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Unread 08-30-2008, 06:46 AM   #1
BobF
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Default How long can a cooler hold meat?

The brisket came off at 7am. Party starts at 6pm. Can the cooler hold the meat that long?
Took 19 hours to cook, maybe it won't cool off in 11 ??
The butts will be in there soon.
Started out as 35 lbs of meat.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 06:55 AM   #2
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Adding some butts will help - more mass and more heat coming in later. I commonly leave butts in a cooler for 6-8 hours when I do overnight cooks at home, then don't mess with them until dinner time.

Leave a probe in a brisket and keep an eye on it. If it starts getting close to 150, warm up the oven and use it to hold. But I think with a few butts, the cooler should be OK.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 06:58 AM   #3
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I have never held anything that long in a cooler. Gonna be very interested in the answers and how the briskets turn out.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 07:20 AM   #4
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KC Bobby speaks the truth.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 08:14 AM   #5
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Put a heavy blanket in there too. It'll help hold the temps.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 08:39 AM   #6
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I usually wrap each piece of meat(in foil) with a blanket or towel and then fill any void with same. It seems like the meat will stay warm for ever this way.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 09:34 AM   #7
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Can always wrap a heating pad in a towel and put it on top.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 09:38 AM   #8
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I have held 1 full packer and 2 butts with towels in a cooler from about 2 am until noon, and they were great. The brisket might have been in there for a little to long, but not to cool off. It fell apart a little, but that just could of been the brisket. It was still very moist.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 09:42 AM   #9
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KC Bobby has got you dialed in with his advise.

I invested in a really good insulated coleman cooler that will keep stuff hot for a long time as long as I keep everything wrapped up tight. And don't open the lid...
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Unread 08-30-2008, 10:12 AM   #10
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This is what I do for 8+ hour holds meat stays solidly above 140 the entire time.

Double wrap everything in heavy duty foil. Do not allow for much time outside of the cooker or cooler. Pretty much you want to (double) wrap it and get it right into the cooler.

I line the bottom of the cooler with a towel, or several, depending on size. I then pour boiling water over them. I do this until they are wet, but not saturated. It definitely creates a lot of steam. Try not to leave the cooler open unless it's to add or remove meat from this point. I then add my meat one at a time, pull from cooker, wrap, right into cooler. Make sure the extra space is filled in with more towels.
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Unread 08-30-2008, 10:18 AM   #11
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during your cook warm some pavers up...they will hold tons of heat and release it slowly
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Unread 08-30-2008, 12:30 PM   #12
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Default Cooler Question

On Saturday, August 9th at 5:30 pm I started off on a smoking journey that included plans for 4-15# packers, 2-8# butts, 4 beercan chickens, and 8 slabs of spares. I cooked all night. Obviously the different meats went on at different times but all came off within an hour of the others.

On Sunday, August 10th at 4:30 pm everything was finished (the 4 briskets cooked for anywhere from 20-23 hours. I removed everything from the pit, triple-wrapped everything in foil and placed the fare into the bottoms of my two Igloo coolers. I then placed cotton towels on top of the meats followed by layers of newspapers right to the top of the cooler.

The lids were closed and just to make sure NO heat seeped out I wrapped the area of the cooler where the lid meets the cooler with cellophane.

I loaded the two coolers into my truck the following morning of August 11th at 5:00 am and carried them with me to work for a BBQ lunch at noon.

The meats were coolerd for approximately 18 hours yet when I removed the meats at 11:00 am on "Feeding Day" to slice, pull, cut, etc., the briskets were still hot enough to make holding them with ungloved hands quite uncomfortable. The pork butts were still hot while being pulled and shreedded and even the smaller cuts (ribs and chickens) were still hot.

Everyone enjoyed the food and no one called in sick the next day so I have to assume the time in the coolers was not detrimental to human consumption.

Long story to make a point, I know but it should give you some idea of how properly coolered meats can hold their temps.

Happy Holiday weekend to all the other Brethren out there. Be safe.

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Unread 08-30-2008, 12:43 PM   #13
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I foil the meat, cooler it and I have a bunch of old beach towels, you know the kind that come from the dollar store, but are still pretty thick. Several of them in the cooler acts as a very good insulator. You should be fine with your plan but keep a probe in your meat just to be sure. That balmy Savannah weather should help as well.
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Unread 08-31-2008, 11:43 AM   #14
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Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. Lots of good info here.
I put the butts in a large foil pan and covered with heavy foil. When I discoverd my foil pan would not fit in the cooler, I put the pan and double wrapped brisket in the oven. I turned the oven on and heated it to about 190 (approx. temp of meat when removed. Turned the oven off and left the door closed.
My oven has a display that shows the temp when you turn it on to preheat, so every couple of hours or so I turned it back on to see what the temp was. If it looked close to 140, I turned it back on for a few ond off again when the temp looked closer to the original 190.
This worked out well and when time to eat everything was still hot and delicious.
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Unread 08-31-2008, 11:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobF View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. Lots of good info here.
I put the butts in a large foil pan and covered with heavy foil. When I discoverd my foil pan would not fit in the cooler, I put the pan and double wrapped brisket in the oven. I turned the oven on and heated it to about 190 (approx. temp of meat when removed. Turned the oven off and left the door closed.
My oven has a display that shows the temp when you turn it on to preheat, so every couple of hours or so I turned it back on to see what the temp was. If it looked close to 140, I turned it back on for a few ond off again when the temp looked closer to the original 190.
This worked out well and when time to eat everything was still hot and delicious.

Nice technique. I'll have to remember this one.
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