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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 02-15-2010, 11:08 PM   #1
Gerry D
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Default Catering Ribs

OK this is my first time doing ribs for a crowd. I will be using sterno and foil pans. What is a good method for reheating the ribs and keeping them warm? I will be cooking spares. Thanks for the help.
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Unread 02-15-2010, 11:53 PM   #2
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How many you cooking for?
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Unread 02-16-2010, 06:36 AM   #3
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How long will it take to cook ribs with sterno?
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Unread 02-16-2010, 08:15 AM   #4
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I would reheat them in a smoker in foil depending on haow many racks you are doing. I have precut the ribs in pans with sauce and juice and covered in foil and reheated in an oven and they come out great. You can reheat them anyway you want. I would not use a grill then into sterno, you are setting yourself up for jerky.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 08:56 AM   #5
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Any reason you can't cook just before serving? That's the real solution.

I've cooked 36 slabs and cut into quarters, put in foil steam pans and added a little sauce and properly cooled (big thing to do right or people get sick). Can reheat in any oven or large smoker that way.

How do you plan to cool all these ribs? They can't just go in the fridge even a commercial one.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 09:08 AM   #6
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Ford, what is the proper cooling method? Two stage? Why cant the ribs go directly into a walkin on sheet pans? I think that would cool them down faster then the two stage cooling method.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 09:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
Ford, what is the proper cooling method? Two stage? Why cant the ribs go directly into a walkin on sheet pans? I think that would cool them down faster then the two stage cooling method.
I don't have access to a walk in and not many do. It's the best solution obviously.

When I see all these reheating posts (obviously by non pros) for catering I visualize the little guy with his smoker in the driveway and a fridge in the garage. they have no idea how to properly cool. The best make do solution is an ice water cooling for about an hour to get it below 70 and then into freezer, fridge in small quantities to cool to sub 40. Of course you need to be careful not to get water into the product. I have 4 large marine coolers I use when needed plus 2 commercial fridges and a commercial upright frezer and a commercial chest freezer. Even then doing 36 slabs can be fun.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 09:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC PIG ASSASSINS View Post
Ford, what is the proper cooling method? Two stage? Why cant the ribs go directly into a walkin on sheet pans? I think that would cool them down faster then the two stage cooling method.
Thats the best method for those of us that have walk-ins!
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Unread 02-16-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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I will be cooking for 50 people. I figure on about 3 ribs per person. The event will last 3 hours and I can arrive 3 hours early to set up. I guess my best bet will be to cook the ribs, foil and put in cooler to keep warm, go to event and set up, cut ribs into sections, put in foil pans with sauce and use sterno to keep warm. I have to cut them into one rib sections my only concern would be drying them out.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 12:11 PM   #10
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If you cut them into single servings, and heat them up in a pan. If you keep the pan covered when reheating and put liquid, not only sauce in the bottom of the pan it will steam heat the ribs, they will be moist. Another way to keep moisture is to use perforated pan when you have them in the seam table to keep hot steam coming up. DO not over pack the chafing dish, keep adding fresh ribs from the oven and you will be fine. Do not serve ribs in three bone sections.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 01:06 PM   #11
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Therein lies my problem. I won't have access to an oven only the foil pans and sterno. I guess I will add sauce and some apple juice to the pan to keep them moist. How long will ribs hold if foiled, wrapped in towels and placed in a cooler? Trying to figure out my best option. Does it sound feasible to:

Smoke ribs and put in cooler to hold.
Go to event and set up.
Prep two half pans with apple juice, sauce and ribs and get on the heat.
Then after one of the half pans is gone take more ribs out of the cooler, slice and fill the empty half pan, maybe adding a little more sauce and juice.

Should I start with four half pans on the heat instead of two? It is only 50 people after all. I would think that two racks would fit in a half pan, right?

Just trying to get all of my ducks in a row. I like to know exactly what I'm going to do before I do it. Thanks for all of the help.
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Unread 02-16-2010, 01:19 PM   #12
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You are better off cooking the ribs and bringing them all cold and heating them on a low grill while there. If you have no oven that is your best bet, IMO. Do whatever your are comfortable with, but remember, your local rental place is your friend!
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Unread 02-16-2010, 09:44 PM   #13
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buy or rent a cambro hotbox. it will hold temperature for hours, while your pans heat up
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Unread 02-16-2010, 10:22 PM   #14
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When I cook ribs, it takes about four hours. I will foil the ribs and throw them in the cooler with blankets and they will hold temp for at least three hours...any reason you can't do that? I also cut the ribs one half-pan at a time, sometimes right on the line so that the ribs are fresh and warm. This isn't an option when cooking ribs for 250, but you should be fine doing this for 50 people.
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Unread 02-17-2010, 01:03 AM   #15
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While eating at Oklahoma Joe's, I noticed they wrap the ribs in saran wrap and place them in holding cabinet, with out sauce. Of course the cabinet maintains temp.
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