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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 04-04-2012, 05:42 AM   #1
eplain
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Default Party, but, Trying to sneak some "Me time" in there too!

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I love to BBQ, been doing it for decades. BUT! last year i had a party of about 25, and as usual, being the cook, I spent all my time cooking/tending the smoker while others had a great time around me drinking and chatting. While that is all expected, and as the entertainer, that's my job and I accept it and i love to do it, I wonder, is it possible, IS IT? to sneak some "Me time" in there this year? The party will be a weekend party (year 2), starts late Friday, we go out for Pizza, then drinks and cigars at the firepit. Saturday morning I am up and the meat goes on about 5-6 am, with a plan for a 4-6 pm BBQ. It's a 10 minute walk from the beach, Last year we had NO beach time as we all met from together from as far away as London, and had a great time catching up on things. This year is different, some suggested I try to be a part of "the party". Ah, but how?

My thought....

I have a cheap Brinkmann Smoke N' Pit, been using it a year, works well, but I must keep an eye on that temperature! The initial time of 5 am to 10 or 11 am is fine, I can be there for the first 5 or so hours, but from 11 on (maybe another 5-6 hours) is the time I want to try to get some steady heat for this day. I was actually thinking of getting a heat source, maybe an electric burner? to keep it at low temp for maybe a few hours? a little beach time? (though I may BE at the beach, I will surely be worried about my meat the whole time) But this party IS about the BBQ AND the friends on this day.

BTW- I tried using gas on a turkey once, the tank ran out way before i thought and when I opened the lid a few hours later, flies were all over it, so I have a fear of this sort of thing if I walk away :-(

Those who cater, Do some of you ever cook your meat the day before a situation like this? you must!??. BBQ places around me cannot possibly cook the Meat fresh all the time? they MUST store it for a day or 3? maybe more? I have no idea!
Should I cook it all day Friday (5 am to 5 pm) then refrigerate it and take it out Saturday and start the smoker, lay it all in there to warm it up? it will take hours to get that meat back in shape! and will it get back in shape? will it be dry?

Maybe I should just forget trying to find 3 hours of "Me time"?


Can A BBQ cook "have it all"? Please PLEASE! I would love to hear all thoughts on this. But please, no lessons on "a cooks life and responsibility", I have been a cook for 30 years, i know what I should do, I'm just trying to find a way to beat it.... for just 1 day! :-)
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Unread 04-04-2012, 09:12 AM   #2
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personally, I think this should go in Q talk to get more views.
Just a couple of my thoughts:

1) your cooker is part of your "problem". If you had a WSM (or a number of other cookers) it could run for hours and hours unattended. Not saying you should buy a new cooker, but this issue does not exist if you do not need to feed a pit.

2) Brisket and pork will hold wrapped in foli in the cooked state in a warm ice chest for 6+hours. If you timed the meat to be done before socializing times, it could hold while you are having a good time.

3) Pre cooking is definitely fine, as long as you know your re-heat schedule. I have precooked, sliced/pulled, and frozen in vacuum bags weeks in advance of social gatherings like the one you describe.

4) Not sure what cuts you are cooking, but brisket and pork in the smoke for a few hours, and then finished in the oven is more than acceptable.......
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Unread 04-04-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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If it were me. I'd precook some ribs the week before and freeze them in the foodsaver. Put them in the fridge on friday and they'll be thawed out by gametime on Saturday. You can reheat them in the oven or on a grill if you have one. Wrapped in foil for the oven and on the grate on a grill, add sauce at this time if you're into that kind of stuff. I would also put on a couple pork butts friday night before I went to bed. Say they take 12 hrs and you put them on between 12am-2pm. When they are done the next day double wrap them in foil and put them in a pre-heated cooler surrounded by towels, they'll stay hot like that for hours. Pull them when you need them. I'm not about missing any drinking time.
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Unread 04-04-2012, 05:31 PM   #4
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No shame in cooking it the day before - or even the week before (or more) if you are going to vacume seal and freeze. Part of having a party is being able to enjoy time with your guests.
Have fun!
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Unread 04-04-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
eplain
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oops! i should have said what I was cooking! Shoulder and brisket.
since my cooker was so cheap, i just may be in the market for a better one! hmm but i would like one that can cook 2 or 3 good sized shoulders and a 10lb brisket at the same time.
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Unread 04-04-2012, 11:10 PM   #6
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WSM 22 would fit the bill... I havent used one, but if i needed something reliable and hands off (mostly) that would fit the bill, but alas... I have a CTO and a Jambo on the way so i am not allowed to purchase anything for the next 50 years...lol Good luck with the party.
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Unread 04-04-2012, 11:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eplain View Post
oops! i should have said what I was cooking! Shoulder and brisket.
since my cooker was so cheap, i just may be in the market for a better one! hmm but i would like one that can cook 2 or 3 good sized shoulders and a 10lb brisket at the same time.
I can't really speak on brisket due to lack of experience but pork you can definitely pull off. Especially if you have a foodsaver. I just boil my bags of leftover pork and it comes out moist and juicy everytime. Although, lately i've been putting my butts in a foil pan a few hours in, the amount of juice you can get is awesome. De-fat it and pour it back on to fight against dryness.
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"I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull's a$$, but I'd rather take a butcher's word for it". - Tommy Callahan III


XL
Big Green Egg
, 22.5 Weber OTS, WSJ
Gold/Mini WSM, 18" & 22" WSM, UDS "No.8"
Flyers Orange Thermapen
Napkin Killers BBQ
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