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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-04-2009, 01:05 PM   #1
CrackerJack from KC
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Default What will I need to cook for over 100 people......

Going to cook for a church function after easter, and was wanting to begin planning now. We will not be charging for the meal (accepting donations), so we want to keep it on the cheap. Also, I am toying with the idea of doing all the cooking during an all night cookout (contest style) in the parking lot of the church, and inviting others to join me. I might cook up sausages or tell people to bring their own meat and I will cook it up for them. Just trying to make it sort of fun.

Going to mostly cook Pork Butts since they are the most economical. I am going to have various groups bring side dishes (pot luck style) This is my 1st time cooking for more than 20.

What is the rule of thumb for feeding a big crowd (how much meat?), and what are some of the things I will need to get besides silverware, napkins plates, cups, buns, serving trays, tea/lemonade/water, tongs.

Would also love to hear any do's and don'ts!
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Unread 12-04-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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You can't go wrong with butts & briskets. I would do at least 200 Lbs. of meat, 30 Lbs. each of potato salad, slaw, and beans. I don't normally use too much BBQ sauce, but your guests might like a lot of it. Maybe 4 - 5 gallons of sauce would be enough. At least 250 burger buns for the 2.5 average sandwiches consumed by your crowd. Don't forget the paper plates & plastic utensils. Oh, and plenty of napkins.
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Unread 12-04-2009, 02:12 PM   #3
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A case of butts (8 at 7.5 lb) will give you 30lb+ of pork and that's 120 sammys so if you also did some sausage that would work fine. If it's pot luck have them bring the sides but organize it so some bring slaw, potato salad, mac salad, etc. Get somebody else to bring buns (150) and tea.

Figure out how to hold 3-4 full pans of pork once it's pulled. If you have a smoker that can hold full pans that solves the problem. You will need more than a WSM. Do you have chaffers to serve it in? How will they keep the salads cold if they show up early. Where will you get ice? Sauce on the pork or the side?

Otherwise sounds like you have what you need to eat.
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Unread 12-04-2009, 02:17 PM   #4
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Only advice I can give is your going to need someone to say good luck so...

Good Luck!!!!!!
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Unread 12-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #5
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cojones!
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Unread 12-04-2009, 03:05 PM   #6
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sounds like a good excuse for whole hog if i ever saw one. thats the cheapest, bestest, and coolest...also quite easy. id stuff it with some sausage and kraut, along with a bunch of anything else you can tamp down in there. 175lbs or so on the hoof would be enuf.

everyone else can bring the "wimmins" dishes
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Unread 12-04-2009, 03:29 PM   #7
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You've never cooked for more than 20 and you're jumping into a crowd of 100. My first advice would be...don't do it. But since that may not be advice you'll take, I'll just say that no matter how much work you think it is...double or triple it. You have no idea how much work this is going to be.
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Unread 12-04-2009, 03:38 PM   #8
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When I used to help at church and fair cooks, I found that having designated and willing helpers to be invaluable. At least two cooks (only one who is boss), one assistant/runner and one go-fer. You will either need lots of utensils, or someone constantly washing dishes. Have at least 50% more fuel than you think you will need. Cambro's or Cooler's, and plenty of foil, more is better. Hard earned advice here, do not rely on the church kitchen to have everything you need, verify. I still remember looking at 300 chicken halves in the back of a truck and nowhere to store it.
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Unread 12-04-2009, 05:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
You've never cooked for more than 20 and you're jumping into a crowd of 100. My first advice would be...don't do it. But since that may not be advice you'll take, I'll just say that no matter how much work you think it is...double or triple it. You have no idea how much work this is going to be.
surely at a church function, there is gonna be plenty of help, right?
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Unread 12-04-2009, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
When I used to help at church and fair cooks, I found that having designated and willing helpers to be invaluable. At least two cooks (only one who is boss), one assistant/runner and one go-fer. You will either need lots of utensils, or someone constantly washing dishes. Have at least 50% more fuel than you think you will need. Cambro's or Cooler's, and plenty of foil, more is better. Hard earned advice here, do not rely on the church kitchen to have everything you need, verify. I still remember looking at 300 chicken halves in the back of a truck and nowhere to store it.
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surely at a church function, there is gonna be plenty of help, right?
I'm not talking about the work involved in serving. I'm talking about the work involved prior to that. Dude, this is a lot of work. Most people don't believe me (or anyone else) when they talk about how much work this is.

