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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 06-12-2018, 08:39 AM   #1
Shagdog
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Default June 9th Vet Cook at Zablocki VA in Milwaukee

Oifmarine, ChicagoKP, and I organized our first veteran's cook this last weekend in Milwaukee at the VA center. We started out with a meager guest list of about 100. That ballooned quickly to 350, and kept right on growing. On the morning of the BBQ we had someone from the VA ask us if we'd like to expand it to the whole VA. We asked him how many people that would be and he said a minimum of 1000! This was at 9am for a noon service. We politely declined as we didn't have the food, plates, or pretty much anything to accommodate that kind of crowd, but now we know what we'll be up against for next year..

We started working on this way back in August, after the last VA cook we did on Long Island with Phil. We picked his brain over breakfast and learned all we could, then we were off to the races. We raised about $4000 in funds for food and such, including generous donations from Shirley Fabrication, Uline, and Focus Material Recycling. We used go fund me to raise about $2000. Rubs were donated by Oakridge, Simply Marvelous, and Q Salt. Sauce was donated by Big Poppa Smokers, and Hickory was donated by WoodMark of Milwaukee. I was able to get all the meat through the kitchen at my work at wholesale (and the kitchen staff even did all the prep on the chicken and tri tips!)

On the menu was Chicken, Ribs, Pulled pork, tri tips, Beans, Mac and cheese, collard greens, Potato salad, and cole slaw. We cooked the butts over night and coolered them so we would have the extra room for the rest of the meats. We got rained on overnight, but by 5am, the skies cleared and we had a beautiful day. We had about 25 volunteers, including a few brethren. MisterChrister was there with his son and and his friend Rick, and speed2486 brought his big 24x75 4 shelf shirley along and rocked some ribs and chicken. Thermal Mass and his wife came and were huge helps in planning, equipment, food prep, and DISHES. Every single volunteer, most of whom don't cook BBQ or know anything about doing an event like this, were amazing. There wasn't a single person that we said, "Yea, he's not going to be invited back" All food came out perfectly, and right on time. Our service lines opened 5 minutes to 12, and we were able to feed over 500 vets hot and delicious BBQ. Unfortunately, once word was out out on the food, our crowd continued to balloon. We were only supposed to be serving Vets and their family from the HUD VASH program, but people just started showing up. We ran out of everything in under 2 hours. We'll be upping our game considerably for next year. I hated turning anyone away.

Good news was we absolutely wowed the VA. They are very excited about next year and already booked the venue for June 8th. There was a veteran outreach trailer that parked out by the smokers. He told Chicago KP that he comes out to any Veteran event with the goal of getting contact info for one veteran that he can help. At our event, he got THREE FULL PAGES OF NAMES. He was super excited, and so were we. If we accomplished nothing else in this first year, knowing that we were able to help put that many veterans in touch with the help they may need made it all worthwhile for us. The whole day was a humbling experience and we feel honored to have been able to do it.





















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Last edited by Shagdog; 06-12-2018 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:43 AM   #2
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:47 AM   #3
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Man, I am sorry I missed it. I may have to make it a mission to do this next year! Great gift to those veterans.

Kudos to all who helped!
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:50 AM   #4
sudsandswine
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The "row of Shirleys" picture is great. I'd like to participate in something like this someday.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:52 AM   #5
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That is awesome Matt. I bet Chris' cooker was a big hit also.

Thanks to all of you for doing this. I am proud to even say that I know you!
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:54 AM   #6
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Thanks guys!

Anyone interested, Next year is going to be huge, so we are going to need more big cookers and more volunteers. Please PM me if you would like to participate and I'll get you on the list
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:01 AM   #7
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Smoke Dawg, you and Mrs SD need to make the trip next year!
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #8
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:18 AM   #9
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Wow that is simply awesome! This makes me so proud of the great folks on here
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:16 AM   #10
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You Guys are AWESOME Thank You so much
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:49 AM   #11
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Fantabulous Matt and all that participated
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:15 PM   #12
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Excellent work guys! Great to see brethren giving back to those who served! Food all looks great!
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:14 PM   #13
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Thanks, Chris! We could use you and your shirley out here next June... Just sayin'

Don't worry, I won't ask you to wrap anything in bacon, I know better...

I'll see you in August!
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:36 PM   #14
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Quality cook folks!

Thank you.
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:35 PM   #15
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Epic.


This is why I love this place.
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