Pulled pork for 200?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by rhinoguy, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    My neighborhood is having a block party and my wife volunteered me to smoke some pork.  Can you fellas let me know if im on the right track or not?  This will be the first time I have cooked for more than 50.

    I have to cook enough pork for around 200 people and I plan on serving pork sandwiches.  Others are bringing sides, but I think I am the only on bringing meat. 

    I currently smoke on either my egg or a mes 30, but for this large of a crowd im thinking I need to add a mes40 to the arsenal (been wanting one anyway).  During my research it seems as though I will need to start out with around 100lb of uncooked pork.  Can I cook that much meat in (1) mes30 & (1) mes40?  Id rather not have to use the egg if possible. 

    The party is on a Saturday at 11:00 and I will be off on the Friday before.  Do you guys think its a good idea to try to smoke everything Thursday night?  That way I can wake up Friday morning and pull the pork, bag it, and refrigerate.  Then on Saturday I can reheat everything in the oven?

    Thanks in advance for any advice offered.

  2. dutch

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

    RG- alot depends on the make up of the neighborhood.  Is it mostly older adults, or young families with small kid or families with teenagers.

    How many servings are looking to get from a butt? If you are looking to serve 4 oz sandwiches, according to my cartering chart you will need about 76 lbs of bone-in pork butt.  If you are looking to serve seconds, you'll need to up that. With a 100 lbs of butt, you should be able to feed 260 guests. So if you are looking for left-overs, a 100 lbs looks to be the way to go.

    For that much meat, I would smoke some the weekend before, shred it, bag it and freeze it.  The day before the party, move everything to the fridge to thaw and on Saturday, dump the meat into some aluminum foil pans, add a bit of beef stock to the pork and cover the pans with foil.  Heat at 350° and bring the meat temps up to 160°.  Give the meat a shot of SoFlaQuer's Finishing sauce and serve. The butts you smoke on Friday, you can shred and place in foil pans and reheat for Saturday.  No point in beating yourself by cooking on Saturday-that way you can enjoy the block party.

    Take lots of pictures and share.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  3. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic


    Do as much as possible in advance and reheat it. I actually think reheated PP can taste better since the flavors, especially the smoke, has a chance to spread and really come out. If you wanted to have 1 or 2 butts you did overnight on Friday to show up with Saturday and pull for presentation purposes right there in front of everyone that would be fine, but bust as much out as possible in advance. You could even fill your 30 up, smoke, fill again, smoke, etc. until you have the amount of meat you are looking for if you wanted to save the $$ on a new smoker. Since you are doing it in advance that should work fine.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG] x2!!! Even for groups as small as 20 - 30 I'll do as much in advance as possible, I like to enjoy the party too!!
  5. bruno994

    bruno994 Master of the Pit

    Now that's some great advice, the only thing I would suggest differently would be when you go to freeze the meat, leave it in larger chunks instead of shredding, to me pork seems to hold up better in larger pieces, but shredding would free up more time for the party.  Make sure and strain the au jus from the pork and pour that in the bag with the meat prior to freezing too. 

    I also second the smoking a couple of butts the night before the party for presentation. Nothing better than seeing the carving or slicing or pulling right before your eyes. 

    To make it even easier on both yourself and your smokers, just smoke them until they hit 160, then in pans and into the oven to finish them off, you could get more done in less time.

    Good luck and if you have time, take a lot of pics!
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  6. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    Thanks for the info! I will do my best to get some pictures!
  7. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    How much bbq sauce do you guys think I should bring?
  8. smoke happens

    smoke happens Smoking Fanatic

    1/4 cup per person x 200 people = 50 cups.
    16 cups to a gallon
    50 / by 16 = 3.125 gallons

    I would say 2 - 3 gallons. Not everybody will have sauce, some will have more than 1/4 cup and some will have less. If you take 3 you "should" be covered for a 1/4 cup BBQ sauce person.
  9. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    You guys are great! 

    Thanks for the help.

  10. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    I had a situation much like this but I was going to be out of town at serving time. 


    They loved it, didn't end up short. I packaged in 2.5lb vacuum bags and they had 4 unopened bags that they sold for $25 a bag..just extra money for the charity.
  11. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    Great info.  That is my same setup.    So you ended up placing the meat directly on the racks?  Did you place them fat side up?

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  12. sound1

    sound1 Smoking Fanatic

    Fat side up...and have done lately in the pans...if you are bagging for later, catching all that liquid gold you can is worth it.... package it with the meat. I Throw the pan in the fridge/freezer for a bit, the fat gets solid, floating on the surface ...pull off the fat, put the juice in the bags with the meat
    Also, it is easy to wrap the pans for the rest before pulling.
  13. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter


    The party is in a couple of weeks.  I have already smoked around half of the meat, pulled it, zip locked it, and frozen it.  Can you guys give me any idea of how long it will take to reheat the meat?  I plan on putting the meat in foil pans and using the oven.  After the meat is reheated I am thinking about putting it all in a cooler so it stays warm and then transferring it to one of those roaster ovens when I get to the party site. 

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  14. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Don't put it directly on the stove top.... espicially in a thin foil pan, with direct heat it will burn on the bottom.

    You are going to need to heat it in an oven, BBQ on low, or the smoker - keep your temps at 250°.... low and slow. Also thaw it before heating it or it will get mushy - for parties usually you can cook pulled pork up to 3 days in advance, vaccum seal, and then just keep it in the fridge rather than the freezer to save on thawing time. Don't forget to add approx. 1/2 C of apple juice per pan when you reheat it and the internal temp of each pan has to get to at least 150° minimum.
  15. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    I dont know why I typed "stove top".  I know not to try that.  lol.

    Thanks for the tips!
  16. michief

    michief Smoke Blower

    I would consider dropping those baggies right into boiling water, I am betting it will be faster and it will keep moist.
  17. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good idea.
  18. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    Thaw them first, or just drop them in frozen?  Can a regular ziplock handle that much heat? 
  19. The wife volunteered you, so use the occasion to get that MES 40 you want.
  20. rhinoguy

    rhinoguy Fire Starter

    Thats what I did.  The pictures i posted above are of my new mes40.  I will probably still use the mes30 a lot.  The 30 seems to heat up faster and its a hell of a lot lighter.

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