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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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Old 09-30-2020, 12:48 PM   #1
Cat797
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Default Question about planning for a Wedding

I have a good friend of mine that I owe a favor to, so I've been tasked with cooking for her wedding. This is a favor/gift, so not charging any money. I'm needing some help planning accordingly. This is a 250 person event. She has 200 tamales coming and rice and beans. Quite a few folks invited are Latino/Mexican. In addition she wants me to do pulled pork and a poultry item. I'm thinking grilled chicken breasts. There will not be more than 10-15 kids at this wedding. How much of each meat do you think I need? I have the tamales and rice and beans as noted, but there will also be slaw and baked beans........I'm at a loss for how much to prepare.

What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance.......
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:25 PM   #2
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I've cooked for rehearsal dinners, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and even a divorce party, but never had any desire to do a wedding. Too much stress to make everything perfect. Hopefully your event will be lower key.

At our largest annual event we serve 150 to 200 and cook 10 butts, 4 legs of lamb, 18 qt sloppy Joes, hot dogs for the kiddo's, 18 qt beans, 3 to 5 salads, dessert, and drinks of all kinds. The best tip I can give is to slightly over estimate the pork (use 55% yield) and have the meat at the end of the serving line. You want guests to have some things on the plate before getting to the meat. You didn't mention age of guests, but if the crowd is younger, and they plan on serving a lot of alcohol, people tend to eat more. Also buy some clam shell boxes for to-go food.
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:41 PM   #3
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Thanks thirdeye........It's definitely low-key. It's a BYOB type of event. I would say most will be in their 30's or 40's. I was thinking 50% yield, ending up with 60lbs. of PP, and probably 120 chicken breasts. That to go along with 200 tamales......

In my head was thinking 8oz per person, which I know is a little heavy, but gives a cushion.

Ed
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Old 09-30-2020, 01:58 PM   #4
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Thanks thirdeye........It's definitely low-key. It's a BYOB type of event. I would say most will be in their 30's or 40's. I was thinking 50% yield, ending up with 60lbs. of PP, and probably 120 chicken breasts. That to go along with 200 tamales......

In my head was thinking 8oz per person, which I know is a little heavy, but gives a cushion.

Ed
I would consider brining the chicken breasts for a few hours, then transfer to zipper bags in their own cooler. The brining will give you a buffer if you overshoot the temp. And if you pull the breasts at 157°/158° and can hold it at that temp for 30 seconds it's safe to eat and will be very moist.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat797 View Post
Thanks thirdeye........It's definitely low-key. It's a BYOB type of event. I would say most will be in their 30's or 40's. I was thinking 50% yield, ending up with 60lbs. of PP, and probably 120 chicken breasts. That to go along with 200 tamales......

In my head was thinking 8oz per person, which I know is a little heavy, but gives a cushion.

Ed
I think your numbers look pretty good. Your probably looking at 4 hotel pans of baked beans, could do a 5th if worried but probably won't need it. Coleslaw made from about 30 lbs of cabbage and 3 qts of slaw dressing would do it, make it 40 lbs if concerned but again probably won't need it. If you have access to boneless skinless 4 or 5 oz flattened chicken breasts they will grill up very nice and cook even. The good thing is your "a friend" and there is no major disaster I you run a little short on one item.
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:21 PM   #6
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Why would you serve 2 different kinds of beans?
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Old 10-07-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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Old 10-09-2020, 02:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat797 View Post
Thanks thirdeye........It's definitely low-key. It's a BYOB type of event. I would say most will be in their 30's or 40's. I was thinking 50% yield, ending up with 60lbs. of PP, and probably 120 chicken breasts. That to go along with 200 tamales......

In my head was thinking 8oz per person, which I know is a little heavy, but gives a cushion.

Ed
8oz is a lot, but if that's what you're shooting for, then your numbers are way off. 1/4 Lb is 4 ounces, 1/2Lb is 8 ounces. If you're looking at 250 portions of 1/2Lb, then you'd need 125Lbs of finished product, which puts you at 250Lbs of raw pork butts.

As a note there's a lot of food on that menu already, so 1/4Lb (or 4 ounces per person) will definitely be enough food. I always aim for a 50% yield, so I'd go 125Lbs raw meat. What are you cooking on? That's going to put you at about 16-20 pork butts (assuming 6-8Lbs each).

Baked beans are something that people tend to "love or hate" in my experience, and I think you'll find that probably 50% of the guests won't want them. It's a side item so I usually go with a 3oz serving spoon for portion control. Lets say all 250 people want beans that puts you at about 45Lbs of beans. Those large "Baked Beans cans" at Sam's Club are 7.5 Lbs, so you'd need 6 of those if you wanted to use those beans and "doctor them up" for your specific recipe. I run a BBQ food truck and I make my own baked beans from Navy beans, and that takes roughly 24 hours to make enough to serve ~100 people. If I had to do 250 people I'd just buy the Bush's Baked Beans, strain and rinse, and then add my own stuff to make the beans taste the way I want them to.

I have best luck when doing chicken thighs as opposed to chicken breasts. Chicken breasts cook up well, but if you don't get every one of them just right they can end up a bit dry and chewy. Not to mention you'll be hot-holding them (or are you grilling them on site as people come by?), and in my experience breasts dry out during hot hold. Chicken thighs are cheaper and they have more moisture, and they hot-hold way better than breasts. Boneless, skinless thighs are so easy to smoke and they soak up rub and pack a ton of flavor. You can pull them, chop them, or serve them whole and it's a good eat either way. Just something to consider. Again, 1/4Lb per person is what you should shoot for, and chicken is usually about an 80% yield (in my experience). So I'd shoot for roughly 80Lbs of raw chicken.

I hope this helped to flush out your numbers a bit better. Some good advice already in this thread...having the meat at the end is a great idea. If I were you I'd personally do the serving on my product at the wedding...buffet style is a recipe for disaster. People tend to take way too large portions and end up tossing quite a bit of food in the trash.
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
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If you're looking at 250 portions of 1/2Lb, then you'd need 125Lbs of finished product, which puts you at 250Lbs of raw pork butts.
I could be wrong but I thought he was saying 8oz of total entree per person and not pp.
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:34 PM   #10
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SmoothBoar, Thank you........

HBMTN, You are correct. I was planning 8oz of entree per person total, being a combination of PP, grilled chicken breast, and tamales.

In the end I'm shooting for 60-80lbs of finished pulled pork, 120 grilled chicken breasts, and they have someone bringing 200 tamales. We have the 6 big #10 cans of Bush's baked beans that will get doctored. I didn't get to pick the menu, I'm just doing what is asked as a friend. I'm definitely going to brine the chicken.

Thanks for y'all's advice!
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