Wow. What a weekend. I have a greater appreciation and respect for the guys and gals that cater. We had 140+ at our event, most of which were adults. We did just over 100lbs of pulled pork, minus about 36% shrinkage, so 64lbs of finished product. We did 27 chickens, that averaged about 3lbs per bird. I also did some beans. I never did weigh the finished product, but I used 8lbs of dried beans to start. The finished product filled an 18quart electric turkey roaster.
I started the weekend before and smoked about half of the pork, vac packed it with the drippings and froze it. I did the remaining butts starting on Thursday afternoon. By the time they were done and things were cleaned up it was nearly 2am. Got up at 6:30 on Friday to start the last batch of butts and get the chickens in the brine. Once the butts were done, the chickens went in. Again, it was a late night somewhere around 1am. Slept in the on Saturday, got up at 7:30 and kept on going with the chickens and started the process of getting all the other meats heated and back up to temperature. For the butts I froze in the vac bags, I tried boiling them in water to get them reheated. Worked well but, I made a mistake when I packed them and made the packs close to 7lbs. After those big packs had boiled for a while and it was time to remove them from the water the seals on the bags would not hold that much weight as I tried to lift the bags from the pot. Almost had a disaster as I noticed that clear boiling water was now becoming cloudy and I realized what was going on. I managed to get the bags from the water without losing any meat. Next time I would make the packs smaller, or use the strainer basket to lift out the bags. We put all the meat into electric turkey roasters to reheat and keep warm while serving. I sealed the roaster tops with plastic wrap to keep the moisture in, and only removed the plastic wrap when we started serving. This worked well, as my fear was the chicken would be dry. Made some KC BBQ sauce, Carolina mustard and some really hot vinegar/chili flake sauce.
We had too much food. We had half of the pulled pork left and about 1/3 of the chicken. The chickens were quartered and most people only wanted half of the quarter. We also served coleslaw, Caesar salad, baked potato and the beans as sides.
As for the smokers, the MEC 30 really impressed me. I have had it for a few years now and have really liked it, I was just worried about not having enough space and time to cook all that food. Like I mentioned above, I borrowed a friends Cuisinart smoker figuring I could double my production. But, after it pressurized on me and threw the burning chips all over my shop I stopped using it. It now has a date with some .45ACP rounds if I can convince the owner. So, I was back to using 1 smoker and hence the really late nights/early mornings.
All in all, great weekend. People really enjoyed the food, lots of compliments. We divided up the remaining food among the volunteers and nobody left unhappy. I wish I had more pictures, but when you are smoking, setting, serving and cleaning up - taking pictures was not on the priority list.
Anyway, a big thank you to the people here who contributed in this thread and in others that I used to glean some valuable information.