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I took a full packer cut brisket out at 11:00 am and it seems folks have a preference for dining at about 5:00. It went straight from the smoker into foil and the cooler. How long is ok, and is there anything I should do with it prior to serving?

First time I am doing the full packer cut and boy did it look good coming out!

Another question. Can I freeze the point to make burnt ends at some later date? If so, what does one do with it?
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Depending on how well you insulated it (did you wrap in in towels or newspaper for added insulation) it should keep for a good 4 hours or more.

Serving it is an individual choice. Slice it cross-grain for the most tender results. You can serve it plain if you want. I like to get a thin warm Kaiser roll, slice it in half and add just a touch of my homemade BBQ sauce and eat it as a sandwich.

I like fresh brisket but to me it's always better te second day! Big Grin

Someone else will have to juump in on the burnt ends.

Congrats on your first packer. Let us know how it went over with the crew Big Grin
I've quit putting mine in a cooler unless I need to take it somewhere. I just turn the smoker down to 140 when it reaches the desired temp (or I'll just turn it off if it only needs to rest a couple hours for dinner). It's already wrapped in foil and has the thermo inserted so I can keep monitoring temps.
My brother has a theory about smokers: once you have cooked in them they are a sterilized environment. If nothing can get in (and these smokers are pretty tight) then nothing can go wrong. If he is correct, then properly cooked meat wrapped in bacteria-free foil in a sterilized cooler should be safe even after it cools. Now I know the microscopic world is pretty tricky and I would not risk poisoning my company picnic, but can anyone speak to the risk? His theory is based only on personal experience, and my main concern about coolering is serving temp, not food safety. We also share a belief that smoked food is going to survive longer in the fridge than the same food baked. Any truth?
Well Twofer,

In theory, if:

1. Meat cooked to proper internal temp.
2. Meat transfered to sterile packaging while surface temp was still well above 160f. No cooling allowed. Or you were smoking in a sterile environment (like an operating room or even better a NASA clean room.) Big Grin
3. Packaging was absolutely air tight. Cooler wouldn't need to be sterile.

If all of the above were true, then your food would be okay after it cooled. You could probably even hold it at room temp for a period of time. However, once it was opened, the 40f-160f rules would apply for re-heating, serving and holding.

In our normal wrap and cooler method, the temps usually stay high enough to prevent problems before serving. However, since the set-up isn't sterile, meat held that way must be either eaten, refrigerated or frozen afterwards.

While a smoker is at temps above 160 bugs die. After it's cooled down, even with the door closed, there isn't one made that's airtight enough to prevent re-contamination before it's heated up again.

As far as baking vs smoking-- there are chemicals formed on smoked products that do help to retard spoilage. That's why it was and still used as a method of preservation. I would assume that the outer layer being dried in the process helps too. The less moisture around, the less the bugs like it.



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