Hi all - for years our church has done a Christmastime progressive dinner. This summer we're trying a progressive BBQ! So I've gotten myself voluntarily roped into sorting out the meat portion. My idea is to smoke up a mess of pulled pork and distribute in heavy foil reheat trays to the homes that will be hosting the entree stop, exactly how many TBD.
My questions have to do with making it for a crowd and making them ahead of time. I planned to buy the Costco butt double-packs which are 2 butts typically around 9 lbs per butt. I've made several single large butts with great success so I'm OK on the general concepts of pulled pork. (My REAL challenge will be keeping the heat in check with SoFlaQuer's amazing finishing sauce! I tend to add LOTS of red pepper flakes. )
- How much pre-cook meat weight should I count on per person? I've never weighed my butts post-smoke so I'm not sure how much weight they lose over the smoke time.
- On my WSM 22" how much meat can I fit per smoke? If we have a large enough group, I have no problem doing it over 2 days if necessary. The dinner will be on a Saturday so planned to smoke that Thursday and/or Friday before.
- Since I've got multiple butts to do, how will that affect my smoker's temp and therefore total smoke time? Will I be better off cutting the butts in half -- both for shorter smoke time and fitting them better -- or just leave as is?
- Do I want my smoker to run any hotter than normal (~225F) to compensate for all that extra meat? Should I add more wood than usual?
- After the smoke, should I first pull/finish sauce them and THEN stow them in the fridge? Or put them whole in the fridge and THEN pull/sauce them the day of the dinner?
- What's the reheat time/temp for a sealed foil banquet tray with, say, 7-8 lbs of cold pulled pork? I was thinking 2 hours at 350F?
I can't think of anything else pertinent, did I miss something? Any other words of wisdom/warning I should heed? Food safety is my number one concern as I don't want to sicken half our church!!
Thanks in advance, experts!! Appreciate the help.