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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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Unread 09-03-2010, 01:03 PM   #1
getyourrubonbbq
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Default Cooking in advance for festivals/events

Hello all,

Question, for those of you that do large events/festivals how far in advance do you normally cook your butts and briskets (if you do briskets)? I'm thinking of doing a 1 day event from 9Am-7PM and want to do my ribs onsite. I can't get there until 5AM to set up, I'll have plenty of time that morning to get several racks rolling, but did not want to kill myself with the butts and briskets.

Any advise/input would be greatly appreciated.

James
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Unread 09-03-2010, 01:49 PM   #2
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I run my rig the night before. Then in the morning I will pan them up and put the meat in either coolers or in my warmer box.
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Unread 09-03-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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Same here. I time things out so that the butts and briskets are done when it's time to put the ribs on. Butts and briskets can rest and go through final prep in the time it takes to cook the ribs. Might be a bit rough with a 05:00 setup time, but that's part of this crazy business!
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Unread 09-03-2010, 03:37 PM   #4
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My HD SOP's document my cooling, freezing, thawing and reheating processes so it's all legal for me. If I didn't have NSF fridge/freezer I couldn't do it here in MI. May be different in TN. I often cook and pull Wednesday to sell Saturday and it just lkeeps in the fridge. I can store about 30 full pans in each fridge. Can't sell that much thru my window in a day.
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Unread 09-03-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
My HD SOP's document my cooling, freezing, thawing and reheating processes so it's all legal for me. If I didn't have NSF fridge/freezer I couldn't do it here in MI. May be different in TN. I often cook and pull Wednesday to sell Saturday and it just lkeeps in the fridge. I can store about 30 full pans in each fridge. Can't sell that much thru my window in a day.
We are not doing this yet, so inexperienced question here: Am I understanding this correctly that you are cooking and then serving 3 days later? I don't have a safety concern here , but a WOF concern. Is there no "left over" flavor, Or is there a storage temp that retards oxidative rancidity?
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Unread 09-03-2010, 08:33 PM   #6
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Allow me to decode for you...

Your health department has specific requirements for how fast you must chill hot food to what holding temps, and how long you are allowed to hold that food before throwing it out. There are similar requirements for going the opposite way; heating chilled food to safe temp and holding it for serving.

Residential refrigeration equipment typically does not have the capacity to cool big hot pork butts fast enough to meet these requirements, so most HD's simply demand that commercial kitchens only use NSF stamped equipment rather than try to do technical tests to see if your fridge/freezers are good enough. NSF is a testing organization that certifies commercial food prep products meet government requirements just like UL certifies consumer goods.

As far as the quality of the product, yes it will not be as good as it would be fresh from the smoker after a 12 hour cook, but it will still be quite good and more than adequate for vending. There is simply no way you can succeed at high volume vending unless you precook. Being able to re-heat to meet demand is the difference between staying profitable and financial disaster when you are at the whim of crowd attendance and weather.
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Unread 09-03-2010, 08:37 PM   #7
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I'm HD compliant, so I cook it a couple days ahead and re-heat on site in my FEC 500.
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Unread 09-15-2010, 09:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
I'm HD compliant, so I cook it a couple days ahead and re-heat on site in my FEC 500.
Are you pulling the butts apart prior to cooling or do they go in the fridge whole? Also, when reheating do you add any liquid (apple juice, water) to keep the meat moist, or is that not needed? Just trying to get a feel on how you reheat and keep moist. Thanks
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Unread 09-15-2010, 10:42 PM   #9
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You'll have a better product if you hold off pulling until just before you use it. If you break down the butts in advance, you'll probably have to add some type of moisture to the pans of pulled meat to combat drying. Stock, AJ, even water will do in a pinch.

Our typical vending method is to bring pre-cooked butts wrapped in foil in coolers on ice. We take a big stick burner on an open trailer and reheat them onsite as needed, then take them out and chop them up in view of the public. Usually we'll prep a couple pans ahead, so you have the opportunity to reinforce the flavor with a fresh hit of smoke if desired by simply putting the uncovered pans back in the smoker.

The public sees big chunks of hot pork coming out of the smoker and being processed into sandwiches. As far as they know, you stayed up all night cooking on site. ;)
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Unread 09-15-2010, 10:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucky1008 View Post
Are you pulling the butts apart prior to cooling or do they go in the fridge whole? Also, when reheating do you add any liquid (apple juice, water) to keep the meat moist, or is that not needed? Just trying to get a feel on how you reheat and keep moist. Thanks
When I vend, I use whole butts. When catering I pull ahead then add apple juice and rub. 265 degrees for a full pan for 2.5 - 3 hours to heat.
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Unread 09-16-2010, 07:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Our typical vending method is to bring pre-cooked butts wrapped in foil in coolers on ice.
this is illegal in MI. Need to check with HD in other States. Here we can only transport raw meat in coolers and can only have it it coolers for a max of 4 hours. To cook, chill and reheat here we must have NSF rated commercial fridges and freezers.
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Unread 09-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
this is illegal in MI. Need to check with HD in other States. Here we can only transport raw meat in coolers and can only have it it coolers for a max of 4 hours. To cook, chill and reheat here we must have NSF rated commercial fridges and freezers.
Exactly why I have an NSF fridge on my trailer, NSF coolers in my shop and 2 NSF pits (FEC500).
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Unread 09-16-2010, 10:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
this is illegal in MI. Need to check with HD in other States. Here we can only transport raw meat in coolers and can only have it it coolers for a max of 4 hours. To cook, chill and reheat here we must have NSF rated commercial fridges and freezers.
Well that sucks. The HD has never given us any grief here.

Unless you power your reefers while under way somehow you'd have a less-safe condition than using ice if you transport any significant distance. Sometimes HD regs are pretty dumb!
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Unread 09-16-2010, 01:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Well that sucks. The HD has never given us any grief here.

Unless you power your reefers while under way somehow you'd have a less-safe condition than using ice if you transport any significant distance. Sometimes HD regs are pretty dumb!
I power mine under way in my trailer. I LOVES MY HONDA generator!
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Unread 09-17-2010, 12:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I power mine under way in my trailer. I LOVES MY HONDA generator!
How do you handle the exhaust? Do you mount the genset on the tongue outside the trailer?
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