עָטִין
The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS.


Forum Portal Recipes Smoke Signals Magazine Welocme Merchandise Associations Purchase Subscription Brethren Banners
Go Back   The BBQ BRETHREN FORUMS. > Discussion Area > Catering, Food Handling and Awareness > Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses.

Notices

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.


Reply
Thread Tools
Unread 02-04-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
Scott_nra
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Scott_nra's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-31-11
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default Advice on doing a first BBQ for a crowd

ok guys, I have this event that is being planned for 1st of March. I am going to use my side burner smoker to cook up butts/BBQ for a bunch of customers and want to do a good job. (I have access to a second one if needed) I donít have a head count estimate yet but would guess between 50-100 people+. We are sales guys who never catered a thing. 2 of us just really like cooking on the grills and are still learning, two more are worker bees. We want to do this to add a real personal touch to the event. Itís not a really big thing, but it kinda is for us.

Charcoal or wood only and need to make a good showing. I plan to cook up at least 2 (Different times) to practice and get it right before this event so I have a little time. Allso going to play hard cooking up other things on this smoker for practice between now and then, ribs especially. Iím getting better at them. I figure it will help me get better at my temp and smoke control. 2 channel thermo on the way. Got a rub I'm pretty happy with. I am going to have a mix of commercial sauce and homemade.

I have always done buts with a crock pot after a couple hours of smoking and want to stop doing that for obvious reasons. And here I won't have electricity handy anyway. I am Devouring (and really enjoying) Mike Mills book Peace, Love and BBQ and learning a lot. The more I learn, the more I want to learn and the more I want to BBQ.

Here are the questions for now:
1. How many # of Meat per person do you think we should have?
2. Same Q for Slaw, fries, beans and hush puppies.
3. Should I stick with Charcoal or have wood too? I really want to use at least some real wood, and want to get good at it with more wood than charcoal but I donít want to over-smoke either, especially at this thing.
4. What kind of time do you think I should allow getting the meat done? We are going to start early in the morning and need to have meat ready by about 11:30am

Iím open for any and all advice. Iíve got time to practice up and plan. This is a customer appreciation gathering and we want to be a few steps better than the usual burnt cheap burgers and dogs that these guys are used to. I figure Iíll use my turkey fryer to turn out decent commercial/frozen fries and hush puppies.

Goals:
1. Have a bunch of happy well fed customers who will remember who had a great event.
2. Be able to handle it all and still socialize with about 4 people working.
3. Not go broke. Funds are limited which is why we are not hiring this out in the first place. Iím hoping to pull it off for a couple hundred bucks.
4. Have a great time!

Yeah, I know I might be nuts. Never done this before, but we are gonna give it a go anyway. What say ye brethren?
Scott_nra is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-04-2011, 08:56 PM   #2
HBMTN
is One Chatty Farker
 
Join Date: 10-16-08
Location: Virginia
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Scott You will want to figure about 3 people per lb of cooked pulled pork per person plus 10%. So for 100 people I would figure about 37-40 lbs of cooked pork. So I would start off with about 80 lbs of raw butts. This will be about 9 to 11 butts. For sides figure 4-6oz of each side per person.

You can burn wood or coal, if burning charcoal I would still add a gew sticks of wood per hour. If you want to have them ready to eat at 11:30am I would start them at about 9pm the night before and if they are 8 to 9 lb butts they will take around 12 hours at 230 degrees this will put them done at 9am then wrap them in a towel and put them in a cooler to rest until time to eat. Cook the butts to an internal temp of 195 degrees.

If you have a small store bought smoker you may have problems cooking in the cold weather and wind. Good Luck
__________________
FEC 120, Lang 84, Custom Off Set
HBMTN is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-04-2011, 09:13 PM   #3
Captain P.J.
Full Fledged Farker
 
Join Date: 06-15-10
Location: Menomonie, WI
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

What kind of equipment are you going to be cooking on? Do you have the equipment to hold all of the hot and cold foods at proper temps? The more information you can provide the better info you will get.
__________________
Extreme BBQ Trailer, Backwoods Competitor, 2- 22.5" WSM, 22.5" & 18.5" Weber kettles, 2 Smokey Joe's, Blue & Red Thermapens, KCBS CBJ, Captain PJ's BBQ
Captain P.J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-04-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
landarc
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
landarc's Avatar
 
Join Date: 06-26-09
Location: Saint Leanders Parish, CA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

If this is your first cook, I would think doing pulled pork and pulled chicken is a better route than ribs, unless you have a large enough cooker to pull it off. A lot easier as you can do a lot of prep the day before, which means less effort when your clients are there.

