How Long can a turkey rest in a cooler?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by thedude99, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    My bird was done sooner than expected.  I've foiled it, wrapped it in towels and put it in a cooler.  From a food safety point - how long can I leave it sit?  Is 4 hours too long?

  2. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Birds don't rest in a cooler. They continue to cook be careful. better to cool and put in a warm oven wrapped.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Wrapped and in the cooler will hold 4 hours with no safety issues. The bird went in hot, is wrapped and sealed in the cooler. Would be some Tough Bacteria to get in there now. Yes you can also hold in a 140 over IF your oven will go that low. On most non-digital ovens, low or warm is around 200°. That will over cook the bird! Set at 140 or leave in the cooler...JJ
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  4. Thanks folks.  It came out of the cooler fine after 4 hours.  Definitely continued to cook a bit, and it wasn't as good as if it had come straight off and rested.  But it was still quite good.

    It caught me off guard, it was an 18.5lb bird and was done in around 4 hours.  It was unstuffed, the smoker was between 250-350 (starting on the lower end and climbing up as I continued to add charcoal to battle the cold weather, windy temps & large bird)
  5. maple sticks

    maple sticks Smoking Fanatic

    Glad all ended well. I missed the pic's

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