Party, but, Trying to sneak some "Me time" in there too!
Setup (scroll down to bold Italic to get right to the question)
I love to BBQ, been doing it for decades. BUT! last year i had a party of about 25, and as usual, being the cook, I spent all my time cooking/tending the smoker while others had a great time around me drinking and chatting. While that is all expected, and as the entertainer, that's my job and I accept it and i love to do it, I wonder, is it possible, IS IT? to sneak some "Me time" in there this year? The party will be a weekend party (year 2), starts late Friday, we go out for Pizza, then drinks and cigars at the firepit. Saturday morning I am up and the meat goes on about 5-6 am, with a plan for a 4-6 pm BBQ. It's a 10 minute walk from the beach, Last year we had NO beach time as we all met from together from as far away as London, and had a great time catching up on things. This year is different, some suggested I try to be a part of "the party". Ah, but how?
I have a cheap Brinkmann Smoke N' Pit, been using it a year, works well, but I must keep an eye on that temperature! The initial time of 5 am to 10 or 11 am is fine, I can be there for the first 5 or so hours, but from 11 on (maybe another 5-6 hours) is the time I want to try to get some steady heat for this day. I was actually thinking of getting a heat source, maybe an electric burner? to keep it at low temp for maybe a few hours? a little beach time? (though I may BE at the beach, I will surely be worried about my meat the whole time) But this party IS about the BBQ AND the friends on this day.
BTW- I tried using gas on a turkey once, the tank ran out way before i thought and when I opened the lid a few hours later, flies were all over it, so I have a fear of this sort of thing if I walk away :-(
Those who cater, Do some of you ever cook your meat the day before a situation like this? you must!??. BBQ places around me cannot possibly cook the Meat fresh all the time? they MUST store it for a day or 3? maybe more? I have no idea!
Should I cook it all day Friday (5 am to 5 pm) then refrigerate it and take it out Saturday and start the smoker, lay it all in there to warm it up? it will take hours to get that meat back in shape! and will it get back in shape? will it be dry?
Maybe I should just forget trying to find 3 hours of "Me time"?
Can A BBQ cook "have it all"? Please PLEASE! I would love to hear all thoughts on this. But please, no lessons on "a cooks life and responsibility", I have been a cook for 30 years, i know what I should do, I'm just trying to find a way to beat it.... for just 1 day! :-)