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How long are Boston Butts safe in cooler??

tmackietmackie Posts: 67
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
I have two BB on my LBGE that will be done around 3-3:30PM. They are at 185* now and I usually pull and wrap in foil at 197*

We are going to a 4:30 movie and will be home at 7PM. Will they be OK in a standard Coleman cooler, foil wrapped and toweled for 4 hours? 

What's the longest any of you have kept Boston Butts in a cooler before pulling? I just don't want them to over cool and be ruined before we can pull and eat them around 7PM EDT tonight.

Thanks in advance for all your help and advice!


  • BudgeezerBudgeezer Posts: 637

    We have successfully had them in the cooler for over 6 hours, you should be good to go!


    Edina, MN

  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,674
    I think the consensus is about 4 hours. I don't know that I could wait 6 hours to eat them, I no I've never waited 4. But at 4 you are safe. Make sure if you have any pooches that the cooler is out of their reach. That would be a disaster.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,944
    Should be fine. Let them go a few degrees more if your nervous. I pulled one at 205, and 5 hours later, it was 160.
  • tmackietmackie Posts: 67
    I normally only leave them in cooler for 2 hours, but I have no choice today. All my kids are in town and the movie starts at 430 and lets out at 630. Should be home around 645 and pull shortly thereafter.

    They are now at 190*. They will be at 197* in an hour probably (230PM). I may have to stretch the cooler time to 4 1/2 hours. I will let everyone know if I have any issues or problems later this evening.

  • tmackietmackie Posts: 67
    Thanks gdenby!

    I will let them go beyond 197* today and pull around 202-205* 
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 9,065
    Sounds like a plan.  Yall watching Spiderman???
    Just a hack that makes some $hitty BBQ....
  • Well...this was a big gamble, but I might as well report it.

    Pulled 2 butts at 198 around noon (this past Saturday).  Foil, multiple towels, cooler, and didn't open it again until my guests arrived (very late) around 3.  Then things got wild and crazy - watched some Football, etc. - didn't remove the last butt until 9 PM, and I stuck it in the fridge.

    So, a minimum 9 hours ftc, then in the fridge.

    We've been eating it the last two days, and so far it's just been delicious.  The butt was still very warm when I put it in the fridge (I'd bet it was only slightly below 140, if that.)  This technique is amazing.
    LBGE, 2 UDS, lots of Georgia pecan
  • I know that breaks every rule in the book on food safety, but I'm reporting this because this tread was the best information I could find on the topic, and I want to add my experience.
    LBGE, 2 UDS, lots of Georgia pecan
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,020
    someday i would like to know the real rule for a smoked pork butt or brisket, these food safety rules are just to much. you salted it, you smoked it, you cooked it to an insane internal temp over a LONG period of time, then put it into clean foil. im almost betting it would be safe for 40 hours but who knows because they set these rules for every situation and took worst case scenarios. back in my younger years i didnt know about these food safety rules, i would eat from a pot of chili sitting on a stovetop for a week
  • I know that breaks every rule in the book on food safety, but I'm reporting this because this tread was the best information I could find on the topic, and I want to add my experience.

    Just for clarity, you have 4 hrs. below 140* and that is conservative. Takes a long time for it to get down to 140* and that is surface temp.


    Caledon, ON


  • QDudeQDude Posts: 667
    Should not be a problem. Ive gone 8 hours FTC and it was still too hot to handle comfortably.

    A northern Colorado Egghead since 2012!

    XL and a Small BGE.

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