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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 08-28-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
cestfou2
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Default Help .. need advice on cooking for 225 people..

We just got asked to do what amounts to our first catering gig, 225 people supposed to attend wedding - they want ribs, chicken, beans, and potatoes( smashed, not mashed) .. our pitt holds approx 16-18 racks of ribs.. which he slow cooks for 6 hours, chicken will take approx 3 hours.. we are wondering HOW or what do we do with the first set of ribs taken off the pitt, until the rest of the food is ready - I'm thinking we'll have to cook the first batch the night before - BUT can we take them off the pitt, cool down, and put in fridge -wrapped of course, and just heat everything up before the dinner or do we need to take off pitt and put immediatly in fridge, again heating up before the dinner,( we have access to commecial kitchen for this event) BUT I don't want the food to dry out or get tooo done.... 2nd batch has to go on and come off, then put chicken on.. Now ...will this be safe??? What is the holding times for chicken and ribs?? OR is it best to just rent another smoker so we can do it all at one time? Problems I see with that is you never know how something else will cook.. Any suggestions or advice from you pros out there would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks
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Unread 08-28-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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Unless they want an extremely casual event, you may have taken on more than you can handle. Weddings are not easy, even for the experienced!

You need staffing of 8 at least, cooker space, hot boxes, etc.

When is the event? Hopefully, you can assist an experienced wedding caterer with an event of this magnitude before embarking on this endeavor.

Do what you got to do though, and we will try and help you the best we can!
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Unread 08-29-2010, 04:17 AM   #3
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steph you sound like you have done weddings in the past
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Unread 08-29-2010, 04:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cestfou2 View Post
We just got asked to do what amounts to our first catering gig, 225 people supposed to attend wedding - they want ribs, chicken, beans, and potatoes( smashed, not mashed) .. our pitt holds approx 16-18 racks of ribs.. which he slow cooks for 6 hours, chicken will take approx 3 hours.. we are wondering HOW or what do we do with the first set of ribs taken off the pitt, until the rest of the food is ready - I'm thinking we'll have to cook the first batch the night before - BUT can we take them off the pitt, cool down, and put in fridge -wrapped of course, and just heat everything up before the dinner or do we need to take off pitt and put immediatly in fridge, again heating up before the dinner,( we have access to commecial kitchen for this event) BUT I don't want the food to dry out or get tooo done.... 2nd batch has to go on and come off, then put chicken on.. Now ...will this be safe??? What is the holding times for chicken and ribs?? OR is it best to just rent another smoker so we can do it all at one time? Problems I see with that is you never know how something else will cook.. Any suggestions or advice from you pros out there would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks
can you scratch the ribs and do tri tip, or pulled pork ? might work out better for you
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Unread 08-29-2010, 05:54 PM   #5
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Yes, it is a casual event - all we are doing is the cooking part -its at a lodge, we are traveling to Alabama to do this for a friend of ours... and we're charging a per person price.... We are NOT serving though.. so we cook it and take it to the kitchen and they take it from there... it's just the two of us cooking - we can for the most part handle everything - but this meat question... The biggest thing is how to handle the meat in between cooking and serving times... since the pitt will only hold up to 16 racks of ribs... perhaps rib racks??? Not used to cooking with those - but seems like we could put more on the pitt that way maybe?? And then once the ribs come off we have to cook the chicken.. I'm almost thinking of just renting another pitt once we get there.. to cook the chicken on - so everything is ready near the same time .. what do you think?? ANY advice anyone has on this will be greatly appreciated!
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Unread 08-29-2010, 08:28 PM   #6
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Yes, rent a pit! It will keep you from having a anxiety attack
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Unread 08-29-2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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steph you sound like you have done weddings in the past

LOL, just trying to keep it real, Bill!
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Unread 08-30-2010, 01:08 AM   #8
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lol, just trying to keep it real, bill!
:-d lol
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Unread 08-30-2010, 03:26 AM   #9
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I'm all for you renting another pit..that is if you have factored it into the cost already otherwise contact the lodge and see it they have a pit you can use. Is it possible for you to get down there a day or so ahead of time and do the cooking on site rather than pull all nighters , drive then cook again?

As for proper handling of your cooked meat I would refer to notes notes from your food save classes or what your local authority has recommended.
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