Smoking In Advance Of A Party

Discussion in 'Pork' started by vfl57, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. vfl57

    vfl57 Newbie

    Do you guys have any thoughts/advice and how to's on smoking pulled pork, ribs and chicken in advance? I am having a fantasy football draft party at my house on Sunday and I wanted to do a couple boston butts, maybe some ribs and I loved the way the chicken turned out so I want to do that as well. I know the butts will take a really long time to cook and I don't want to pull an all nighter, so I was thinking about getting up early on Saturday morning and smoking them so they would be done and I would only have to heat them up on Sunday. To reheat it the next day would I put it back in the smoker or put it in the oven? How long does it normally take to get them back to being hot? Also do I sauce them when they are done on Sat or just wait until Sunday? Same questions about ribs and chicken. Or do you guys think I should just season and brine the chicken on Saturday and then smoke them on Sunday since they only take a few hours of cooking time? I'm not sure how the chicken would be reheated. Thanks again for everyones help it really is appreciated.
  2. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    For the pulled pork, I recommend doing it in advance because like you said it's a long smoke and very unpredictable as far as how long it will take. If you have a Vaccuum sealer, let the pulled pork cool, Vaccuum pack in about one pound packages and reheat in warm water. One clever way my friend taught me was to fill a full sized foil pan with water, slap it on your gas grill if you have one and turn the heat on to about medium. Plop the Vaccuum bags into the water and pull them when you can see them bubbling inside in their own juices. If Vaccuum sealing is not an option, you could also put it in a pan, mix in some BBQ sauce thinned with a little Apple juice and put it in an oven( anywhere from
    250/350 covered until it's warmed through.

    Another option that I find works great for parties is to premake sliders and reheat them.
    Here's a link on how I do it. It's the least stressful way to do it because all the work is done. Also avoids waste because eveything is portioned out.

    Some also use a slow cooker which I have not tried but seems pretty easy.

    For the ribs, my best advice would be to smoke them to a little bit less tender than you'd like and then finish them on the grill the day of the party to set the bark and/or sauce. This is also a life saver because smoking times are always unpredictable and from heating up your grill to finishing the ribs maybe take 20-30 minutes on the day of rather than stressing by the smoker that they won't get done in time.

    For chicken I will let someone with more experience way in. I have never reheated chicken parts or halves or wholes for a party so I'm not sure. Hope this all helps and make sure to snap some pictures of all that delicious food! Good luck!
  3. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    I would do the pork the day before and reheat using any of the methods that @worktogthr  listed and smoke the chicken and ribs the day of. Both chicken and ribs are short predictable smokes and don't reheat as well as the pulled pork will. 
  4. vfl57

    vfl57 Newbie

    Thanks for the insight! I don't have a vacuum sealer so I'll probably put the pork in an aluminum disposable tin and foil it. The only thing is not everyone is going to want bbq sauce, so I'm not sure if I could just leave the sauce off it and have it on the side or will it be too dry coming out of the oven? Any idea how long in the oven it would take? Also couldn't I put it back in the smoker the next day instead of the oven and heat it in there in a foiled pan? Also how long does the pork have to sit before you can pull it and put it in the fridge the day before? Thanks for all the help!
  5. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you smoke the butts in advance, just rest them for and hour or two, pull them, bag the pulled pork and chill it. I usually just use ziplock bags. For reheating, any of the above methods will work. Main thing is you just don't want to dry it out, so it's my opinion that reheating in the bag in simmering water works best. I'd do 2lb bags and leave them all in the simmering water (try to keep it in the 160°-170° range) only putting one bag out at a time as needed. I wouldn't add anything except maybe a light finishing sauce before service.
    Ribs I'd smoke to 170° internal, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate the day before. Then reheat on the grill the day of. Basically the same as worktogthr said. I'd use a moderate heat on the grill and take them to 180°.
    Chicken I'd do the day of. Sounds like you have a method that works for you so just go with that.

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