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Unread 06-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #1
Canadian Badger
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Default How many ribs will I need?

I'm thinking of smoking some baby backs for a crowd of 90 people. I only have an 18" and a 22" WSM available. Is it even doable? Also; how many racks ribs should I smoke?
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Unread 06-30-2011, 11:30 AM   #2
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If you are serving side dishes in addition to the ribs, and if your crowd is split about 50/50 men and women . . . and if this isn't a high school football team, or some other group of people famous for eating more than the average person . . .

About half a rack of baby backs along with a couple sides and a desert per person should be about right. Some people will eat less, some will eat more.

Now, how to fit 45 racks on one 18" and one 22.5" WSM?

I would use rib racks which stand the ribs up vertically for starters, but even then you probably don't have enough space to cook them all simultaneously.

Do you have any friends or neighbors you could borrow more cookers from?

I presume you want them all to cook and be ready at the same time. You could do them in shifts (two or three) and hold them in Cambros or coolers stuffed with newspaper . . .

Hope this helps!
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Unread 06-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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According to allreceipes.com you will need 45 pound of ribs, that a lot of meat to cook on thoses cooker of yours
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Unread 06-30-2011, 11:41 AM   #4
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I know you're asking about ribs, but for that many people, I'd do pulled pork. It's going to be a TON less effort, still be pork, and be doable on those two smokers. Ribs, as stated you're going to need upwards of 45 racks of ribs, and I'd be surprised if you could get more than 30 between the two smokers. Buttz on the other hand, you should be able to get 8 on the 22.5" and 6 on the 18.5" which will be plenty of meat for 90 people.
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Unread 06-30-2011, 11:45 AM   #5
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I would def do pulled pork. Use your 22.5" WSM and load it up with 4 butts on the top rack. That will give you roughly 45 servings. Then switch them to the bottom rack 6 hours prior to serving time and put 3-6 racks of ribs in a rib rack on your top rack.

Use your 18" for another 3-6 racks. That will get you as much as 70 or so servings. Then use a grill and do up some burgers and hot dogs, moink balls, abts, and grilled sausage.
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Unread 06-30-2011, 11:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrdhyn View Post
I know you're asking about ribs, but for that many people, I'd do pulled pork. It's going to be a TON less effort, still be pork, and be doable on those two smokers. Ribs, as stated you're going to need upwards of 45 racks of ribs, and I'd be surprised if you could get more than 30 between the two smokers. Buttz on the other hand, you should be able to get 8 on the 22.5" and 6 on the 18.5" which will be plenty of meat for 90 people.

This is a great solution as well.
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Unread 06-30-2011, 11:56 AM   #7
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I've done a few large cooks and can definitely testify that PP goes a LOT farther than ribs. I figure 1 lb of UNCOOKED meat per person and it works out pretty well (for pulled pork). You could also do some ribs as an "also" meat and they'll go a lot farther.

If you ARE set on ribs, I usually plan for 3-4 people to 1 rack of ribs. Especially if there will be a lot of sides. So for 90 people, if it were me cooking, I'd cook from 22-30 racks total. IF you use rib racks, you'd still be hard pressed to get all those onto your 2 WSM's. You could, but they'd be packed FULL!
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:01 PM   #8
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Default Oakridge BBQ's Catering Workbook

Here ya go... I built this Catering Workbook many years ago, and it's been around the internet a time or two... It says you'll need about 45 slabs. Not sure you'll even get half of those in your two cookers at one time. Keep in mind, you never want to run out of food, or even look like you're about to run out of food, so although 45 slabs may sound like a lot, it will actually be pretty close with a few left-overs for folks to take home. Holler with any questions.
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:02 PM   #9
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I would agree on the PP for this. Particularly with those grills. I disagree with one slab for two people. If you have sides and such, 1 slab will feed three people. There are a lot of people who will grab only a couple bones. IF you take a standard plate and put a half slab on it, there's no room for much of anything else. That being said, you would still need six rib racks and that's just not enough space with what you have. You could do the roll method where you roll the ribs and stand them on their side like a bunch of cylinders on your grill, but even then, I;m not sure you have the space....
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:25 PM   #10
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I've got the 18" WSM and I can only fit one rack per grate. Each rack holds three sides of ribs for a total of six sides. Even if the 22" could hold double that, and I don't know that it can you would still only have a total 0f 18 sides of ribs. I agree that PP is the way to go, I honestly believe you could just about get all the butts on the 18' smoker if you wanted. At least 60lbs or so of it, I've cooked three ten lb butts on one rack at the same time.
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:33 PM   #11
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I'd agree on the pulled pork idea, plus your cost is going to be much lower per person
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I'd agree on the pulled pork idea, plus your cost is going to be much lower per person
By a TON!!
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
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By hundreds of dollars!!!
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:50 PM   #14
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WOW! Thanks for the responses. I guess that I should have been clearer. It is for an ATV event so the crowd is mixed, all ages sizes etc... I made Pulled Pork the last time around and it was a hit so this time I thought that I would try something different. Maybe ribs are a bit ambitious.

I think that the thought of putting the meat at the end of the line is a good one. People will tend to fill their plates with the sides first and then have less room to put ribs on their plate.

If I was to deep fry some turkeys any idea on how many I would need for this crowd of 90? I have 3 fryers available to me.
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Unread 06-30-2011, 12:56 PM   #15
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At least a lb of frozen weight per person if not more. I can't remember the max weight suggested for a fryer but I want to say 15lbs. So you're looking and 6 turkeys. Brethren, Please correct me if I am wrong on this.
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