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Canadian Badger
06-30-2011, 11:23 AM
I'm thinking of smoking some baby backs for a crowd of 90 people. I only have an 18" and a 22" WSM available. Is it even doable? Also; how many racks ribs should I smoke?

QansasjayhawQ
06-30-2011, 11:30 AM
If you are serving side dishes in addition to the ribs, and if your crowd is split about 50/50 men and women . . . and if this isn't a high school football team, or some other group of people famous for eating more than the average person . . .

About half a rack of baby backs along with a couple sides and a desert per person should be about right. Some people will eat less, some will eat more.

Now, how to fit 45 racks on one 18" and one 22.5" WSM?

I would use rib racks which stand the ribs up vertically for starters, but even then you probably don't have enough space to cook them all simultaneously.

Do you have any friends or neighbors you could borrow more cookers from?

I presume you want them all to cook and be ready at the same time. You could do them in shifts (two or three) and hold them in Cambros or coolers stuffed with newspaper . . .

Hope this helps!

jestridge
06-30-2011, 11:34 AM
According to allreceipes.com you will need 45 pound of ribs, that a lot of meat to cook on thoses cooker of yours

Myrdhyn
06-30-2011, 11:41 AM
I know you're asking about ribs, but for that many people, I'd do pulled pork. It's going to be a TON less effort, still be pork, and be doable on those two smokers. Ribs, as stated you're going to need upwards of 45 racks of ribs, and I'd be surprised if you could get more than 30 between the two smokers. Buttz on the other hand, you should be able to get 8 on the 22.5" and 6 on the 18.5" which will be plenty of meat for 90 people.

Jaskew82
06-30-2011, 11:45 AM
I would def do pulled pork. Use your 22.5" WSM and load it up with 4 butts on the top rack. That will give you roughly 45 servings. Then switch them to the bottom rack 6 hours prior to serving time and put 3-6 racks of ribs in a rib rack on your top rack.

Use your 18" for another 3-6 racks. That will get you as much as 70 or so servings. Then use a grill and do up some burgers and hot dogs, moink balls, abts, and grilled sausage.

Jaskew82
06-30-2011, 11:47 AM
I know you're asking about ribs, but for that many people, I'd do pulled pork. It's going to be a TON less effort, still be pork, and be doable on those two smokers. Ribs, as stated you're going to need upwards of 45 racks of ribs, and I'd be surprised if you could get more than 30 between the two smokers. Buttz on the other hand, you should be able to get 8 on the 22.5" and 6 on the 18.5" which will be plenty of meat for 90 people.


This is a great solution as well.

Wampus
06-30-2011, 11:56 AM
I've done a few large cooks and can definitely testify that PP goes a LOT farther than ribs. I figure 1 lb of UNCOOKED meat per person and it works out pretty well (for pulled pork). You could also do some ribs as an "also" meat and they'll go a lot farther.

If you ARE set on ribs, I usually plan for 3-4 people to 1 rack of ribs. Especially if there will be a lot of sides. So for 90 people, if it were me cooking, I'd cook from 22-30 racks total. IF you use rib racks, you'd still be hard pressed to get all those onto your 2 WSM's. You could, but they'd be packed FULL!

kcmike
06-30-2011, 12:01 PM
Here ya go... I built this Catering Workbook many years ago, and it's been around the internet a time or two... It says you'll need about 45 slabs. Not sure you'll even get half of those in your two cookers at one time. Keep in mind, you never want to run out of food, or even look like you're about to run out of food, so although 45 slabs may sound like a lot, it will actually be pretty close with a few left-overs for folks to take home. Holler with any questions.

GrillinFool
06-30-2011, 12:02 PM
I would agree on the PP for this. Particularly with those grills. I disagree with one slab for two people. If you have sides and such, 1 slab will feed three people. There are a lot of people who will grab only a couple bones. IF you take a standard plate and put a half slab on it, there's no room for much of anything else. That being said, you would still need six rib racks and that's just not enough space with what you have. You could do the roll method where you roll the ribs and stand them on their side like a bunch of cylinders on your grill, but even then, I;m not sure you have the space....

Weston81
06-30-2011, 12:25 PM
I've got the 18" WSM and I can only fit one rack per grate. Each rack holds three sides of ribs for a total of six sides. Even if the 22" could hold double that, and I don't know that it can you would still only have a total 0f 18 sides of ribs. I agree that PP is the way to go, I honestly believe you could just about get all the butts on the 18' smoker if you wanted. At least 60lbs or so of it, I've cooked three ten lb butts on one rack at the same time.

