Is my estimate accurate?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kawboy, May 29, 2016.

  1. I'm smoking pork shoulders for my Son's wedding. We are expecting roughly 150 guests. I'm figuring about 65 pounds uncooked. Does that sound correct? I did a practice run last night to see how long it will stay hot in a cooler, in about two hours it only dropped about eight degrees. I figure I can smoke them the evening before into the next day and hold them until the reception without reheating. Does this sound doable?
  2. Also, how much Mac and Cheese will we need?
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If the only meat is Pulled Pork and you are making sandwiches then you need to figure 6 oz per person and 1 1/2 rolls each as some will eat 2. If Plated you will need a min of 8oz per person and 10 oz if big eaters or lots of men and drinking. I would figure 4 oz cooked mac (2oz Raw Elbows)  and cheese per, so 8 portions per pound of macaroni. Below is the math for the meat...JJ

    150 people X 6oz portions = 900oz PP / 16oz per lb = 56 Lbs PP / .5 %yield = 112 Pounds Raw Pork Butt needed. There is 10% built in for the unexpected guests and return trips to the buffet...Change the number in RED for the portion size...

    With the 65 pounds Raw Butts you figured, each person will get ONE 3.5 ounce sandwich. OK, if you got other meat and lots of sides...BUT...You better be scooping the sandwiches yourself, cause Uncle Lou will make TWO sandwiches and then add a scoop of meat on the side and the last table or so through the line will go hungry and talk about how cheap you went...JJ
  4. Looks like I was off by 50%! Thanks for the info. It will be a buffet type dinner with Mac and cheese, and coleslaw. Pork will be the only meat, unless we can talk the bride into hotdogs for the kids. I guess I better get looking into renting or borrowing a bigger smoker. I've got two ECBs and a cabinet style, I don't think that much will fit! I appreciate the guidance.
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Smoke your pork in batches over several days in advance. Pull into chaffing pans and refer or freeze depending on the time frame. Then reheat and serve. You won't want to be smoking the meat the day of the meal.
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  6. I've been going back and forth with that. I'm reheating a practice shoulder today for some relatives to see if the flavor and texture is still good after two days in the fridge. I'm just always worried about it getting overcooked and dried out in the roasters while reheating. I did steal a bit from this last one before putting it in the fridge, it was probably my best one yet! Hopefully it holds up.
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Personally I feel that pulled pork is better a day or two later. It allows the meat and flavors to mellow and meld together. Especially is you use a finishing sauce. I never have had an issue with the meat drying out when reheating. In a pan covered with foil warm in a 200-220 degree oven.

    If you can catch the drippings during the smoke you can add those back into the meat after its pulled. Or if you plan on adding a finishing sauce add it after pulling the meat. Both methods will add more flavor.

    There's no way that I would try and do the cook the same day as the wedding or reception. There's already going to be tons of stuff going on and more than likely you'll miss out on festivities or your meal will not be on time. Even when I do cook outs for 15-25 people I do as much prep and cooking ahead of time. Its less stressful and allows me to enjoy the event too.
  8. Thanks, how long does it take to reheat this much in roasters? As long as I'm at it, how many pounds of chips?
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I totally agree with Case! Cook ahead. Don't worry about the meat drying out. Covered pans hold moisture and a Finishing Sauce adds flavor and additional moisture to what's there. Below are two popular Finishing Sauces of mine...JJ

    Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    Foiling Juice

    For each Rack of Ribs Combine:

    1T Pork Rub, yours

    1/2 Stick Butter

    1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey

    1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice

    1T Molasses

    Optional: 2T Apple Cider Vinegar. Add 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more of a KC Glaze.

    Simmer until a syrupy consistency.

    Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and

    run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return

    the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining

    in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.

    For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork:  Make a Double batch, skip the Butter.

    If you plan to Foil the meat, add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.

    Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.

    At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.

    Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten, the meat should be shiny and juicy but not swimming in sauce. Serve while hot...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.

    If you choose to Not Foil or Pan the Butt. Add the Finishing Sauce to the pulled meat before serving. Add the hot Finishing Sauce a little at a time until the Pork is moistened, again the meat should be shiny but not swimming in sauce.

    When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.

    Enough for 15 to 20 pounds of Pulled pork.

    I was AMAZED...No additional sauce needed. ENJOY...JJ

    Tangy Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce

    This is more of an Eastern North Carolina style Finishing Sauce...

    2 C Apple Cider Vinegar

    2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

    1/4C Brown Sugar

    1T Smoked Paprika

    2 tsp Granulated Garlic

    2 tsp Granulated Onion

    2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

    1 tsp Celery Salt

    1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flake. Add more if you like Heat.

    1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice

    Combine all and whisk well. This is a thin sauce, bring just to a simmer and remove from heat. Adjust sweetness by adding Brn Sugar or additional Vinegar as desired...Makes about 2 Cups.

    For a Lexington Style Dip  add, 1/2C Ketchup and 1-3tsp Red Pepper Flakes...JJ

    Enough for 2 roasting pans of meat, about 20-30 pounds Pulled Pork
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  10. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I totally agree. I find the pulled pork tastes better after a day or so and re-warmed. When re-warming though, providing you have it tightly foiled you can use a higher temperature. I usually warm mine up at between 300-320 F. You know when you cook your shoulder at 230 F you see how long it takes for it to reach the 165 F mark - several hours. Ok, you will be warming it up in smaller batches than the original shoulder but at 200-220 F it will still take a very long time. 
    This is so important and there should be no "if" about it! The dripping contain so much of the flavour that if you do not retain them and add it back later you are losing a substantial part of the flavour that you are trying to produce. 
    Last edited: May 30, 2016
  11. Well, finished my test. Stayed nice and moist. I may have over smoked it a bit, it was a touch soft, but good. Now I just have work out doing twelve shoulders. Looking to rent or buy a bigger smoker for the event.
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You've been given some good advice for smoking for a crowd. Smoking one butt, is different than loading an unfamiliar smoker with a ton of cold meat.

    Hope everything turns out for ya.

    When ya get that new smoker, load it up with 12 butts and see how things go. It's not going to be the same as cooking one.
  13. bfilipowski

    bfilipowski Fire Starter

    It sounds like your son gave you a reason to add to the smoker fleet. I once used a Jack and Jill baby sitter as an excuse to get a bigger one.
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    [​IMG]  I want to be a fly on the wall when his Wife hears, " Honey, pick up 96 pounds of Pork Butts at the store. A guy on SMF said I have to run a Test on my new smoker to see how long it takes..." [​IMG]   " Oh yeah, and Sears is delivering a new Freezer. I figured we need some place to store my test meat 'till we can eat it. " [​IMG]....JJ
  15. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Or just say with confidence... "What that old freezer... Its been there for ages... I am surprised you haven't noticed it before... We are just looking after it for a friend..."

    It sometimes works for me but not always [​IMG]
  16. we have a radio show here called Garage Logic. They have theory called the "48 hour rule". If you can keep something in the garage for over 48 hours, you can just say " this old thing, I've had this for ever.
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  17. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Keep in mind roasting pans draw upward of 15 amps each. They pretty much need to be on a circuit by themselves. This can be a problem if you need to run multiple roasting pans. Chafing pans with the gel fuel can be a pain always have to keep checking to make sure your fuel didn't go out. I solved the problem by buying a propane fired portable 3 bay steam table. Had to bite the bullet on the costs but it solved a major problem.

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