Don't believe me now? You will...
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Unread 12-04-2009, 06:33 PM   #11
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What I was getting at is that, no, there is not enough help, there is a lot of good will. I have done this many times, you need a lot of planning, you need dedicated helpers, a good go-fer for cook day is priceless. This stuff is not easy. Ever see that Food Network show Dinner Impossible? Notice how little cooking that guy really does, and how much running about and yelling he does?
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Unread 12-04-2009, 06:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
You've never cooked for more than 20 and you're jumping into a crowd of 100. My first advice would be...don't do it. But since that may not be advice you'll take, I'll just say that no matter how much work you think it is...double or triple it. You have no idea how much work this is going to be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ Grail View Post
I'm not talking about the work involved in serving. I'm talking about the work involved prior to that. Dude, this is a lot of work. Most people don't believe me (or anyone else) when they talk about how much work this is.

Don't believe me now? You will...
You will have more than enough help to serve and clean, just make sure everyone has a DESIGNATED job. There is no confusion this way. You may consider taking a vacation day to just line up all of the goods you need to cook. Trust me, youll be happy you took the time.
Assign someone you trust to take care of the potluck side, you will be busy cooking the meat.

And, as Larry pointed out, expect the unexpected, never leave anything to chance. No rain in the forecast? Have canopies anyhow. Think you have plenty of fuels? Get 50% more. Think you have help lined out to help you cook? Ask a couple more.

A team for pulling pork will help you out more than you know. This is often the chit job, and nobody will volunteer. Maybe ask one of the Youth Ministers round up a few high school kids to help out.

Plan, Plan, Plan. Keep a small memo tablet with you. You won't believe the times you will come up with a thought, only to forget it later.

Good Luck!!
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Unread 12-04-2009, 07:28 PM   #13
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I am the chair of the committee, I plan on having more than one smoker going for sure. I will have everyone from the committee plus the board of trustees and my sunday school class helping me. Probably 20 people or more there, add to that all the other committees who I plan to assign side dishes too and odd jobs. I also like the idea of doing inventory on the church kitchen well before I count on them for anything. One nice thing is we have an awesome restaurant dishwasher that can clean dishes in under 30 seconds.

I like the idea of having the youth group pull pork. My son is in youth group, so I know I can get at least one volunteer.

Keep the ideas coming. I have a planning meeting in February, and another one the week before the BBQ.
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Unread 12-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txschutte View Post
This is often the chit job, and nobody will volunteer.
i usually have a real fight on my hands keeping everyone OUT of the pork.

everyone wants to "help pull the pork" :)
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Unread 12-04-2009, 08:04 PM   #15
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I have my list started. I know I am missing a bunch of stuff, but all your input has helped me get this far. The great news I have over 5 months to plan it all.

Things we need to cover for BBQUtensils.SilverwarePlatesChaffing DishesBBQ SauceNapkinsCupsCharcoal (lots)FoilRefrigerator SpaceCanopy (in case it rains)Extra Smoker or twoPaper Bags for Togo OrdersTogo Boxes

People AssignmentsPork PullersDrink StationFood ServersTogo PreparersRunnersDishwasherBusboysCleanup CrewGrocery BuyersSecond Cook

Major Food ItemsPulled PorkBrisketCole SlawBaked BeansPotato SaladIceTeaLemonadeWaterBBQ SaucePot Luck Dishes/Deserts


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