SteerCrazy
06-30-2011, 12:33 PM
I'd agree on the pulled pork idea, plus your cost is going to be much lower per person

GrillinFool
06-30-2011, 12:36 PM
I'd agree on the pulled pork idea, plus your cost is going to be much lower per person

By a TON!!

Weston81
06-30-2011, 12:44 PM
By hundreds of dollars!!!

Canadian Badger
06-30-2011, 12:50 PM
WOW! Thanks for the responses. I guess that I should have been clearer. It is for an ATV event so the crowd is mixed, all ages sizes etc... I made Pulled Pork the last time around and it was a hit so this time I thought that I would try something different. Maybe ribs are a bit ambitious.

I think that the thought of putting the meat at the end of the line is a good one. People will tend to fill their plates with the sides first and then have less room to put ribs on their plate.

If I was to deep fry some turkeys any idea on how many I would need for this crowd of 90? I have 3 fryers available to me.

Weston81
06-30-2011, 12:56 PM
At least a lb of frozen weight per person if not more. I can't remember the max weight suggested for a fryer but I want to say 15lbs. So you're looking and 6 turkeys. Brethren, Please correct me if I am wrong on this.

Myrdhyn
06-30-2011, 01:38 PM
Brisket and chicken (think leg quarters, I bet you could jigsaw puzzle 90+ on those two smokers) are both other options that you could do on your two smokers and feed 90 people.

Canadian Badger
08-10-2011, 10:15 PM
So. I'm back to doing the ribs instead of the deep fried turkey. I was thinking that I would pre- smoke some of the racks. Would you freeze the racks with or without the sauce? I'm thinking of cryovacing the cooked ribs and then freezing them. My concern is if the vinegar in the sauce would break the muscle fibers down more turning the meat into mush.

QansasjayhawQ
08-10-2011, 10:27 PM
Yeah - I would not cryovac with the sauce for exactly that reason - it's like a marinade at that point.

Smoked
08-10-2011, 10:28 PM
WOW! Thanks for the responses. I guess that I should have been clearer. It is for an ATV event so the crowd is mixed, all ages sizes etc... I made Pulled Pork the last time around and it was a hit

There's your answer. If they liked it last time, then why deviate? 45 racks is way too much for your equipment. Maybe with the PP, throw in some ABT's or some other appetizer type food you can smoke quickly alongside the butts.

If you really want to wow them, then maybe buy a whole hog and make a pit in the ground and smoke that while they're out riding. Then with the WSM's you can make the apps, some ABT's, etc.

hav
08-10-2011, 10:38 PM
According to the BBQ Calculator I use, you will only need 30 slabs, 4 bones per, and less if you are serving other meat.

jrbBBQ
08-11-2011, 01:07 AM
Like everyone else said, ribs would be pretty ambitious to pull off with your smokers. I have two 22" WSMs and cooked 145 pounds (2 cases of butts) last weekend and it worked out so well that I'm doing it again next week for a fundraiser. They approached me about doing ribs and chicken, but with my equipment, it's SO MUCH eaiser and profitable just to do pulled pork. On a side note, I have created more levels in my wsms before, I had to smoke 400 pork chops and I called a couple of my buddys who had 22" weber grills and borrowed thier grates, I then took three small ramekins on the outside of each level and just sat the other grate on top them. I ended up with 4 levels in one and 5 levels in the other one. It was a pain in the *** to remove the meat, but it worked for that. If you layed them down flat you may get 4 racks on each level.

btcg
08-11-2011, 08:17 AM
How bout 50-50? Half ribs, half pulled pork?

Make sure to cut the ribs and serve them individually, so one or 2 guys don't scarf up too many.

Cheaper, and much easier.

Making your own sausage migh be cool, too.

AMoore
08-11-2011, 08:32 AM
KC Mike-that is a great spreadsheet. Thank you for sharing

Jason TQ
08-11-2011, 08:40 AM
I agree with the pulled pork and then maybe some appetizer type stuff. With pp the meat can be done 2-3hrs before serving and rest in a cooler while you get the moinks, abts, whatever else ready. Either way good luck!

