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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 11-29-2012, 04:52 AM   #1
Michael Cowley
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Ok so I have a party coming up next weekend. I have to feed 160 Marines and family members.

Menu is:

140lbs Pulled Pork
25 lbs Pulled beef (for those that do not eat pork)
Mac and Cheese Dry weight is 16lbs
Baked Beans 5 -3" deep full size Aluminum Steam Table Pans from Sam's Club

Now my question is this... I need a way to keep this stuff hot from my house to the convention center. I plan on cooking the Pork and beef early vacuum sealing and then reheating on sight using boiling water method.

The mac and cheese and Baked Beans I will throw on pit to get good and bubbly hot before leaving the house. I am using the Sam's Club special Aluminum Pans that measure
Top dimensions: 12 7/8"W x 20 3/4"L x 3 9/16"D
Bottom dimensions: 9 7/8" x 17 5/8"

I will have 5 Pans of beans and 3 Pans of mac and cheese. I want to keep them hot for about 3 hours. I was thinking I would buy 2 of these to hold my pans... How many will this hold? I am sure some of you have these. By my calculations or math know how (and its bad) I should be able to get 4 of these in there. However we all know assumptions are evil I would rather have word from the horse's mouth on this...

Black Carlisle PC300N03 Insulated Food Pan Carrier
Interior Dimensions:
17"H x 13 1/4W" x 21"D

Now if you guys suggest I buy different pans please let me know. The reason I am using the Steam Table pans is because they hold alot of food and they are just throw aways. Also, if you suggest a different Cambro I need to be able to hold 8 pans in it and be under 500 bucks. Thats my budget on this... I am a Marine and do alot of this Non Profit and so this is coming out of my pocket not the Marine Corps.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 05:25 AM   #2
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The Carlisle food pan carriers will each hold 4 full size foil pans.

You may need to double or triple the pans, beans and mac and cheese are heavy.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 05:29 AM   #3
Michael Cowley
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So do you suggest i buy the 4" real aluminum pans? I would hate for them to collapse in cambro on transport...


I just realized something my Chafer Water pans are 4" deep so I cant use a 4" deep SS steam table pan hrmm I do not know what to do now I am doing some investigating. Any idears?

Last edited by Michael Cowley; 11-29-2012 at 06:32 AM..
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Unread 11-29-2012, 06:32 AM   #4
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foil pans are fine but be sure to purchase half sheet pans to support your food.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 07:40 AM   #5
Michael Cowley
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half sheet pans? wouldnt they be full sheet pans?
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Unread 11-29-2012, 07:52 AM   #6
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The Aluminum pans will collapse inside the cambro/carlisle. You need real chafer pans or sheet pans to support the aluminum pans.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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Yeah, thinking you'll end up with a nasty mess if you're using alum pans in the cambro - do you have a rest supply store near you? 2" hotels are pretty cheap and hold an impressive amount of pulled meat or beans...

Also - 140lbs of pulled pork - is that precook weight?? If so, that's still alot of food, even for marines!
140lbs - 50% fat/water loss = 70lbs cooked weight (it's usually closer to 40% loss, not 50, but we can error on the side of caution) - 70lbs cooked x 4 (1/4lb servings) = 280 portions! By my calcs you'd prolly be closer to 50-55lbs cooked weight... 55lbs would give you 160 1/3lb servings.

Hope it goes well for you! !
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Unread 11-29-2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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I ordered 6-2.5" pans from webstaurant since I have 4 from my chafers I ordered. Now I have 10 and those Cambro's will hold 5 a piece so I am good there...

here is what I am thinking- I plan on smoking 5 -4" aluminum hotel pans of beans and 3-4" pans of Mac and cheese and then transfer all of it to the 2.5 pans and then toss in Cambro. Whatever is left in the 4" aluminum pans I can just wrap in foil and take with me and if there is an available oven toss those in the oven or put them on the buffet line to go first...(this will probably be what I will do)

As far meat and side portions here is what I am thinking:

140lbs Pork (raw) = 70lbs cooked with 8oz portions = 140 servings

20lbs Beef Chuck (raw) = 10lbs cooked= with 8oz portions = 20 Servings

5 cans 117oz Baked Beans doctored up= 146-4oz servings (but I am doctoring these up so there will actually be more servings

15lbs (raw) of Mac and Cheese= the only thing I am not to sure about is this... I have never done Mac and cheese for the masses but I have found several recipe's that say to feed 100 I need 8lbs of elbow mac so I am just about doubling this recipe to give me around 200 servings.

320 Cheap white buns


I am thinking along the serving sizes of:

2-4oz portion sandwhiches
4oz serving of Mac and cheese
4oz serving Beans

Beans Recipe

2 lbs Pulled pork
1 Medium onion, diced
1 Bell pepper, diced
1 -117 ounce can Bushs Baked Beans
1-20 ounce can of pineapple chunks, drained
2 Cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Cup ketchup
2 Cup drippings from meat

Mac and cheese recipe for 200

15 pounds elbow macaroni
15 pounds velveeta cheese
3 pound margarine
2 gallons milk
4 tablespoons salt

2 teaspoon black pepper
3 packages (large size) shredded Cheddar cheese (for topping)


My numbers sound legit or am I making way way t much?
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Unread 11-29-2012, 12:34 PM   #9
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looks like you'll have alot of food, too much? dunno...

On the mac, I would suggest these 2 things - 1) make way more sauce than you think the pasta should have - when I've made mac for a crowd, I thought I had a ridiculous amount of sauce, after cooking it was almost dry - I was frankly amazed - I purposefully over cooked the noodles so they wouldn't absorb all my liquid and it still sucked it all up!

2) consider adding crumbled bacon mixed into the mac - you say bacon mac & cheese an' people get all giddy. Cook the strips in the oven on a cookie sheet for about 10-14 min @ 425* and then either manually chop them of drop 'em in a food processor.
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We shall throw our bacon wrapped all beef justice upon the wooden skewers of truth to be held on high and let them know that we will not stand for this. ~Butz

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Unread 11-29-2012, 05:29 PM   #10
Michael Cowley
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I would do that with the bacon but this is for the vegetarians
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Unread 11-29-2012, 07:14 PM   #11
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Are you feeding 160 marines plus the families or does the 160 include family? I usually figure 5oz or cooked pork per person and have never run out so may be a little much but I don't think they will complain about extra food.
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Unread 11-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #12
Michael Cowley
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It's 160 including families the meat I know I am good on just concerned on side portions
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Unread 11-30-2012, 07:31 AM   #13
Michael Cowley
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any other guidance from anyone I dont wanna step on my own sword
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Unread 11-30-2012, 12:34 PM   #14
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You should be covered for sure and will most likely have a lot of left overs. If your only concern is not running out I see no problem with your numbers
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Unread 11-30-2012, 03:20 PM   #15
Michael Cowley
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Awesome I finalized my Mac and Cheese Recipe pretty straight forward and simple for this cook

12 lbs Elbow Mac (dry)
2 #10 cans of Cheddar Cheese Sauce from sams
10lbs Shredded Cheddar
8lbs velveeta
1 gallon of milk
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