how long can leg quarters and turkey legs stay wrapped in cooler safely?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by cvaglica, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. cvaglica

    cvaglica Fire Starter

    Hi - I'm a newbie and I'm about to use my MES 40 smoker for the 2nd time. (First time was ribs and brisket, with a lot of help from you folks.) I want to smoke some chicken leg quarters and some turkey legs tomorrow. I was planning to brine them overnight, then dry them and let them sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, then season and then smoke. My problem is that my kiddo has an orthodontist appt at 3, so I was hoping I could cook them and then wrap them by 2:30 and let them sit in the cooler until 6 for dinner.

    Is that too long to let poultry sit in the cooler?

    I suppose I could wait until Friday, but I'm anxious to do another smoke!

    Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would say that if you cook the poultry to 165*, foil and wrap tightly in towels in the cooler, you should be fine for that time frame.  you don't want meat to rest long enough to hit <140* (danger zone) again, so it is a matter of temp more than time.  re-check your IT right b4 dinner; if it drops below 140*, reheat to be safe.
  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What James said.
  4. cvaglica

    cvaglica Fire Starter

  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another way to keep the temp up is to wrap a brick or two in a towel after heating them up in the oven or smoker.
  6. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I put a hot water bottle in the box
  7. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    3½ hrs might be pushing it.

    Unless you do like Scar and Meat suggested.

     Keep the temp up or refrigerate later.

    Just my 2¢
  8. jlstout

    jlstout Newbie

    Leaving chicken for that long, the skin is going to be like rubber.

Share This Page