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Competition or Catering MUST HAVES!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am very new to the competition arena, actually so new my first will be at the end of the month. Not so much worried about cooking, but more about the logistics and having what I need, where, and when I need it kind of stuff.

I also have dreams of doing small concessions or catering, but have a lot of questions. What I wanted to formulate is a list of advice and "must haves" if one is considering these endeavors...

For example, if my smoker doesn't have a warmer, and I am doing a pulled pork comp, do I just leave everything foiled and pull only as required to replensih my serving trays? Or, do I need something to help keep everything warm once it is pulled?

For example, I plan on having latex gloves for my team to use.

Anything else? icon_eek.gif
post #2 of 15
A schedule in advance that you can modify as you compete more.I would buy the thick rubber type gloves(cant think of name) made for pulling pork and handling meat-you can re-use..We have a cambro for food holding.Good idea to have couple pair of welding gloves for handling hot things.Buy a clock and set it to judges clock for turn in times.practice procedures at home and compete alot.
post #3 of 15
If you don't have a cambro, a regular "igloo" will also keep food warm.
post #4 of 15
I use the insulated gloves from the local hardware store, We get several uses out of them and they are not very pricey, you could get higher end ones from a supply store or even a welding supply house, they can get just about what ever kind of glove you want. My team has several different size hands so I buy several different size gloves and tell them to wash thier hands and change the gloves often. One of my team members has a latex allergy, so powder free, latex free gloves are all we buy. Holding meats? I use the cool end of the smoker for this, double tray the processed meat and wrap the 1/2 tray (the tin foil ones) tightly with foil or get the lids for them (that is what I use). What kind of sanitizer are you planning on using? Quatanary or Chlorine? Test strips will probably be manditory by the health department. Seperate wash, rinse, sanitize station, I use 3 bus tubs for this with a 15 gallon pot of water on the fire box to resupply it. Hand washing station(s) near where the meat is being handled or processed. Knives, cutting boards, giant zip lock bags, these are great for marinades and letting the rubs work. Ice chests and so on.
The list seems to be endless but you will find out what you 'Have to have' and 'can leave at the house' after a few contests or events. I am still refining my lists. Good luck, it will be worh it. But you must remember 'You must have fun doing it'.
post #5 of 15
A good popup canopy, adjustable height tables (so you can get them up to elbow height) saves your back.

This might help
post #6 of 15
good link Jim. I would add, some comps don't allow latex gloves because of allergies. I always use vinyl, they hold up better anyways.Most food servers,schools, kitchens use vinyl too.

People at comps are very freindly and will help you more than you would ever imagine.

Email me for addiional info if you want to!wink.gif
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
I guess I used "latex" to generally. Kind of like calling all soda "Coke." I usually buy the nitrate gloves from Harbor Freight or something like that.

I do need some of the insulated gloves to handle meat. I have bear paws, but they can only do so much. Still have to seperate some fat, etc.

This may sound ignorant, but are the insulated gloves washable and reusable?
post #8 of 15
I like to use those jersey gloves that are dipped. Gives you just a bit more protection from the heat.
post #9 of 15
My table is not height adjustable, so I cut leg extensions out of some PVC pipe. That way it brings it up to man height with no problem. This really saves your back.

I have noticed in my comps, that a lot of people have really cheap pop up canopys that they constantly fight with. Do your self a favor and get a decent structure along with some side walls. I bought a kit with the corners and connectors, and bought the pipe locally. While you are at it, spring for a good anchoring system too. Here is a good place to start. http://www.creativeshelters.com/

good luck!
post #10 of 15
I also recommend some of those plastic drawers to hold stuff. You can buy them anywhere. They are nice way to help organize your stuff.
post #11 of 15
Great thread! I have yet to compete but am building list now.
post #12 of 15
I use lots of plastic "totes" with lids. These are great for storing everything, they are stackable and water tight. Don't forget plenty of big trash bags, and don't forget the things that will make you comfortable (i.e. chairs, hammocks, blankets, sunscreen etc.).
post #13 of 15
We use the vinyol gloves also can usually get them at your local auto parts stores. fire extiguiser is a requirement at all comps also.
post #14 of 15
You guys might want to consider doing a google search on Boy Scout Patrol Boxes. Our troop has a couple of plywood boxes that form the anchor for our camp kitchens. They have legs and stand at a good working height. They hold utensils, spices, pots/pans, camp stoves, etc. And everything is in one place all the time.
post #15 of 15
Unless you are a vendor with a vending trailer, you usually cannot vend at a contest, especially a KCBS contest
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