Mid week BBQ

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by wade, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tomorrow I am feeding 30 x 11/12 year old kids at lunchtime as it is their last day at my wife's Primary School and then 25 staff in the evening as it is their last full day before the summer holidays. Last night and today I have been getting ready...

    A big tub of Cookshack Rib Rub was supplied with my new FEC-120 and so I am trying it out on to see what it is like. I have talked before to competition teams that have used this so it cannot be too bad (?)

    Rib rub in every crevice of skin-off 7 Kg (15.5 Pound) pork shoulder and then with it vac packed for marinating in the fridge overnight.

    As the FEC-120 is currently out of action it is smoking nicely with Hickory in my Davy Crockett

    Tonight the ribs had the membrane removed and the rub applied. Half had the CookShack rub and half had my own.

    These were then vac packed and put in the fridge overnight. They will go into a couple of Weber 22" kettles at around 5am tomorrow morning.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  2. Hello.  Looking good as usual my friend.  Good luck.  Hope the weather holds.  Keep Smokin!

  3. gavlar

    gavlar Fire Starter

    Really nice Wade

    quick quesion, how long can you keep the meat in the vac bags after you have applied the rub.

    Hope it all goes well mate.

  4. smokin monkey

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

    Looking Good To Go Wade!
  5. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Looking Good My Friend Looking Good.  I can't wait to see the during and the end phase of the cook.
  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It still needs to be treated as fresh meat at this point and so they are usually fine for several days in the fridge. I often get some to this stage and then freeze them - that way you can have them available at short notice at any time.
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The day was quite hectic and so I was relying on someone else to take the photos. Needless to say I had hundreds of photos of their friends and colleagues and almost none on the food itself. Anyway, here is what I have from the day...

    Pork pulling is never a pretty sight but here is the shoulder as it is being pulled and prior to it being placed in the smaller 10" foil trays that I use for the events

    The pulled pork and ribs in the chaffing dishes. Question: "Why didn't you take the lids off for the photo?"... Reply: "Oh yes, I forget". You cannot get the staff these days. You can just about see some of the smoked salmon fillets and the vegetarian mushrooms. Yes, before anyone say it - I don't know any carnivorous mushrooms either!

    On the mid right you can just about see the Davy Crockett which was used as the baking station for the day. This provided a continuous supply of American biscuits and corn bread.

    The cooking corner and the back of my "sous Chef", Rene. You can just about make out the Gas BBQ that we used to reheat the pork and ribs. Alongside it is a half oil drum charcoal grill and a 67 cm Weber that was used as my primary smoker oven for food cooked on the day.

    I was up till 1 am the night before getting the pork shoulder smoked and then up again at 4:30 am to get the ribs on. Out catering times were 12:30 - 2:00 for burgers and sausages for the kids, and then 4:00-6:00 for pulled pork, ribs, salmon and savory mushrooms for the staff.

    We got home around 7:00 pm and were cleared up by about 8:30 pm - at which point I had a nice long hot shower and collapsed in to bed. 

    It was quite a productive event as during the afternoon I had three more inquiries to cater for future events. The next big event (excluding the SMF UK meet next week) is on August 22nd where I will be catering for 350+ people.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
  8. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Wow 350! I was buggered with 20 so very good luck!!

    Just a quick one Wade, best place for buying the vac bags and the best sizes? I have the sealer but just a few bags that came with it

  9. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can you let me know the make/model of your vac packer as side-seal units and chamber units need a different type of bag.
  10. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Wade

    Its an- Eiffel Freshpack Pro
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hi Brian

    That is the first model I ever bought. It was a great little vac packer and gave me several years of very reliable service.

    For this type of machine you will need the embossed pouches as it is a side suction packer. These are readily available from a number of sources on the net and if you shop around you can get some good deals. When buying though make sure that they are food grade. Many of the really cheap ones on e-bay or Amazon are not.

    You really need to get a selection of sizes as you will be packing a lot of different things. This is best achieved by buying the "bags" on a roll as a tube and cutting and sealing them to the desired length as required. If you buy two different width rolls you will be able to create an infinite number of bag sizes. Don't forget though that the to Eiffel Freshpack Pro can handle a maximum width of bag of 11" (28cm) so don't buy rolls or bags that are wider than this. (This may sound obvious but learn from the mistake I made when buying my first stock of bags!)

    I mostly used to buy mine from Lava Vacuum Packaging http://www.lava-vacuum-packing.com. At the time they were among the cheapest and the quality of the bags/rolls were good. Usually 90 micron bags will be fine for packing most things but you can also get extra thick 160 micron bags for sharper objects and for a longer packed life..

    You can also get Sous Vide embossed bags now but I did not buy any before I got my chamber vac packer.
  12. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    £265 for an entry level vacuum sealer I couldn't justify that.
  13. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    I paid £68. Eiffel Freshpack Pro Vacuum Food Sealer + FREE Canisters, Bags, & Wine Stoppers from Ebay
  14. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes. These are usually under £100
  15. smokewood

    smokewood Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    I have just watched a couple of video's on youtube and they look impressive.  Should I go for the Eiffel Freshpack Pro Vacuum Food Sealer, or is there another make and model you can recommend,  and what size and spec should I look out for?

    Thanks Chaps
  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I can recommend the Eiffel Pro as I have owned one and was very pleased with it - but I am sure that others are good too. Danny recently looked into several other models and in the end went for the Andrew James Commercial I think (~£170). He should be able to let you know how well that one works.

    The features really depend on what you are wanting to vac pack for and how often.

    The important things are really sealing width, vacuum achieved, the power of the heat sealer and the duty cycle
    • Sealing width - I found that the 30 cm of the Eiffel would do almost all of what I needed - There were a couple of times when I would have liked a larger seal but they were very rare
    • Vacuum - Look for one that will do -0.8 Bar to -0.9 Bar. This is not as high as the in the chamber sealers but is good for a side suction unit
    • Heat sealer - Along with the thickness/quality of the bag this determines how well the bag will remain sealed. The ideal is to have one that provides a twin heat seal but this is uncommon in this type of packer. Instead you should ensure that the unit can also do "seal only" as this will enable you to add a second seal if required. For thicker bags (e.g. sous vide) you will also need to have a more powerful heat seal.
    • Duty cycle - check its usage rating by looking at the product reviews. Some are only designed for casual kitchen use and will overheat if used constantly without being allowed to cool. If you are only planning to seal the odd pack of leftovers this will not matter too much bit if you plan to pack 20 bags of smoked cheese at a time then this is a consideration.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015
  17. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, this also looks like a good spec and is similar to the Eiffel. Buffalo are big in the low cost catering equipment market.
  18. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic

    But a load more expensive[​IMG]
  19. This is true, if the cheaper one works well enough for ya then it's senseless buying the buffalo. But if you can afford it it's worth it :)
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015

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