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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.

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Old 04-10-2013, 10:57 PM   #1
Got rid of the matchlight.
Join Date: 08-22-09
Location: Maywood, NJ
Default Help for 35 people

First time cooking for anything more than my family. I'm cooking for a fund raiser dinner. Here is the menu:

Pulled Pork sandwiches

Baked Beans
Mac and Cheese
Corn Bread

I'm cooking for the event ahead of time, vacuum sealing the meat and then reheating in simmering water the day of.

I've only got a WSM 18.5 and would love to get the cooking of meats done in 2 days. So here is what i was thinking, two full packer briskets and 5-6 bone in butts. Cook briskets one day, and then the butts the second day. Does that sound like enough meat for 35-40 adults?

As for the sides i'm thinking of doing a big tray of each, and a few batches of corn bread. Not to sure on those, but it's not as big of an issue as making sure we've got enough meat.

any help would be awesome. Thanks guys.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:23 AM   #2
is one Smokin' Farker
bizznessman's Avatar
Join Date: 03-21-09
Location: Kansas

I am making a few assumptions here.

Assumption #1: Your pork butts average 8.5 lbs and your packer briskets average 14 lbs (these weights are what my sources provide).

You should calculate a 45% loss in weight in cooking both types of meat. (this could vary anyplace between 40% - 50% so I use 45% as an average).

Assumption #2: You will serve 6 oz of brisket and pork to each person. (this is a LOT of meat so there could be a fair amount of meat leftover)

Using these numbers you can expect to produce approximately 41 servings of brisket and approximately 75 servings of pork. Therefore your 2 packers and 6 butts will produce plenty of meat for 40 people. If food costs are an issue you could cut the number of butts down to 4 and that should still yield approximately 50 servings of pork.

For the sides I would suggest one pan (equivalent to a full size steam table pan) of each.

6 - 8.5 (butts) 34 lbs raw less 45% cook loss
(6 X 8.5 lbs) - 22.95 lbs = 28.05 lbs net cooked pork,
28.05 lbs x 16 oz = 444.80 oz divided by 6 oz = 74.8 servings

2 - 14 (briskets) 28 lbs raw less 45% cook loss
(2 X 14 lbs) - 12.60 lbs = 15.40 lbs net cooked pork,
15.40 lbs x 16 oz = 246.40 oz divided by 6 oz = 41.07 servings

Hope this helps.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:25 AM   #3
Got rid of the matchlight.
Join Date: 08-22-09
Location: Maywood, NJ

Awesome. Thanks. Pretty much confirmation of what I was thinking, and another in a PM agreed with what you said. I'm gonna go with 2 packers and 4-5 butts, probably so i've got a little leftovers and incase some more people show up than we planned for.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
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Join Date: 08-11-03
Location: St. Louis

For 35 adults that is WAY more food than you'll need. Especially in the pork department.

I just finished cooking for 40 teachers for a school luncheon tomorrow. I did 2 butts and 4 chickens. That yielded a little over 12 lbs of meat (6lbs each, I weighed the finished product). I always used to plan a 1/4 COOKED weight of meat per person, but the reality is people don't usually take that much. That's like ordering a HALF POUND burger (pre cooked weight).

If it me was my I'd still do the two briskets (because you need more than 1 for sure) but I'd only do 2 butts, 3 if you wanted to have a couple of pounds left over. On the beef, I'd even consider doing 1 packer and 1 flat. While we all know the burnt ends are the bestest fatty most wonderful thing in the world... most people want the sliced flat. Whenever I serve beef the burn ends are almost always the last to go.
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