Event cooking/mass catering

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by will raymond, May 19, 2015.

  1. Hello all,

    We have a few large events coming up and I had a few questions about how others go about catering for events.

    My plan for multi day events at present was to arrive on day 1 with what we hope to sell already cooked and chilled and then using the smoker to slowly reheat and hold the food (pork belly and brisket) for service. The problem I see with this is that whilst we are serving food on day 1 we also need to cook the food needed for day 2 and whilst my smoker is big, it isn't THAT big! Do we need to look at another way of reheating, ie a gas or charcoal holding oven?

    Have left it slightly late in the day to consider these issues as our first event is less than a month away but hope you guys can pass on some wisdom!

    Thanks in advance
  2. Hello Will.  Glad to have you posting again.  We would be interested in what sort of stuff you are doing.

    I would say your only option is 2 different units as warming and smoking on the same unit sounds like a PITA BUT, PM Smoking Monkey.  This is his thing.  He does hog roasts and caters events.  Steve is a great guy and will be happy to help.  Keep Smokin!


  3. Cheers for the reply Danny,

    We have a couple of events coming up where we are expecting 500-600 people per day over a weekend. Another event is a beer festival from a Tuesday evening session then all day Wednesday through til Saturday with 5 other food stalls, expecting maybe 800-1500 people on site at any one time.

    Used to catering for a pub environment and my business partner is a chef in a fairly large country hotel but neither of us are used to the uncertainty on these events!
  4. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Will, I will give it some thought during the day and get back to you.

    Smokin Monkey
  5. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Will, been giving this some thought.

    As you are uncertain of exact numbers for each day it's tricky, also the cooking area you have available.

    One more factor, is it at your place or a different location?

    The only way is to "cheat" pre cook ALL the food. Unless you can get a LPG Oven on site from a Cater Hire Company, the cook meats in that then finish on Smoker or start on smoker to get taste then in to the oven.

    The way I do its for large events is Sous Vide the meats before hand then simply warm back up. That way meats is cooked correctly and not dried out, then reheat bellies skin down to crisp if that's the finish you are looking for.

    Hope this helps

    Smokin Monkey
  6. Cheers Smokin Monkey,

    The uncertainty is unfortunately going to be the biggest pain I think. I think we definitely need to invest in vacuum packer and a lot of bags! I was thinking of commissioning an oven on the top of the firebox of the smoker a la this: http://www.bbqmates.co.uk/images/IMG_1487.JPG  but don't even know if that would be big enough or able to be low enough in temperature. Anyone have any experiences of using an oven like that?

    Very much looking forward to getting cracking, and running out is not going to be as bad as having too much I guess
  7. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Will, have you got any Pics of your set, might give us an idea what you've got and how to improve it.

    Not sure if you have a Costco near by, but they have what looked like a good Vacum Sealer for around £100.

    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  8. Our website has a whole load of pictures on here: http://meatthebruce.com/pictures/

    We have the 4 oil drum set up as the BBQ for Jerk Chicken Escalopes and speed reheating things, the Kamado Joe is mainly for development work and won't be out with us on the road I don't think and I think we'll be taking a gas BBQ with us just in case.
  9. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good looking smoker, I can remember seeing the pictures a while back.

    A heating cabinet would certainly be of use. It is not necessary to make it permanent, just place on top for now if time is against you.

    Jerky Barrels look good.

    I have a Small Kamado, not really good for travelling, but I will be taking mine to the Smoking Weekend.


    Also Have one of those "Gas Cylinder Pigs"

  10. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Will

    The pulled pork can all be cooked in advance, pulled into foil trays and then foil the top and chilled. If you can lightly vac pack them then too that is even better. Don't pack them in too large a size trays as this will significantly extend the time needed to reheat on the day.

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