fill the void with towels just like everyone else. Something I didn't see mentioned, I also try to leave it outside, in the direct sunlight. I think we all know how hot and humid a cooler left in the sun can get.

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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:23 PM   #13
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if it were me I'd put them on around midnight, they'll be done around noon give or take and can go four hours in a cooler no problem.
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Unread 05-10-2013, 12:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by criffaaa1 View Post
if it were me I'd put them on around midnight, they'll be done around noon give or take and can go four hours in a cooler no problem.

Only thing I worry about here is if I am tied up and can not get to them until noon, and they happen to be done at 10:30 or 11...

Wont they be way overdone when I finally get to them?
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Unread 05-10-2013, 02:27 PM   #15
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I usually will aim to have the shoulders off the smokers 3-4 hours before I plan to eat. Gives me time to let them rest. I pull after 45 minutes or so (easier to handle after its cooled a bit), put in a hotel pan with some apple cider, cover and stick in a warm oven until dinner time.

Never had a complaint!!!

Good luck!
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