Smoking for a wedding...Man am I in trouble!

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by yodelhawk, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. Hi guys... I need a little help... ok a lot of help. One of my partners at work is getting married and asked me to smoke up some Q for the event. My problem is that the reception is going to be held at a national park and I need to cook everything at home and then re-heat on site. Questions that I was hoping you all could help me with:
    1. Portion size (pulled pork) 1/4lbs per serving?
    2. Weight loss 40-50% while smoking?
    3. For 100 guests, how many do you prep for? ( go over, right?)
    4. Ideas for easy sides that cam be re-heated.
    5. Any other advice that you guys have???
    Since this event is so far from home I am really nervous and I don't want to mess this up. Thanks for any help or advice you guys can give.
  2. fired up

    fired up Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I would do at least 60 pounds of raw pork weight. That should give you 30 pounds of finished pork, enough for 120 quarter pound sandwiches. Is the pork going to be the only entree or will there be other things like burgers or hot dogs?

    As far as sides, beans would be an easy hot side. There is always cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni or pasta salad, chips, cookies, brownies, etc.

    Other advice would be to make a list of all of the things you will need to bring. Try to plan out each step in your head. That way you wont forget tongs or gloves or paper towels etc..
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yea you are going to have your work cut out for yourself there. I have no experience in catering or cooking for a group this big but I know there will be someone along very soon that has experience with this.
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Prepare for plenty of cooler/portable fridge space for keeping things well chilled during transport. Allow several hours of reheating time for the PP...crock pots or roaster ovens work great for this as you don't have to worry about using someone else's equipment and will know how well it will work for you.

    You'll do just fine...remember...BREATHE...sounds like a great event coming!

  5. I had thought about beans. Was going to make them in dutch ovens.
    The other problem I can already see is refrigeration for mayo based salads.
  6. Thanks, I have a while to plan this but I need start thinking about it now. Being that we are in a Natl Park I will have very little if any electricity.
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ah, good point...I guess I missed that part [​IMG]

    Propane fired outdoor cookers may be the ticket then...I'm thinking a double-boiler type of set-up would be a good way for reheating...having a high enough capacity for that much food, well, it may take some creativity to come up with a solution for that. If you can put enough smokers/grills on site for reheating with indirect heat is a very good option as well.

    The good part is you have time to plan for it...spur of the moment gigs are tougher...been there, and it can take some of the fun out of it if you begin to get overwhelmed.

    If you need a bit more help on figuring out what you can do with the equipment you have, let us know what you have to work with, and we can figure out your best options...if you have a good game plan that you are comfortable with, and can stick to it, you'll do fine.

    EDIT: a generator and the electric cookers may be a viable long as your generator's muffler has a spark arrester, it should be approved for Parks/Rec Areas.

  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Having done our daughter's wedding myself I know your pilite that you are dealing with. I would do and figure on just the amounts that Brad (firedup) and Eric (forluvofsmoke) said they know what they are doing. Now as far as re-heating your food I would just use a turkey frier set up on site and get a big pasta pot or and big pot and a metal strainer and use it to re-heat your meat. It wwill get it all hot very fast and it won't dry out things either. So Good Luck and congrats to your Partner at work.
  9. eaglewing

    eaglewing Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I was gona say 8 - 8lb BUTTS will do about 125 people

    This is what I ordered from a buddie of mine for my niece's Grad party that I didn't have time to smoke for...

    His standard was exactly that, 64lbs for about 125 fair size sandwiches
  10. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good advice so far......the best is:
    if you can plan your steps and the equipment needed you will be just fine. also intead of buying equipment around here we have rental companies.
  11. I have cooked for 100+ on several occasions and with proper time to plan and prepare you will have a blast. I will try and think of some tips for you in no particular order.
    1. Have a helper or two. This is essential as you can't do it all. My brother in law is my sous-chef and he has proven very valuable.
    2.Remember a good sized marine type cooler is just as effective at keeping meats warm as it is at keeping things cold.Depending upon how far the drive is this may be a perfect opportunity to "rest" your meat,just take it out of the smoker ,wrap it up in foil and then wrap in an old towel or two,place the wrapped meats in a cooler no bigger than necessary and allow to rest untill you serve. I find that a cooler full of hot meat will stay that way for at least an hour or two.This would allow you to be working on everything else.
    3.Simple sides such as beans and potato salad can be found at all the wally world,Sams,Costco etc. This is very easy and effective. If you want to you can transfer store bought potato salad to your own serving bowl no one will know the difference. I will post a few more later on.......
  12. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here is a side recipe I use regularly for large events. We have several others if you need them let me know - we have catered 5 rehersal dinners in our back yard so we understand your dilema - get some help for sure - I always use someone to serve the buffet line otherwise you will run out of food half way thru the event and find 50 % of the food in the trash because everyone always takes too much --

    [​IMG]Potato Salad for meat lovers
    Here is one I have used for years for parties and even in some small catering events - I always have folks asking me for the recipe

    Gary’s Potato Salad

    Serves 10
    Go the local deli and have them cut you one slice each of these meats. Each slice should be about the thickness of your little finger.

    Soprasetta - these slices will be about 3” round
    Hard Salami - you want the larger one about 3” round
    Ham – this is going to be about a 3 X 4 “ hunk - cut this in half and save for another use

    Cut these into small chunks then throw them into a food processer and fine chop into little pieces and set aside for assembly

    10 small potatoes
    1/2 - 3/4 medium onion chopped ( depends on your taste)
    Thawed frozen peas - green beans - white corn 2 cups combined - more corn and peas than green beans
    Mayo to taste -
    Garlic Powder to taste
    Salt to taste
    Pepper to taste

    Boil the potatoes and save the water
    Cool the potatoes and the water until well chilled
    Peel and cube the potatoes

    Assemble in layers

    Add in the potatoes, onion, meat, veggies, mayo (large spoonful per layer), spices in layers and mix with your hands when done- add a little of the water for moisture - the potatoes are going to absorb a lot of the mayo and water - I start with 1/4 cup water before I add any additional mayo

    Chill and taste after an hour or so and adjust mayo and seasonings. Chill for 3-4 hours
  13. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    good advice!
  14. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What I would do is recon the Park and then work backwards in my planning. How do I serve, heat, get it there etc. That will help you aviod the opps did not think of the.
  15. Thanks to all who gave me some advise and moral support! All went great and there was enough chow to go around over. The biggest compliment I recieved was from a 5 year old boy who came back for thirds. He actually came up and shook my hand and told me that that was the best pulled pork he had in his entire life. When I told him that I knew what I was going to get him for his birthday. he was all excited and kept bugging his mom about the great present he was going to get. I think we made a BBQ maniac out of him. Thanks again for all the help.

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