Gore
08-11-2011, 08:43 AM
It has been my experience that no matter how many racks of ribs you have, you will always need one more. Making ribs for even a gathering of 2 people is impossible. Of course, you didn't say if they were all vegetarians.

btcg
08-11-2011, 08:48 AM
It has been my experience that no matter how many racks of ribs you have, you will always need one more. Making ribs for even a gathering of 2 people is impossible. Of course, you didn't say if they were all vegetarians.

I'm not surprised: I'll bet your ribs are great.

Doin my 2 $16 per slab Kentland's Whole Foods ribs today. My first cook since getting back.

Untraceable
08-11-2011, 12:11 PM
If you ARE set on ribs, I usually plan for 3-4 people to 1 rack of ribs. Especially if there will be a lot of sides. So for 90 people, if it were me cooking, I'd cook from 22-30 racks total. IF you use rib racks, you'd still be hard pressed to get all those onto your 2 WSM's. You could, but they'd be packed FULL!

Its suprising how far a rack of ribs will go when there are a bunch of people. add in PP and I would say maybe 12 racks would cover the party. Even the biggest eaters tend to fail when there are alot of sides, snacks and beverages

Canadian Badger
08-12-2011, 05:14 PM
Thanks again everyone. This is awesome info. I will take some pics and let you know how it all turned out.

Meat Burner
08-12-2011, 07:52 PM
Thanks again everyone. This is awesome info. I will take some pics and let you know how it all turned out.

If you are set on serving ribs, you can pull it off by precooking some of them. It will not hurt the flavor. I have often heard a lot of folk think it enhances the flavor by freezing and then reheating. With your equipment, it would have to be done in stages, IMO. Go for it if you are up to it. Let us know what you decide.

Canadian Badger
08-15-2011, 10:02 PM
Is there a way to bulk foil? Can I wrap more than 1 rack or is it better to put them in a pan and cover the top with foil? Basically I need to cut the time down by foiling. I pre smoked 9 racks and froze them. At the event I am going to do 21 racks on the 2 smokers from start to finish and when foiling I will add the defrosted racks. Pics next week.

kcmike
08-15-2011, 10:07 PM
Is there a way to bulk foil? Can I wrap more than 1 rack or is it better to put them in a pan and cover the top with foil? Basically I need to cut the time down by foiling. I pre smoked 9 racks and froze them. At the event I am going to do 21 racks on the 2 smokers from start to finish and when foiling I will add the defrosted racks. Pics next week.

You're gonn'a be busier than a one-legged cat in a litter box... Good Luck!!

Quality will suffer a little by bulk foiling them in pans, but given the quantity you're doing with the limited space, I think it's probably a risk worth taking. Most folks won't know any different anyway.

NorthwestBBQ
08-15-2011, 10:14 PM
I would cook 20 racks. 12 on the 22 and 8 on the 18. Very doable with rib racks.

Big slick
08-16-2011, 07:26 AM
I would do the PP and ribs. Cut the ribs into individual ribs and you will stretch them out that way. Also put the PP before the ribs. Have you ever thought about brisket or smoked turkey? Turkeys and chickens cook quick and can feed a lot. You could more than likely fit 10 beer can chickens on the 22.5".

Which ever route you go please let us know how it turned out and what you ended up doing.

DirtyDirty00
08-16-2011, 08:45 AM
i BBQ for about 50 people every year. I go nuts and make brisket, pulled pork, ribs ect. I make about 6-9 racks of ribs. Now thats not that much but usually i end up making WAY too much food. i usually end up with almost half my food left over. bottom line is... if your making other food as well then you dont need too many ribs. people will be picking and filling up on other foods as well.

especially if people are gonna be drinking beers. beer fills u up too.

markdtn
08-16-2011, 09:41 AM
For our last 2 family reunions I have done ribs. In 2010 I figured 1/2 rack per person for 36 people (18 racks) and ended up with like 8 left over. This year I figured 1/3 rack per person for 28 people (9 racks) and we had about 2 left over. This was served with a full meal-corn on the cob, salad, bread, beans, tomatos, squash casserole (no alcohol). I think 1/3 rack per person is a reasonable estimate with a full meal.

Canadian Badger
08-16-2011, 11:34 AM
I would cook 20 racks. 12 on the 22 and 8 on the 18. Very doable with rib racks.

This is essentially what I am doing. The Costco packs of baby back ribs come with 3 in each pack so I will be doing 8 on the 18" and 13 on the 22" WSM. I have done it this way a few times and it worked out fine.