Keeping Large Quanitity of Meat Warm

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by taraesque, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. taraesque

    taraesque Newbie


    I am organizing a corporate BBQ for 340 people.  We have already ordered 114 lbs of meat (beef, pork, and chicken) and beans from a BBQ caterer.  To keep things warm, they have recommended over 10 coolers for transportation.   We are trying to figure out the logistics of transporting that much meat/beans. 

    I know the food needs to stay at over 140 degrees.  We are picking up the meat at 9:45 AM and will begin serving at 11:00 AM using chaffing dishes/sterno. 

    Would insulated shopping bags (large ones from Costco or Sam's Club) keep the food hot, and more importantly, safe? They would be space savers, but I don't want to be the person that gives their organization food poisoning....

    Thanks in advance!
  2. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Check your local rental shop and ask if the have any Cambro type food keepers you can rent. These are better than coolers and if you have the food in restaurant pans they will slide right in the Cambro. I have 2 of them I got for a great deal off of Craigslist. I use them to transport food and to keep food warm when some ribs get done before others and need to be held until serving time. I smoked 4 big pork butts on Saturday. When they were done I pan them foil the top and put in the food keeper overnight. Still hot to the touch when I took them out to pull them on Sunday.

    Also ask the rental store if the have a propane fired steam table. Much better than chaffing pans and strno. I tried the chaffing pans and sterno one time and knew right away I didn't want to do that again. Constant attention needed to be payed to the them to make sure the wind didn't blow out the sterno or they just didn't run out of fuel. Didn't think they were keeping the food as warm as I wanted either.

    I went out and purchased a 3 bay propane stream table and never looked back!
  3. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    I use a igloo cooler. 2 of the smaller pans (with foil lids) fit end to end. I have a piece of 1/4" plywood cut to the length and width of the inside of the cooler. I place the wood on top, then 2 more pans, then another piece of wood, then 2 more pans, etc. In all, I can carry 8 pans (about 80lbs) in one cooler without movement. 
  4. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The cooler bags will work fine. And given that you aren't holding for that long you should be fine. I use big coolers and they work great.


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