Holding Temps for Pulled Pork

Discussion in 'Pork' started by swampmouse, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. swampmouse

    swampmouse Fire Starter

    Hi Guys.

    I am a Scoutmaster for our local Boy Scout troop and we are going to do a BBQ fundraiser at the end of May (It was a great excuse for a new smoker!). 

    Since our event will be a take out type deal, my plan is to have people who have bought tickets pick up their BBQ between 4:30 and 7. I will smoke the meat in my 2 smokers here at my house, pull the meat around 3 for foiling and into the cooler. We will pull the butts at the church and start to plate some, and keep the rest in aluminum pans until our stack of plates starts to run low, and then we will plate some more.

    Since we don't want to kill anyone, do we need to put the pulled meat in the pans back in the smoker to keep hot, or is it ok to sit it out? (I am thinking this needs to be in the heat to keep it safe).

    So the real question is, what temperatrure do i need to keep the smoker at to be safe.....OR can I keep half the butts in the cooler unpulled for a couple hours until i need to pull more??

    Any advice is appreciated!

  2. swampmouse

    swampmouse Fire Starter

    Hey...since i got you here....how much is an appropriate amount to charge for a BBQ plate for a fundraiser? It will have 5oz. of pulled pork, slaw, chips, and bread.

    Bear in mind this is for a fundraiser. 

    My wife and a couple others say $10 but I was thinking slightly higher...maybe $11.

    Opinions welcome as you guys are chiming in on the temperature question.


  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    A bunch of Hot Butts, sitting in a Cooler will keep each other hot a long time, 5 to 10 hours, because of the mass. So the completed meat will be fine until you pull it. It is unclear if you are making stacks of dinners in To-go foam clam-shells to be simply handed out or people are lining up at the serving table and will be handed made to order plated meals. It is not uncommon for fund raisers to assemble To-go Boxes, hold them in Coolers and hand them out as needed. Any Boxed Meals must be Tossed after 4 hours off heat. Serving from Pan To Plate, you can keep the meat hot in the smoker at 150°F. The selling price? What can your area afford? Median income families, 3X the average cost for meat, sides and serving stuff is reasonable. If the area is more wealthy, 4-5X your cost would be fine. Good luck and YOU are responsible to go above and beyound to make sure Start to Finish, the meat is handled, smoked and served properly. The first step in the Cooking Merit Badge is Food Safety. Good time to Educate the kids on safety issues and handling. Washed and Gloved hands on the little helpers is a must. Have fun...JJ 

    Rough Estimate of cost. Buying for Bulk store will save money.

    $1.33 per portion Pork (cost $4.00 per Lb Pulled Pork)

    $0.80 per portion Coleslaw ($4 per pound, 3oz portions)

    $0.50 Per for Chip

    $0.25 2 slices Bread

    $0.45 Plate, fork, napkins

    Cost per plate $3.33. Sell Price $10.00 to 12.00 or more
    pipelinegypsy likes this.
  4. swampmouse

    swampmouse Fire Starter

    Thanks so much ChefJimmyJ!!

    Yes, you got it on the first one: we are serving up meals in clam-shell containers in a "drive through" style pick up line. I think we will pull a few butts at a time, and keep them in pans in the smoker, and make the clam shells as needed. We will keep the other butts wrapped in the cooler until ready to be pulled.

    Very good info!!!

    And as you pointed out, this is a great checklist for Cooking MB (Which has been made almost too hard now IMHO with the new requirements). And as anyone who has worked with Boy Scouts know...they are dirty little vermin! Well, maybe not vermin, but very dirty YES!

    Gloves will be in full force:)!!

    Thanks again.

  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I was in Scouting 8 to 18. Cooking was my 1st Merit Badge and yes it is tougher adding the Nutrition BS, took the fun out of it. Watch Dirty Fingers grabbing samples...[​IMG]...JJ
  6. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As Jimmy said, if you are doing them up per order, you can hold the pulled pork at 150'ish in a warmer for as long as you want.  Have some apple juice on hand, or better yet, some finishing sauce to keep the pork moist.
  7. swampmouse

    swampmouse Fire Starter

    I am actually getting a little nervous now. We will start selling tickets in a few days, and I am afraid we are going to sell more than I can stuff into 2 smokers. I. Have some people n standby with Green eggs, but I Really don't want to Lose control over the whole process...never know what someone else considers "right".

    We will see.

    Thanks for the info guys!
  8. You could always "cheat" a little. I've done this when forced to.

    Cook the butts in your smoker for about 6 hours to get your bark. Immediately pan and foil them and put into a 225* oven until you reach your 205* IT. Then remove from oven, foil and place in cooler to rest/hold. While some are in the oven, start more on the smoker. You can double your output with only a one-half increase in your time commitment.

    If you're you're a purist...nevermind.

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