The cooker and equipment is pretty important to really answer your questions. Four people for a 100 person even seems a little light if one or two of you want to spin off and schmooze. Also, what about beverages, utensils etc...
__________________
The SS Platypus, sails again, to the support of the Vets!

"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."
landarc is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-04-2011, 10:07 PM   #5
ssbbqguy
is one Smokin' Farker
 
Join Date: 10-09-07
Location: carthage,mo.
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

It scares me to have no more experience than listed and want to have a succesfull event. To be honest if you told me the plan as a customer, I would run away pretty fast. It sounds like a good idea until you ruin some food or miss a important health detail, like holding temps. for instance. Unless one can high heat cook on decent equipment, it's going to be a long night, even with good weather. I'm not sure about you, but when I stay up and cook all night without sleep, it's best to avoid customers that I rely on for income.I sure wouldn't want them as test dummies for novice cooks. Maybe someone close with more experience can help you. You can practice cook on one or two butts, but what about putting ten, twelve on at once? With even temps. they will be done at different times. And then cook other foods? As said ,have you enough coolers, cambros, or other holding units? $200.00 won't cover much. Sorry to sound negative, but it's better to be real instead doing something regrettable. Whatever you decide, just keep the people you're serving safe. Hope it works out. Steve.
ssbbqguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-05-2011, 08:31 AM   #6
Scott_nra
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Scott_nra's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-31-11
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default On second thought...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssbbqguy View Post
It scares me to have no more experience than listed and want to have a succesfull event. To be honest if you told me the plan as a customer, I would run away pretty fast. It sounds like a good idea until you ruin some food or miss a important health detail, like holding temps. for instance. Unless one can high heat cook on decent equipment, it's going to be a long night, even with good weather. I'm not sure about you, but when I stay up and cook all night without sleep, it's best to avoid customers that I rely on for income.I sure wouldn't want them as test dummies for novice cooks. Maybe someone close with more experience can help you. You can practice cook on one or two butts, but what about putting ten, twelve on at once? With even temps. they will be done at different times. And then cook other foods? As said ,have you enough coolers, cambros, or other holding units? $200.00 won't cover much. Sorry to sound negative, but it's better to be real instead doing something regrettable. Whatever you decide, just keep the people you're serving safe. Hope it works out. Steve.
Ok I slept on this grand idea and woke up with a change of heart. Also after more reading on the catering forum and advice given here, I am going to go another route. Someone who asks for advice and refuses to heed it is not very smart. I don't want to be "not very smart". Emotion of wanting to do BBQ aside, I think I'd be pretty stupid to try this at this time with what I don't know.

Yeah, I became aware of how much I don't know yet. (16 hours!? Farking YIKES!) That alone is enough to make me change my mind on the food type. THANK YOU guys for your input there. I have no intentions of pulling an all nighter and don't know enough about food storage, transportation etc to even think I can handle this at this time. I dont' know if I could do it for 20 much less 100 or more.

However! I do know a thing or two about killer tailgating! I've done 3 with some other folks for up to about 300 people at Red Skins games. So I'm changing it to Brats, Italian Sausages, Chicken breasts, pork tenderloins, etc. All cooked on the spot.

You guys are right, now way in he!! I have the gear to turn that many buts or the knowlege at this time, but I can turn the heck out of brats and chicken on the two offsets we have using them as big charcoal grills. It will be like having two big grills and two little grills going.

This way will be safe, fun and heck of lot less stress and work. It will still probably be more like $300+ for everything but at least I will KNOW I can pull it off with what I already know.

One day maybe the other way. This event is not for profit but it could dang sure effect it later.

Thanks again and cya 'round!
Scott_nra is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-05-2011, 04:44 PM   #7
PCDoctor_1979
Full Fledged Farker
 
Join Date: 11-01-09
Location: West Des Moines, IA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

That's a very good decision on your part. Far too much risk for your first "catering" gig. I remember my first paid gig was for a friend of mine hosting a poker party for 20 and I was really nervous. That was almost four years ago. Over time, I've accumulated more equipment and experience so that groups of 100 or more are no big thing. Take it slow and find a mentor to help you avoid the usual rookie mistakes. You'll get to the point where you can cook the big projects in due time. Best of luck with your party!
__________________
Brian Sweeney - CBJ #3691 - '77 Step Van Mobile Kitchen, Horizon Marshall, WSM with Pro Q Stacker, Weber Kettle & Smokey Joe GOLD.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Clarke's Third Law
PCDoctor_1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-05-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
Captain P.J.
Full Fledged Farker
 
