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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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Old 07-21-2009, 04:42 PM   #1
Got Wood.
Join Date: 06-01-09
Location: Glen Mills, PA
Default Need some input on cookout for 50 (long post)

So I was sort of "volunteered" by my fiance to cook for a bunch of women at a big dressage horse show event in Culpepper, VA. I will be cooking for about 50 women (mostly) on August 1st and need some advice. (The final head count was 42, but I think that many more will want to join in when they smell the goodness!!)

I was thinking pulled pork and chicken plus sides. How many butts should I do? Will two be enough, or go with three to be safe? And how much chicken? Should I do parts or several beer-can birds and cut them up? For sides I was thinking a tray of beans, tossed salad, slaw, and vegetarian pasta salad. Remember, this is a bunch of WOMEN who will be eating! Also, two are vegetarians....what can I smoke for them?

I will be using two brand new UDS's that I put together, but there is a snag......

I just made them and have NEVER cooked on a UDS! I would have been practicing lately, but I had to fly to Seattle for a funeral the day I finished the first one and will not get back to PA until the I only have a couple days to finish the other one and practice on the UDS's!

If I practice dialing in good temp control the days before the event, the butts should be no problem with an overnight cook. However, how should I do the chicken and at what temp on the UDS? I want to get a good crispy skin on the birds.

Also, should I buy warming trays and racks with the sterno cans or ice to keep the meat warm and sides cool? I saw some decent set-ups pretty cheap at BJ's last time I was there. Or does anyone have another suggestion?

Any input, ideas, recipes, advice would be greatly appreciated. Also, if there is anyone near Culpepper who is free to help me out, I will supply the cold beverages and a supply of MOINK appetizers to munch on while we cook! Remember...lots of WOMEN at this event.......anyone want to help?

If we are not supposed to eat animals, then why did God make them out of meat?
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:50 PM   #2
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Location: Pensacola, FL

General rule of thumb I've seen is that pork butts lose 50% of their weight.

If each guest was to get 1/4lb of pulled pork, you'll want 12.5lbs of cooked pulled pork to feed 50 guests. Therefore, you'd want about 25lbs of uncooked butts.

I'm not sure about the chicken.

Good luck!

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Old 07-21-2009, 07:58 PM   #3
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Join Date: 09-25-05
Location: Jefferson City, Missouri

If it were me, I would cook 7- 8 whole chickens and part then when finished by cutting them into 8 pieces each. Cook them hot,about 325¤F.

As far as the pork is concerned, you can feed approximately 12-14 people off a 7 lb. butt. I would cook 2 butts.

For the vegans....get some Bocca Burgers. I always use them when I need to feed a vegan and they always like them. Bocca Burgers will be in your freezer section at your grocery store. It doesn't take but a few minutes in the cooker and they are done. Hope this helps!
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Old 07-22-2009, 12:15 AM   #4
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Join Date: 10-19-07
Location: Oroville, CA

I agree with RC Smokehouse----cook chickens by the chicken---not by weight. I cook chickens as halves then quarter into "legs and thighs" or "Breasts and wings"
When cooking for females I then split the legs and thighs apart and then cut the breasts in half. Each person gets 1/8 chicken.

When vegetarian meals are wanted I buy portabello mushrooms and smoke them stem up with a light coating of olive oil and stuff the tops with soy chorizo. Garden burgers and bocca burgers are ok----but seem kinda generic to me.

Be careful when smoking the vegetarian meals----put them on the top shelf where no meat grease can drip on them---and set them on a tray so the vegetarian dishes do not contact surface areas where meat has been. Some vegetarians can be very militant.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:56 AM   #5
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Join Date: 06-04-04
Location: St. Joseph, MI

I would cook two 8# butts and go to Sam's and get a package of the chicken breast tenderloins and one package of the skinless boneless chicken thighs. Get yourself two wire chaffing racks (also from Sams). Use the foil 1/2 pans in the racks. Add slaw and beans for sides.
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