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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 02-22-2011, 05:23 AM   #1
Dex
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Default Catering/Vending Ribs

When smoking ribs for catering and vending events, so you guys do the 3-2-1 method with foiling? Or do you not foil at all?

Also, what style do you sell or offer? Baby Backs.... St. Louis? Do you find customers prefer one more than the other?
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Unread 02-22-2011, 05:25 AM   #2
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No foil. I offer untrimmed spares. I only pull the membrane. Trimming down to St Louis is time consuming. The customers are happy with the larger ribs with tips as well.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 11:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txschutte View Post
No foil. I offer untrimmed spares. I only pull the membrane. Trimming down to St Louis is time consuming. The customers are happy with the larger ribs with tips as well.
I will agree and sometimes dont even pull the skin, keeps the ribs a lil moister.

YMMV.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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I do BB's from Costco...no membrane to pull or trimming required...just smoke 'em and sell 'em...no foil.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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What Bubba said..
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Unread 02-22-2011, 01:01 PM   #6
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There is a packer out here who offers a modified St Louis (not a St Louis at all) in which the flap and membrane are removed. They work great, but, cost a little more. One of my friends uses them for vending, no foiling.
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Unread 02-22-2011, 01:09 PM   #7
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We did 725 slabs of spares on two weekends. We pre-sold most of the slabs. The fundraiser was for the local high school cheerleaders. I bought all the ribs pre-trimmed from the local grocery store at $6 per slab, st. louis style. We sold them at $16 per slab. No foil needed. My FEC750 knocked them out like clockwork. We did wrap them in plastic and foil after they were finished and held them in coolers. If you do it that way, you need to under cook them a tad because as they sit in the cooler, the residule heat will continue to cook them. Good Luck!
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Unread 02-22-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
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Great advise guys!
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Unread 02-25-2011, 01:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River City Smokehouse View Post
We did 725 slabs of spares on two weekends. We pre-sold most of the slabs. The fundraiser was for the local high school cheerleaders. I bought all the ribs pre-trimmed from the local grocery store at $6 per slab, st. louis style. We sold them at $16 per slab. No foil needed. My FEC750 knocked them out like clockwork. We did wrap them in plastic and foil after they were finished and held them in coolers. If you do it that way, you need to under cook them a tad because as they sit in the cooler, the residule heat will continue to cook them. Good Luck!
Just food for thought-Rather then undercook them could you hold them several minutes uncovered before covering them? This way the residual heat will dispurse and then you can wrap them without worry of overcooking? Not that it is a big deal to undercook them, Just curious.
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Unread 05-17-2011, 11:16 PM   #10
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How much do you undercook them per hour of holding?
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Unread 05-25-2011, 06:08 PM   #11
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I do a lot of ribs for catering. A trick I learned from the guys at the Reno Rib Cook-off was to make three X cuts along the back of the ribs (cutting the membrane). This handles the problem of pulling membranes off hundreds of ribs. I bet you can't tell that the membrane was not removed. I only cook Curly's St. Louis ribs since they are the most consistent ribs I can find. No foil but I do flip a few times and sauce when ribs are ready and let them stay in the cooker for 20 min. to set the sauce and make sure they are 'fall off the bone'. Most don't know that 'fall off the bone' are overcooked but that is what they are looking for!!!
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Unread 05-28-2011, 12:11 AM   #12
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I use fish skinnin pliers on the membrane. But agree its an option to do if it makes you feel better about your ribs.
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Unread 06-02-2011, 11:51 PM   #13
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I am surprised at how many do not pull the membrane. I know this is a major pain if your doing many ribs.

If you are doing them for yourself, do you pull the membrane or leave it?
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Unread 06-07-2011, 07:51 AM   #14
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I'm going to be cooking/vending approx 50-75 slabs (single bones) this coming 4th of July and was just thinking the same thing.

1. Stl or untrimmed/membrane on "natural"? I typically cook Stl trimmed, membrane removed and foiled. However I'm usually only cooking 4-6 slabs at a time.

My concern if I go "natural" is that the tips of the ribs tend to get a little dried out and tough before the ribs are fully cooked. What temps would you recommend cooking un-trimmed ribs at and typically how long does it usually take?

Could I cook them @ 300 for 4 hrs, sauce the last 30 min and be done? I was also thinking of cooking @ 275 for 2 hrs, putting the ribs in a pan w/ some AJ and steaming them for 1 hr, then back in the smoker for 30-45 min to sauce and firm up.

2. Also what is the best method of holding ribs to keep them in the safe zone (cambro, cooler, chaffer)? I was planning to cook them in batches of 10, staggering the start times every 1 hr to avoid any long periods of holding.

Any tips from the bretheren and experienced vendors are appreciated and welcome.


Gracias,
JT
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Unread 06-07-2011, 08:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDaddyJT View Post
removed and foiled. However I'm usually only cooking 4-6 slabs at a time.

My concern if I go "natural" is that the tips of the ribs tend to get a little dried out and tough before the ribs are fully cooked. What temps would you recommend cooking un-trimmed ribs at and typically how long does it usually take?


JT
We vended for the first time this last weekend. Here's a thought from a rookie. We did briskets and pork butt and it surprised me that some folks actually asked for the "burnt ends." Keep those crusty end ribs. When most people think bark they are thinking "the charred burnt stuff." Lots of folks will prefer those so called "burnt ends" (no joke, that's what they think of when they hear the term burnt ends). I wouldn't give them to someone unless they indicate they want them - but some folks do want them and will pay for them.

I cook at 300 for around 4 hours depending on the style of rib.
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