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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 02-09-2011, 05:31 PM   #16
Scott_nra
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So if I can get it pulled, panned and chilled the night before, transport it on ice and then heat up pan by pan at the event, I'd be good right? Doe not seem any different than any small time function one might do like a pot luck dinner. Just bigger.

Seeems like if I get everything cooked up it will cool off very fast while it's being pulled into the pans and then cool of faster in that form in the Frigerator. Should be able to get to a cool temp pretty fast. This would see to me to be the safest way to handle everything. Plus having it all pulled before hand would really help with the socializing aspects.
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Unread 02-10-2011, 05:13 AM   #17
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Your call.. I'd keep it hot.. but if you do plan on cooling it, I'd probably plan on using some bags of ice to help the refrigerator. I doubt a regular refrigerator will cool that much meat quickly enough if it all goes in hot at the same time.
Our health department rates cooling and reheating a higher risk category than just cooking and holding for just that reason.
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Unread 02-10-2011, 12:40 PM   #18
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Just my 2˘ here, but unless you've got a commercial fridge in your garage - it's not going to cut it for cool down. Residential fridges do not have the cooling capacity needed to properly down the temp in the necessary time - especially not 30 - 40#.
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Unread 02-10-2011, 02:26 PM   #19
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To be honest if it wasn't for customers I'd almost be inclined to say go for it. But I'll be honest. You're taking a big risk cooking for that many customers not having much experience feeding that type of crowd.

I've seen some things like this go bad wrong. A couple of years ago I worked in the oil and gas business and our company had a safety meeting for a lot of the company men from these large oil and gas companies such as Petrohawk, Chesapeake, XTO etc. Well, the company was going to serve lunch and rather than calling a caterer who was established, known and been doing it for quite some time they hired one of their "buddies" who was "about to get into the catering business" to do it. The guy was going to serve chicken, sausage and brisket with sides.

Long story short. None of the food was ready on time or at the same time. The brisket was undercooked, chicken luke warm and the sausage was the best thing he had. You could tell the guy was in over his head and had no idea what he was doing with regard to preparing everything where the entire selection would be ready to serve at once.

Safe to say it was quite embarrassing for the company...
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Unread 02-11-2011, 06:36 AM   #20
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absolutely agree with previous post. if you are going to cool it DO NOT PUT IT IN TO YOU HOME FRIDGE!! it will run all night long and not cool it. keep it warm or cool it completely. also 1 more problem to consider. when you cook so much meat it will take a lot longer than you expect. usually when i smoke i am only doing 2 shoulders. when i did that fundraiser i had the smokers packed and did not take into account how much longer it was going to take to cook the stuff. mid way through i even cut the meat into much smaller chunks top speed thing up. good luck with what ever you decide.
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Unread 02-28-2011, 08:39 PM   #21
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Well Sports fans here's the update: We're going for it! Spent all day from 8amand still going.

Meat on by 9am on a LP upright smoker after trying to decide if we could get 300-350*F on it with 5 butts....Nope! 228-230*F was max and it took about 2 hours to get there. Smoked on that until almost 8pm and pulled them at about 158* internal temps. (probe) Transfered them to my house ovens at 350*/foiled to finish. It took both of my ovens to fit them in small foil pans so as not to trash the ovens.

It is now 9:30 and one is done (It was in one oven by itself) Cut off at 185* and it rose to 189* at rest. The others are at 179 and at this rate should be done at about 10-10:30pm. At that point I'll pack them in towels in a cooler that will just fit them all and we are leaving at 5:45am. Should be up and pulling by no later than 8am. We are going to pull and put into pans, cover and back on the grill to get up to temp again. Plan on getting them to about 160-180* for about 30 min to 1 hour before serving any. Thermopen going on Birthday list!
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