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dianlonyc2

Cooler/Cambros --- What to look for

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So if I am to up my Brisket game, I see people on line throwing the meat into "cambros" to rest.  I know they are used to transport and keep food warm, but how exactly do people use theirs?  

 

- Are there particular sizes home BBQers use? 

- Do you need a pan or just throw the wrapped meat in it? 

- Any brands to stay aware from?   

 

It seems like it could be used to rest all different foods and keep them warm---a problem i have when cooking for a bunch.  

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I just got a hand me down from my grandmother- a plug in cooler that cooks from below 36 and keeps things hot above 155. I didn't realize it also kept things hot so I am really looking forward to using it to hold meat for bbqing 

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Do you need to use a tray or pan or can you just place wrapped meat in them?  I am guessing it depends on the cooler --- as I see some with sides built for hanging trays.   

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I don't think there is a need for anything fancy here.  I have a cheap $10 cooler I use.  It just needs to be big enough to fit the meat you want to put in it.  Mine will easily hold two butts or 2 briskets. I have some old towels I use to line the cooler.  I put a towel on the bottom, double foil wrap the meat, wrap it in a towel, place it in the cooler and toss another towel on top.  I usually leave the meat probe in so I cam make sure the meat doesn't drop below 140 deg.  With this cheap setup I have held butts for over 4 hours with no problem.  Some people heat up the cooler before putting the meat in by putting hot water in.  I have not found the need, but maybe if you had a big cooler that had lots of air.

 

I would not recommend using your good bath towels as they will pickup a smoked meat smell.

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Any cooler will work... I have an old Coleman 16 qt cooler that is usually big enough for what I need. I don't care what happens to it or if it ends up smelling like a smokehouse, so that's usually my go to.

 

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Thanks everyone!  I have old coolers that I can use .... and determine if I am going to grill enough to justify a Cambro type cooler (who am I kidding...I can always justify it....I just bought 2 Kamados) lol   

 

This thread helped shed a bit of the mystery around "Coolers"....basically its to rest the meat and keep it at a warm temp until ready to cut.  It ALSO makes sense as some of the big cooks may finish early allowing me time to keep it warm and work on other dishes on the grill.    

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@dianlonyc2

 

You do NOT need an expensive cooler to rest meat in after the cook.  If you have one already then use it.  If you are looking for something, get a cheap cooler like a coleman or an igloo or something that will hold what you want to put in it.  It will work perfectly.

 

If you want a significant cooler to use for other things and use it often, I do highly recommend any of your choices in the high end line of coolers such as the Yeti and Pelican stuff... there are other brands and other price ranges but the performance is similar.  

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I have also followed @John Setzler tip of letting my brisket temp fall to 180ish before I wrap and toss in the cooler.  Previously I had wrapped right when I pulled and tended to end up with over cooked meat from the carryover cooking.  With butts I just wrap right off the Kamado.

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