Cooking/Smoking for 60 (1 Viewer)

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navychop

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Please help me decide, and I'll probably have to decide tomorrow, about feeding 60 or so adults at a library opening on 6/28. This just might be a bit much for me. I will be doing the majority of the work myself, cooking wise. I might have some help the day of, but it would be limited. The cooking will be the meat- sides will be prepared by others.

I anticipate taking my Weber bullet smoker to the library the day before, set up, ready to light the morning of, at perhaps 6 a.m.(food must be ready at 6 p.m. or shortly thereafter). I could also bring my Weber gas grill, and perhaps another gas grill, if I should use them to cook some legs and thighs.

I suspect that I could fit four bone in 7-8 lb butts in the smoker, two on each level. But that would likely feed only 30 - 40 people. Or am I mistaken? Space wise, that means I need to cook at least 3 dozen chicken pieces in something other than the smoker. I must note, several of these people will be vegetarians, which I plan to leave to their own devices (graze the sides).

Perhaps I could cook some butts the weekend before, and freeze them. If I did enough ahead of time, perhaps I could smoke some country ribs or the chickens the day of.

Is this doable? Should I just call it off (it hasn't been announced yet), or is there a way of changing my plans to where it might actually work out? BTW, I haven't cooked for more than 15 or so people since college, 30 years ago. And it was red beans and rice with ham back then.

And am I off base thinking 10-11 hours would be sufficient for doing 4 butts? I've only cooked one butt at a time, with perhaps some chicken or chops. I'm not sure how the cooking time might be affected by cooking so many butts at the same time.

Hopefully some of you more experienced smokers can help me out here.
 
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Kevinw

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You should have plenty of meat, I have smoked 5-6 at a time with no problems. 1/3 pound of meat per person-1lb for every 3 with sides is plenty.
 

charper1

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My advise is to plan for more time than that 10hr window you mentioned for those butts. I am not saying they will or will not need to cook that long for sure but best to have extra time from the meat's rest time.
 

Bob Haller

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do nearly all cooking in advance, defrost before and just finish day of event........

much less stress, and you will KNOW it will come out fine. even if some are zapped in microwave to finish.

many restaurants do that, dennys bob evans etc, are microwave bagged food
 

HD MM

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Butts are very finicky when cooking time is concerned. I would do the butts ahead of time (1-2 days prior). Remember to pull and sauce them upon completion. Throw them in an aluminum pan and just warm them up prior to serving. Bring a few packs of hamburger buns. The 4 butts, shredded into pulled pork should make for quite a few sandwiches.

If you plan on doing ribs the day of, get a rack. Having a rack allows you fit a lot more in the smoker. I like doing ribs as they don't take that long on the WSM. I've smoked a full load of ribs in 5-6 hours before.
 

navychop

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I think I'll do 4 butts together the weekend prior, and pull and freeze. And experiment with a new chicken recipe. Then, the day of, use the grill to warm up the pork, since there is no oven there, just a nuker. And smoke the chicken (2-3 dozen legs & thighs). I don't think I could smoke enough ribs to go around.

This way, I'll avoid any delays in the pork being done on time, or my having to start at oh dark thirty. I'm not exactly a morning person. I can't smoke a day or two before, since I'll have to be at work.

I'll make a vinegar sauce for the pork, and provide buns. Probably come up with a completely different rub for the chicken. Start thawing the pork the night before by putting the frozen bags in an ice chest.

Others will bring any sides. I might provide some slaw for the sandwiches.

Thanks, I think I can do this.
 

NightRyder

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I did something similar for my son's wedding rehearsal dinner last summer. I put 2 briskets and 2 pork butts in the smoker the night before. Pulled the brisket about daybreak and put some teriyaki marinated chicken on. Everything was done by mid-morning, just sliced the brisket, pulled the pork, took the chicken and put in foil covered aluminum pans. Put in coolers on ice and reheated just before dinner time. It was a big hit. :)

NightRyder
 

Bob Haller

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yum, where and when do we eat? nice you invited everyone from the board.

better start cooking now, we have big appetites:)
 

navychop

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I may need a few of you to show up. So far, looks like only 40 or so are coming. Still waiting to hear from more on the RSVPs. Next Saturday is it. I did, and froze, 2 butts and 2 boneless shoulders yesterday. I generally get butts on sale for 99 cents to $1.29. The shoulders were at Costco, a fairly reliable source for them (butts are iffy at stores around here), but were $1.79. Frankly, I don't think the shoulders are worth the extra money. But I needed two more, with little time or inclination to drive from store to store.

I'll still probably do 10 or 20 lbs of chicken thighs and legs next saturday. They'll pop out after around 2 hours, so no sweat. Just gotta figure out how many will be there, or I'll have a freezer full and plenty to eat for the next month.
 

Bob Haller

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hey where you at? we can have a big board party:)

hope it goes great, frozen food can be defrosted anytime.

or donated to a food pantry or homeless shelter

my wife occasionally makes big quanties of spaghetti sauce for church activities.

i really like the leftovers:) all nicely frozen
 

navychop

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Just across from George Mason University. Got to see the Blue Man Group there. Not as good as they used to be. Guess we won't be seeing George there now. :(

Looks like we'll only be getting around 40 now. I'll still do some chicken, but now rather than cart the equipment to the library, I'll just warm it/cook it at home and schlep it.
 
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