Join Date: 06-15-10
Location: Menomonie, WI
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCDoctor_1979 View Post
Take it slow and find a mentor to help you avoid the usual rookie mistakes. You'll get to the point where you can cook the big projects in due time.
For discussions sake... what would be some of those rookie mistakes? Besides the obvious ones of having enough time for cooking the meat and holding temps...
__________________
Extreme BBQ Trailer, Backwoods Competitor, 2- 22.5" WSM, 22.5" & 18.5" Weber kettles, 2 Smokey Joe's, Blue & Red Thermapens, KCBS CBJ, Captain PJ's BBQ
Captain P.J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-05-2011, 06:52 PM   #9
ssbbqguy
is one Smokin' Farker
 
Join Date: 10-09-07
Location: carthage,mo.
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

First of all, thanks for showing some sense. Your customers are important, or you wouldn't be doing this. Next, try to mix up some variations, so everyone won't have to eat the same thing. 100 people rarely like the same thing. Sounds like your menu will be diverse. Also buy some good therms. to check your chicken and anything else, like burgers to ensure proper cooking. So many think they can tell and can't. Just be safe and you'll have a much better time Wish you all the luck possible and I really think you're going with a better plan. Oh and rookie mistakes: trying to be coherant when dead tired, not being fully prepared,not enough help, equipment and supplies, experience, no insurances and permits if needed. Mentoring is so important, even if you learn for peanuts. Steve.
ssbbqguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks from:--->
Unread 02-06-2011, 06:48 AM   #10
PCDoctor_1979
Full Fledged Farker
 
Join Date: 11-01-09
Location: West Des Moines, IA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

In addition to what ssbbqjuy pointed out, another common challenge is time management. How long does it really take to prep all the sides, pull pork, slice brisket, setup of the serving line, etc. etc. The first few times you will probably find your self running around like a headless chicken. It gets exponentially more complicated when you add in employees that are supposed to be "helping". Once you develop some standard procedures, things go much more smoothly and at a predictable pace from which you can create a work schedule so you are on time.
__________________
Brian Sweeney - CBJ #3691 - '77 Step Van Mobile Kitchen, Horizon Marshall, WSM with Pro Q Stacker, Weber Kettle & Smokey Joe GOLD.

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Clarke's Third Law
PCDoctor_1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks from:--->
Unread 02-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #11
landarc
somebody shut me the fark up.

 
landarc's Avatar
 
Join Date: 06-26-09
Location: Saint Leanders Parish, CA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain P.J. View Post
For discussions sake... what would be some of those rookie mistakes? Besides the obvious ones of having enough time for cooking the meat and holding temps...
The ones I know of...

1. The food is not ready on time, or is never ready.
2. The customer expected one thing, you delivered something else.
3. Someone gets sick or refuses to eat the food due to temperature or serving issues.
4. You over-estimate your time and abilities and do not get to the event on time (I actually pulled this stunt this year and I am not a true rookie, just screwed up)
5. You are crabby and think you are hiding it
6. Not enough food

Now, on number 6, I have had issues with. Some folks are pigs and no reasonable amount of estimating while considering profit can allow for enough food. Also, in catering my sister's wedding, for some reason, despite everyone asking, nay, demanding vegetables (for some reason, the assumption was Bob will just have meat) not one person other then me ate vegetables. There were complaints that there were not enough stuffed mushroom and roast beef. And wedding cake! Who has thirds of wedding cake? Still, many times new to catering folks do not allow for enough food.
__________________
The SS Platypus, sails again, to the support of the Vets!

"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."
landarc is online now   Reply With Quote
Thanks from:--->
Unread 02-06-2011, 05:00 PM   #12
Scott_nra
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Scott_nra's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-31-11
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

I'm with you guys. I might try a local festival in the late summer if I think I can get my gear and skills up to it. For now, I know I'll be good this way other than possibly helpers. I'm going to try to score a couple from a partner business. I doubt that will be a problem. (They like to eat) I'm going to find out the expected crowd and when the food runs out it's out. If if a few late commers miss out and the others go away saying "Man you missed it!" That's good enough. There will always be those couple folks that roll in while you are packing up at a contractor event.

