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10.6 lb Butt done waaaay early, need advice

kjedkjed Posts: 55
edited 10:21PM in EggHead Forum
I put a 10.6 lb Boston Butt on at 10pm last night. Dome temp 250.

I checked the temp at 8:10 this morning, after only 10 hours of cooking, and found the internal temp as checked with a Thermapen, to be anywhere from 197 to 202 F. Everything I know about cooking Boston Butt, including past experience, told me to expect a 15-hour cook. This surprised me.

The upshot is that this butt is done almost 9 hours before guests will arrive. I wrapped in HD aluminum foil, then in towels, and the butt is in a cooler. I've let a butt rest 4 hours before pulling, and it was still plenty hot, but can I let this rest for 8-9 hours? will it be to cold? Will the temp drop to unsafe levels during that time? I'm wondering if I should let it rest until noon, then pull it, and warm it up in a CI dutch oven before guests arrive. Any advice is appreciated.



  • Brew'nQueBrew'nQue Posts: 44
    You could leave it wrapped in foil. Then poke a thermometer through the foil and into the butt....that way you could monitor the temp as it goes through the day. If and when it drops below 140, you could pull it. If that happens well before it's time for your guests to arrive, you could always put it back on the egg in aluminum pans to keep it warm until it's time to eat. I'd cover the pans with foil...maybe add a lil apple cider vinegar/rub in with it.

    I started two butts last night. One on a LBGE and one on a WSM. First battle between the two. :) (I've been taking pictures and will make a thread later...early preview though; the BGE is winning) My butts have been on since 10:45 last night, and they've probably still got a couple more hours to go.
  • BB1857BB1857 Posts: 131
    Keith I had the same thing happen to me last weekend for a mothers day BBQ. Expected at least 12 hours and it was done in 9. I wrapped mine in 4 layers of foil then in a towel and placed in cooler from 9:30am till 5:30pm. I unwrapped it and pulled it then. Still had to use gloves to pull it from the heat and man it was so good. I don't think it hurt anything from a taste or tenderness standpoint to be honest so you will be fine. Hope it works out for you.
  • kjedkjed Posts: 55
    Thanks for the advice, you guys. I think I'll just cool my jets until 1pm, then I'll check the temp with a Thermapen. If I'm well above 140, I'll let it sit. If I'm flirting with the danger zone, I'll pull it, and then throw it back on the BGE an hour before guests arrive. I'll add a little cider vinegar/Dr. Pepper to the pulled stuff, and throw a few more cherry wood chips on. Hopefully though, I'll just be able to let it stay where it is until guests arrive...
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    internal temp isn't really the issue. your exterior is below 140 when the internal is 140, for example, so why wouldn't THAT be the concern?

    just wrap it and keep it warm. you don't have a food safety issue necessarily, unless it's been handled

    but it hasn't been served and sitting out on a table getting cross contaminated, and it isn't magically 'reinfected' somehow when sitting in the cooler.

    so keep it wrapped and in an insulated cooler and don't mess with it (i.e., don't keep opening it and letting in cold air every time you check the temps).

    if you can, stick a remote thermometer in it. and the reason you are interested in temps isn't food saftey, it's serving temp. sure, the 'rule' says one thing. but if you stuck by the rule, you'd havae to concern yourself with EXTERIOR temps. the surface is what cools below 140, and the surface is where the bacteria would be
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    You can throw in those freezer pack things (heated in the microwave) after a few hours as well. Even jars of hot water.


    Caledon, ON


  • kjedkjed Posts: 55
    Hey Stike,

    You ever get tired of being right all the time? ;)

    As it happens, I don't have a remote thermometer, so I can't monitor the temp as the day progresses. But, the butt came off the BGE, and went in foil/towels/cooler, so it has not been handled or cross contaminated.

    Would you suggest I check temps, and reheat it, or do as BB1857 did, and let it sit? Clearly, I don't want to serve - or eat - bacteria-ridden food. Just trying to make the best of this situation.

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i don't see how it'll become bacteria ridden after you cook it, and assuming it's left alone. keeping food at temperature for a few hours is unsafe when it's being served and handled and coughed on and spooned over... but that wasn't my point anyway.

    but if i had to wait a long while to serve it, i would probably just pull it, keep it in a bowl, covered, and reheat later on anyway.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    Check your dome thermometer calibration. Make sure it is not reading low, which means a higher temp.
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