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Large event- litlle smoker

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I committed to doing up some pulled and some chickens for a church event.  120-130 people.  I have an MES 30 and a friends Cuisinart exploding smoker, see here for info about the exploding part.


After some good advice I got in a previous thread, I started the pork this past weekend.  Called up the butcher last minute and got 5 - 9lb boneless pork butts.  I rubbed them and wrapped them and let them sit overnight.  The next morning I put three of them into my MES and 2 into the Cuisinart.  Everything started off great.  After 6 hours my MES had the 3 butts at 195IT.  The Cuisinart butts were still at 148IT.  I took the 3 out of the MES and transferred the 2 from the Cuisinart to the MES.  A few hours later they were at 195IT as well.  I did some testing and the Cuisinart is running about 25 degrees lower than the digital display.  I'll tahat into consideration for the next batch.


Again, on some great advice from the people here, I vacuum packed the pork and will try the turkey pot with boiling water to reheat next weekend.


I still have another 45lbs of butts to do on Thursday, then 25 chickens in a few batches in both smokers before dinner on Saturday night.


I noticed from other peoples posts a lot of guys put their butts in foil trays to catch the juices.  I should have thought of that.  I caught a lot of them in the water tray but I could have saved my self some cleanup for sure.  Next batch I will try in trays.


Ended up with 29lbs 10oz of finished product.






post #2 of 19

Nice looking brisket. With that many butts, I hope you have some claws!


Looks like you got it right!

post #3 of 19

Nice Smoke, great Color   Good Job



post #4 of 19

KM, Nice smoke and good looking butts!

post #5 of 19

Those look very tender and juicy. Yum!

post #6 of 19

Yup, jobs like these are when you wish you had a bigger cooker, nice job on the bark, looks good, Bonz

post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
The dinner is tomorrow and the pressure is on. Finished off the last of the butts last night (this morning) at about 1:30. Up at 6 to get the birds ready. I got 8 of them in the MES 30 right now. 17 to go! The Cuisinart smoker I borrowed from a friend is going to end being target practice. It popped open the chip door and blew out all the smoldering chips all over the place. Normally wouldn't be a matter for concern except that its so cold outside I'm smoking in my shop. So burning embers scattered over a 6 foot radius was not cool. Also, I vacpacked the butts as others suggested in other threads and was planning on reheating in boiling water. Just curious for those who have done this how long did it take to heat the meat? Mine are in about 7lb packs and I have about 65lbs total.
post #8 of 19

I usually vacuum pack in 2 # bags, it takes about 15 min in boiling water for 1 or 2 # bags, just take it a little longer with the larger bags, Bonz

post #9 of 19

Wow   fast and furious   Post pics of how it goes



post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to post some pics from my phone but not having too much luck.
post #11 of 19
Good luck,hope it all works out! Pork was looking tasty!!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

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.




post #13 of 19

Nice !    Good Job



post #14 of 19

Glad it all came together. That is a whole lot of food to put out using small electric smokers.

post #15 of 19

I love that picture with all the roasters in the back of the car!  That's some serious Groceries!

post #16 of 19

Nice job, I bet everybody appreciated all your hard work. Everything looks great.

post #17 of 19

Very impressive; job well done!



post #18 of 19
Those birds looks spectacular. Nice work!!
post #19 of 19

I am late to this party but I am glad I did not miss this. Great project, KM.





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