View Full Version : Cooking for My Son's Party - Please Check My Procedures for Safety

07-11-2010, 12:18 AM
I'll be smoking pork butts and briskets for ~ 80 people. All of this will be at my home. I will hold in a preheated cooler. Here's how I will be set-up and what process that I will use. Please correct me or offer better methods.

- pork and briskets will be placed into chaffing sets using two half pans for each meat and warming with sterno. The half pans will allow me to rotate in fresh meat.

- I plan to initially cut-up what I think will be enough for the first run-though the buffet line (self serve). I will pull more meat from the holding cooler, as needed. I will also have a Polder probe in the meat that is being held to make sure it is above 140F.

- I will write down the time that the food is placed on the table and monitor how long it sits out. If it's at 2 hours and people are still eating I will rotate new meat from the cooler into the trays and take the older meat and place into a cooler with ice to drop the temp to 70F for 2 hours and then refrigerate to get temp to at least 40F within another hour. Same thing will happen to the meat in the cooler that hits 140F.

- If people get hungry later I can reheat the meat to at least 165F ....... this party may last awhile!

- I will also have coleslaw that I will surround the pan in ice and make sure that I periodically stir to keep cooled.

Some questions:

- how hot will the sterno keep the meat?
- will the sterno dry out the meat, especially the brisket?

Am I doing it right? Any advice, comments, better way of doing things, etc.?


Jason Whittemore
07-13-2011, 02:17 PM
Everything looks good...but if you're holding the hot meat at 140 there is no need to remove it after 2 hours.

TCS (time controlled safety) according to safe serv...you can server hot food without tcs at 4 hours and then toss.

Cold food is 7 hours as long as it doesnt go over 70f.

Aslo according to my certification in Minneapolis, you have 2 hours to get to 70 and 2 to get to 40.

As long as your Chaffers our set right and you make sure you are holding at 140...that should be good enough.

Great job, sounds like you are well prepared. Good luck!

07-13-2011, 03:16 PM
- I will also have coleslaw that I will surround the pan in ice and make sure that I periodically stir to keep cooled.

Something that I have done in the past with cold foods is to take a water pan and fill it a little above where a half pan will be touching the water, and then freeze it.

When it comes time to serve, take the water pan, OK, now techniaclly an ice pan, and place your half pans in it.

Just keep the hot foods hot and the cold ones cold and you'll be golden.

07-13-2011, 03:50 PM
Keep part of the pan (hot) covered with foil. This will help prevent drying out and keep some heat in. Cover everything when not serving. :mrgreen: