Author Topic: Feeding a large group  (Read 12719 times)

Offline Redneckinthecity

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Feeding a large group
« on: June 10, 2010, 06:02:25 pm »
I've stupidly agreed to feed the neighborhood on the 4th of July.  Another neighbor has done it for years and done packaged burger patties and hotdogs from Costco.  I thought it would be nice to do a little 'que for these yankees, but I fear I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

I'm hoping those of you with experience can talk me through this.  I'm expecting to feed around 200.  I know I can't do that much in my Bradley, but I have a large trailer-mounted rig that can hold 2 small hogs.  I thought that shoulders or butts would be easiest to cook for that many people.  Does anyone have a good raw butt : people fed ratio?  I thought I'd keep it simple and also do buns, slaw, and maybe tater-salad, but thought that might be a good potluck item.

Any and ALL suggestions, admonishments and encouragement welcome.

Thanks
RITC

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 06:11:39 pm »
Damn-it-boy! I like your style!

You are going to be the hero of the neighborhood.

The "Hood Smoker" !!!!

I have found I get around 60% raw to cooked on butts. (on the Bradley)

10lb butt makes 6lb of pulled pork.

Of course the kids will want hotdogs and burgers, so it may not be too bad.

If you need help, I'm available. ;D

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2010, 06:12:14 pm »
A lot depends on your serving size, and if you are feeding hearty eaters or the ladies club, kids, etc.

If you are serving on a bun, then 1/4lb per sandwich.

I figure about a 40% to 50% loss from raw to cooked weight.

So you would need about 50lbs of cooked pork, roughly a 90 to 100lbs raw.

Both STC and I have cooked this close to this amount recently, I'll see if I can find the threads.

Timing for that much food can be an issue.

When I did it, I smoked it in advance, pulled, bagged and reheated for serving.

EDIT: corrected some bad math!
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 07:52:54 am by FLBentRider »
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Offline Redneckinthecity

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2010, 06:50:05 pm »
Thanks.  These are very helpful conversions.  I was thinking of brining the shoulders in some coolers and getting a big jug of mustard at Costco, then doing the rub like I usually do if just cooking a butt or 2 and some ribs.  Any advice on a "bulk" rub to use?  I might go broke if I used Jan's rub recipe for that much meat  :o

Offline EZ Smoker

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 07:15:22 pm »
While I don't have much to offer on the Q side, I would point out that baked beans is not only a traditional complement to BBQ, it's also cheap, and very easy to make in large quantities.   Furthermore, baked beans is the kind of dish where if you mention it to the neighborhood ladies, they'll probably all volunteer to make some.

Just a thought.   
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Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 01:40:20 am »
The Renowned Mr. Brown Barbecued is a good rub, and easy to make, and my favorite on butts. The following recipe will cover 1 - 2 butts, depending on how thick you want to apply it; so you will have to adjust it accordingly.

The Renowned Mr. Brown Barbecued
1/4 cup Black Pepper, fresh cracked
1/4 cup Paprika
1 /4 cup Turbinado Sugar or Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Salt, Kosher
2 tsp. Mustard, dry
1 tsp. Cayenne pepper

Cole slaw makes a good side dish for pulled pork, but I would also include either some hot dogs and/or hamburgers for the kids.


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Offline Redneckinthecity

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2010, 04:03:38 am »
Good points on beans - I'll ask the ladies for all of their favorite bbq sides and see what we get.  And thanks Habs, for the recipe.  That certainly won't break the bank and has all of my favorites.

FL - you mentioned cooking ahead and reheating.  Tell me if my notional timing would work - brine Thursday night in coolers remove Friday and apply mustard/rub.  Cook Saturday am first thing and go all day, removing from cooker when done or nearly.  FTC remainder of the night.  Sunday am remove and pull apart/chop to serve.  Eat at noon.  Will that work. 

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2010, 04:15:56 am »
Plan sounds good. I have FTC'd up to about 7 hours with four butts stuffed into a "five day" cooler.

It might be a long night.
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2010, 04:20:08 am »
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squirtthecat

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2010, 05:45:07 am »

Offline Caneyscud

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2010, 06:19:28 am »
Uhh.  If he's gonna feed 200 people pulled pork sammies, he's gonna need more that 50 pounds of raw butt.  

40% loss on 50 pounds make 30 pounds cooked pork.  At 1/4 pound per sammie that's 120 sammies.  At 50% loss even fewer.  

If you have a lot of guys and growing boys in the mix, there are going to be seconds wanted.  I tend to go high with the seconds ratio and figure 50% seconds.  Some people won't want the bun, and a single serving is a little bigger say - 1/3#.  So that is also another reason for the 50% seconds ratio.  You might have leftovers - ok take it home or let others take it home or sell it to defray expenses.

So with a 50% seconds ratio you will be planning for 300 sammies - 200 x 1.5 = 300

300 sammies x 1/4# cooked pork per sammy = 75 pounds of cooked pork

75 pounds of cooked pork with a 40% loss (depends on bone in or bone out)   75 / 0.6 = 125 pounds of raw butt.

With your big rig, this should not be a problem, if you can maintain 225 deg.   If you can maintain the 225, then your butts should be done in about 1 1/2 hours per pound.  Say you have a 8# butt then that butt should take 12 hours.  Is your rig an off-set?  I suspect, if it is a pig cooker more often than not it is a direct heat rig.  That can be trickier in that there will probably be more hot spots and harder to keep 225.  Remember, it is 225 deg at the meat.  Suggest fire on one end and the butts on the other end.  Even with that set up, I would suggest rotating the butts around - the one closest to the fire will of course be cooking in hotter temps.  If the feed is at noon, then I'd plan on finishing in the relatively early morning and throwing all the butts, as they get done, (I check each one with an instant read thermometer) into a cooler until ready to pull and serve.  You'll need to anticipate some tougher butts that will take longer - that's the main reason of planning an early finish.  

Unless you are really sold on the brining, I wouldn't go to the trouble.  Not necessary and to me it changes the texture and takes time and space.  As far as rub.  Doing butt, especially that much, I'd probably only go with salt and pepper and maybe some cayenne.  IMO, with the bark to meat ratio of a butt, rubs are not a big part of the taste.   Sauce will give you more of a flavor impact.  But if you want to do rub anyways - check you local Sam's  - they generally nave the Emerils Essence.  Use that as a base for your rub - just add things you like such as sugar, garlic, onion powder, etc.....  Restaurant Supply stores will also carry bulk containers of spices.  Did some ribs Memorial Day and used the Bulk McCormicks BBQ Spice and the MrsDash Salt Free seasoning both sprinkled on.  Turned out pretty good - and not all that costly.

Beans are good for sammy feeds.  Usually start with baked beans as base, add either leftover chopped bbq or precooked crumbled bacon found in bags at Sams (or both like last night).  Then add a can or two of "no bean" chili and a can or two of chopped green chilies.  I'll also add some mustard (CYM or spicy brown) to give it that taste of yum - now what is that taste in the background.  If I have time to cook the beans for a while, I'll also add some dehydrated diced onions.  That might thicken them up as the onions hydrate - if that happens - add some beer.  

« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 06:59:05 am by Caneyscud »
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2010, 06:25:25 am »
I knew there was something wrong with my math. I did it before coffee.  ::)
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Offline KyNola

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2010, 06:42:26 am »
I'm with caney on the brining issue.  I wouldn't bother to do that.  I've smoked my fair share of butts and have never thought it necessary to brine beforehand.  You could might be able to get by with 100 pounds of raw weight.  That's a lot of pork to pull by hand.  You should invest in the Ro-Man Pork Puller.  This thing is for real!  One of the best accessories I have purchased. www.porkpuller.com  He's a nice guy too.  Went the extra mile to get mine to me by the weekend I was smoking 60 pounds of butts.  A real time and burnt finger saver.
  

Offline classicrockgriller

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2010, 07:50:38 am »
We would LOVE to see some pictures of this feast!

Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Feeding a large group
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2010, 07:53:50 am »
I have brined butts, and I think they are a little moister, but I wouldn't for this size cook.
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