If any of the breathern want a helper for any of the cookoffs in the greater Richmond, VA area PM me. I've been a chief enough in my buisiness to make a real good "injun".
Scott_nra is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-06-2011, 08:46 PM   #13
trekmstr
Full Fledged Farker
 
trekmstr's Avatar
 
Join Date: 02-21-09
Location: Wausau, Wi
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

Well I guess I’ll add my rookie mistake to the list. I did a fund raiser for a buddy last year. Made pulled pork and chicken for about 150 people. Knew it was going to be a lot of meat and I had two problems. #1. Limited equipnemt (I had to travel 3 hours to event) and #2. Time.
I did not want to be late with getting it done, so in my very logical thinking process I figured I’d smoke the pork the day before the event and reheat the pork while smoking the chicken. Everything went pretty good with the pork. I had 1 gal ziplock bags to put pulled pork into and plenty of ice and coolers to get it all cooled quickly.
Yea, right. I somehow despite having 2 others helping me I missed about 3 shoulders worth of meat in one of the smokers that I did not find until the next morning. Boy that was not a good way to start the day. Should have known something was wrong when I managed to just barely get all of the meat into the coolers with the ice and not have anything left over.
Oh, almost forgot I also smoked the pork to about 170 so that it was done but not tender.(I figured it would cook more on reheat and I did not want it getting mushy)
Yea right. It was very hard to pull but I had to so I could get it in to the zip lock bags and cooled down. Then the next day at the event I spent a lot of time chopping up the pork chunks into smaller pieces so they would reheat and cook faster, while also trying to get the chicken smoked. I managed to make it all happen and had no complaints and dozens of compliments. But know I know I would have been better off starting the whole thing the evening before and wrapping the pork as it was done and putting it into coolers then starting chicken as needed. It would have meant less sleep for the event but much less stress.
some lessons need to be learned the had way. but make sure you really do learn from them the first time.
__________________
KCBS memeber, B.B.Q judge & competitor / 1 weber, 1 ofset, 1 smoker and 1 U.D.S. (so far)
trekmstr is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanks from:--->
Unread 02-09-2011, 07:37 AM   #14
Scott_nra
Knows what a fatty is.
 
Scott_nra's Avatar
 
Join Date: 01-31-11
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

So more reading and studying makes me think..hmmmm. What If I cook up the butts the day before finishing them up in the evening before, wrapping in plastic and foil and keep them in a cooler until morning when they can go back on the grill? Or, what If I pulled it all the night before, placed in pans or containers, coolered hot or chilled until going back on the smoker in the am to reheat for serving?

The thing that keeps me coming back is the cost to serve 50-100 people BBQ from buts is a lot less expensive than the tail gate stuff by a few hundred bucks. I can use pre-prepared sides to keep it going pretty good and think I can reheat 30# - 50# pulled pork in foil covered pans on the offsets (Got two) in just a couple hours easily. If everything goes to he!! the day before I can still punt.

What do you think? Refrigerate it after cooking and for transport or let it hang out in a cooler still hot? Have a 120qt fishing cooler like new. It would be about 10 hours between going in the cooler and back on the grill.

I have an empty refrigerator working in the garage where I could put all the meat in however, before all that ever cools down it will be going in the cooler to transport to the event anyway. Don't you think?

Seems to me that a reheat to 160* and keep it there for at least 30 minutes before serving and I'm covered.

So? What do you think of that grand idea brethren?
Scott_nra is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 02-09-2011, 12:03 PM   #15
roksmith
is one Smokin' Farker
 
Join Date: 04-21-09
Location: Marietta, Ohio
Downloads: 0
Uploads: 0
Default

You've got to either keep it hot, or cool it completely then reheat. If you let things partially cool and stay there too long you may be risking getting people sick. Reheating to whatever temp you like won't undo the damage caused by letting pork sit in the danger zone. You can kill the bacteria, but you can't remove their toxins with heat.

Short of pulling an allnighter, here's what I would do.
Plan your cook so that your butts are done about 8 hours before you want to serve them. Wrap in foil and toss them in your 120qt cooler covered with several towels and go to sleep. They will hold in a good 7 day cooler for 8-10 hours.
Get to where you are going in plenty of time and pull the butts right before you serve them.
You'll get "some" sleep and won't take the chance on letting the pork cool.. and won't have to reheat the next day, saving you time for other stuff.

If you are planning on doing this very often.. keep an eye out at used restaurant auctions for a big proofing box with a heater. They won't cook your meat, but they will hold at whatever temp you like for as long as you like.
__________________
4000 sq inch Wood Burner named Brutus - KCSB member/judge# 32129
roksmith is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fed A Crowd! Williefb Q-talk 1 11-13-2011 08:50 AM
Results of first BBQ for a crowd Scott_nra Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. 7 03-02-2011 06:03 PM
Preping For A Crowd queball Q-talk 1 05-17-2006 10:06 AM

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Loading



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:59 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise v2.6.0 Beta 4 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2003 -2012 © BBQ-Brethren Inc. All rights reserved. All Content and Flaming Pig Logo are registered and protected under U.S and International Copyright and Trademarks. Content Within this Website Is Property of BBQ Brethren Inc. Reproduction or alteration is strictly prohibited.