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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Old 04-18-2018, 11:03 AM   #1
ewatts2003
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Default Brisket/Pulled Pork for Future Gathering

Hey everyone. First let me say I love this site! I've been into bbq for a few years now and really just started expanding on some things, and let me tell you this site has helped a ton!

I have a party coming up in early June that I want to cook brisket flats and pork butts for. I know I won't have much time the night before and day of the part to do a full cook so I would like to cook them ahead of time, vacuum seal, and reheat the day of. I'm planning on doing the butts, pulling, sealing, freezing, and then reheated the day of in a crock pot or roaster with a little bit of juice. My main question is for the brisket. Would you guys cook, slice, package, and reheat? Or would it be better to cook, package whole, reheat, and slice the day of? Thank you in advance for all of the advice!

Eric
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:09 AM   #2
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I would leave both whole, personally. Then pull/slice day of.
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Old 04-19-2018, 05:29 AM   #3
IamMadMan
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I've pre-cooked meats for a lot of events / gatherings, here are my preferences...

Pork Butts - Cook in advance, catch the drippings, and still allow for the holding time to break down the connective tissue to collagen. After holding, pull the pork, removing all fat and gristle. Pack into large gallon vac-seal bags, I use 3 lb meat per bag, equally dividing the de-fatted drippings and add 1 cup of apple juice with a little rub dissolved into it. Refrigerate for an hour then vac-seal after the liquids have congealed. Pulling and removing the undesirables take the most time, so I prefer to do this before freezing. Simply put 2 bags in a crockpot with water to reheat and dump into a chafing pan, repeat the process.

Brisket Flats - I prefer to keep briskets whole. Catch drippings, hold for a couple hours, let cool to room temperature, then vac-seal equally dividing the de-fatted drippings. If more liquid is needed you can add some beef broth or beef base. Refrigerate to congeal the liquids and vac-seal. Gently heat in hot water, slice, and put into chafing pans with the liquids.

When reheating, do not boil the water, the meat is already cooked, so you do not want to cook it further, just gently reheat to a safe serving temperature. Boiling the vac-seal bags will further cook the meat, use a lower gentle heat on the vac-sealed bags.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:53 AM   #4
ewatts2003
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Thanks guys!
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:46 PM   #5
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i have done the ways mentioned above and they work great. i have also removed the briskets from the vacuum seal and placed in a metal pan with au jus, covered with foil, and reheated in an oven until 165 internal temp. Worked awesomely as well.
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:33 PM   #6
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I'm going to be pre-cooking a brisket this weekend for the following weekend so i've been researching this same topic. Most interesting solution i found for reheating a vacuum sealed brisket was to use a sous vide set at 145 degrees or so. This seems like a brilliant idea to retain moisture. I'll be following IamMadMan's advise this weekend, but I see a sous vide being added to the gadget list very soon.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:27 PM   #7
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Since this is in what amounts to a commercial forum, I'll give you advise with that in mind. In commercial applications it isn't as easy as just vac bagging and reheating ever how you like. If what you're doing isn't a commercial venture, then do what you want. But if you're cooking commercially, you need to speak with your health department before doing any of what is suggested above. It can be done, but they are going to want to talk to you...and you'll likely have some homework to do after that.

And you don't reheat to 145...what you're reheating is supposed to go to 165.

Again, this is commercial thinking (FDA Food Code). If that doesn't apply to you, then disregard.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:17 AM   #8
ewatts2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cook View Post
Since this is in what amounts to a commercial forum, I'll give you advise with that in mind. In commercial applications it isn't as easy as just vac bagging and reheating ever how you like. If what you're doing isn't a commercial venture, then do what you want. But if you're cooking commercially, you need to speak with your health department before doing any of what is suggested above. It can be done, but they are going to want to talk to you...and you'll likely have some homework to do after that.

And you don't reheat to 145...what you're reheating is supposed to go to 165.

Again, this is commercial thinking (FDA Food Code). If that doesn't apply to you, then disregard.
Thank you for all of the information! This won't be anything commercial, more or less just for friends and family. But if I do decide to take things to the next level I will definitely get into contact with the HD before I do anything major.
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Old 04-20-2018, 12:34 PM   #9
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i'm in the middle of hoop jumping to get vac sealing approved for my business. I'll share the info if and when it ever gets approved.
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Old 05-03-2018, 03:01 PM   #10
NuclearGrizz
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Default Smoking Brisket for 150 people

So I am the designated cook (idiot?) who will be cooking BBQ for 150 volunteers at an event in July.

My plan is to smoke 8 full briskets the day before, and then grill about 25lbs of chicken the day of the event.

My plan is to smoke the briskets, wrap tightly in foil, and refrigerate overnight.

The day of (next morning) I plan on placing the still wrapped briskets on the cool end of the 250-gallon smoker and let them warm up for about 6 hours.

Without getting too deep into the thermal efficiency of carbon steel, the ambient temperature in Colorado in early July, and the exact location of Venus in the night sky...does 6 hours in a smoker, say at about 250F, sound like enough time to heat up about 100lbs of already smoked brisket?
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:30 PM   #11
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Seems like there is a limit on how long food is in the danger zone between 40* and 165*. Seems like it's 3-4 hours. After you hit the 165* for like 20 minutes you can drop back to above 140*. Hope some one jumps in and makes corrections on my times.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poorolddan View Post
Seems like there is a limit on how long food is in the danger zone between 40* and 165*. Seems like it's 3-4 hours. After you hit the 165* for like 20 minutes you can drop back to above 140*. Hope some one jumps in and makes corrections on my times.
Cooking for that many people...I would surely follow proper cooling & reheating guidelines. Very easy to get alot of folks sick in a hurry.

Once your briskets are cooked, allow them to sit on the counter unwrapped & uncovered until they reach 135*. Then place them in the coldest spot you can find...generally, that will be in a pan sitting in a cooler, resting on top of ice. I would not wrap them yet...just let them sit in there (multiple coolers in your case) and cool completely. If you then need to wrap & refrigerate you can. Otherwise, just wrap before reheating. EDIT: Be sure you don't use so much ice that the pans are fully submerged when melting occurs. Keep an eye on it. Brisket swimming in water is never a good thing!

Reheating fast is required by code. At 250 I would not try to seek out a cool spot. You'll want to get to 165* as quickly as you can. At that point you can cooler it until you need it. As long as you don't fall below 135* you're good. Even when it does go below that threshold you have four hours to use, cool, or reheat again.

Whatever you do...DO NOT put eight hot (or even warm) briskets in your refrigerator.
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