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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 10-06-2008, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default Whats the best way of reheating for vending?

I did my first vending job this past weekend, it was a lot of fun with a lot of work. We (my MiL,wife, and I) worked a little town street fair. We were instructed to show up at 8am and set up and be ready by 10am. I smoked 200lbs of butts on Thursday and vacuum packed it all up. My original plan was to boil the bags in a gas fired turkey fryer, with water of course. First bag I did the seams gave and dumped the whole bag into the water. Tried another and noticed it started doing the same. Luckily, I brought my royal oak smoker along. I fired it up and dumped the bags into a roasting pan and reheated that way. It worked somewhat ok, just enough to heat it up to get it into crockpots to stay hot. There has to be a better way of reheating, just curious as to what you guys do at vending jobs that require you to cook ahead. On a side note, I think everything went over well. We sold around 75 plates and about 150 pp sammies. We are looking forward to doing it again.
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Unread 10-06-2008, 01:55 PM   #2
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Bump the smoker up to 350; wrap PP in the foil pans with apple juice and make it happen! YMMV
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Unread 10-06-2008, 02:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big brother smoke View Post
Bump the smoker up to 350; wrap PP in the foil pans with apple juice and make it happen! YMMV
Thanks BBS! I didnt think about adding the apple juice to keep from drying out.
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Unread 10-06-2008, 03:45 PM   #4
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If your cooking at home, best bet if your going to do this very often would be to re-heat your meat at home in the oven and then transport in a cambro to the fair.
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Unread 10-06-2008, 05:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by big brother smoke View Post
Bump the smoker up to 350; wrap PP in the foil pans with apple juice and make it happen! YMMV
Thats the way!!
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Unread 10-07-2008, 01:50 AM   #6
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Congrats!

HD in my county would not allow vaccuum pack.. must be store sealed... :(
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Unread 10-07-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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Re-heating in water should be done at a simmer, not a boil.
That's probably what caused your bags to fail.
Just a thought...
Congrat's on the gig, Bro!
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Unread 10-07-2008, 10:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabntmkr1 View Post
Re-heating in water should be done at a simmer, not a boil.
That's probably what caused your bags to fail.
Just a thought...
Congrat's on the gig, Bro!

Sorry, I should have specified in the post it was at a simmer. Was pretty ticked off when it happened. I remember a thread a while back talking about reheating at a simmer. I don't know if its my bags or sealer. Thanks for the support guys!
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Unread 10-10-2008, 07:38 AM   #9
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ive never had bags fall apart boiling in the turkey fryer. I have seen it happen to others though..are you using Foodsaver bags or the cheaper knockoff bags?
How long are you boiling for?
also when I seal I make sure to flatten the bag with the pork in it so its no more than 1/4-1/2 inch thick..warms up quicker thus less time in the boiling water
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Unread 10-11-2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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You could also consider using a pasta strainer insert inside the pot. If this is your preferred method and the bag fails at least the meat is within the strainer (insurance policy). As the bag sinks it can touch the hot bottomed pot and melt. As said earlier smaller portioned bags are a good solution. I've used zip top bags before in simmering water, and works great. No issues.
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Unread 10-11-2008, 06:36 PM   #11
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I put 20 pounds in a steampan, add 1 quart apple juice, sprinkle liberally with rub and put in my fec on 275 for 2.5 - 3 hours. Pit holds 20 pans. If it's a huge deal, I take 50 hot and just finished butts off the pit on arrival and throw into a couple coolers, put the aforementioned pans on the pit and have about 700 pounds ready in 3 hours.
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Unread 10-12-2008, 12:12 AM   #12
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Just hook up a couple microwaves to your generator and tell 'em to warm their own food up.

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Unread 10-12-2008, 10:11 AM   #13
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When I use the food saver bags I make 2 seals at each end, that seems to help.
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Unread 10-12-2008, 08:27 PM   #14
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I was having the same problem with reheating stuff at a gig and trying to keep my smoker clear for contest meat. I went and bought a commercial grill at Sam's. I dump the meat into disposible pans with some apple juice and thencover with foil and then reheat to 160 on the grill before transferring the pan into the Caldera chaffing unit.
I'm also looking at buying some turkey roasters and using those to warm stuff up to keep the smoker free so we cook more stuff. Hope this helps, its working for us!
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Unread 10-12-2008, 09:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billm View Post
ive never had bags fall apart boiling in the turkey fryer. I have seen it happen to others though..are you using Foodsaver bags or the cheaper knockoff bags?
How long are you boiling for?
also when I seal I make sure to flatten the bag with the pork in it so its no more than 1/4-1/2 inch thick..warms up quicker thus less time in the boiling water
I've had it happen with food saver bags and the walmart brand. It seems to happen within 5 minutes of hitting the water, I wait till the water is at a simmer then drop the bag in. I'll try packing in smaller bags to see if that helps. Thanks everyone for all your advice
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