Cooking for 200

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Aug 16, 2007
Monroe, WA
A few shots of a cook today with a couple other gentlemen for a gathering of about 200 hungry party goers at a fundraising event. We had 4 serving lines on 2 buffets. We cooked 25 brisket flats and 25 beer butt chicken. Lots of happy tummys and smiling faces. I had picked up a new 14" slicer for this cook. In retrospect I should have rented a meat slicer - needed a new slicer knife anyway. Hat tip to those who cater for a living.


Warming the smoker up. I am on the left. We started out cooking with charcoal and needed to light more charcoal than chimneys could hold. Hence the weed burner. Also used it to burn off the grates - evidently it hadn't been used in quite a while.


The smoker appears to be an old propane storage tank. It was a gift to the organization I was helping. It looks like it could hold 2 fairly large whole hogs. It is piped for propane but no one knew if it worked or not. I ended up figuring out that one of the 3 burners actually worked well enough to heat a load of wood.


About half the briskets in the first phase of cooking. Cherry wood smoke.
Wow!  That was ambitious!  Great job, especially on a smoker you haven't used before!  Hope you raised a good amount of $.
Cudo's to you and your helpers for pulling off a good cook on a new to you rig. I'm glad it worked out and you didn't have cooking troubles. Cookin for the fundraisers is always a fun adventure.
Thanks everyone. This is my biggest cook so far. My last party was 25 people with 2 smokers that were much smaller. I have found that I love to cook. Seeing people enjoy my food makes me smile. I don't know if I could cater for a living though. Happy tummys don't pay the mortgage, keep the Mrs. happy, or put the kids through college.   This party wiped me out. It didn't help that I did this 4 days after getting hit by a car on my motorcycle.

To the professional caterers my hat is off to you. This was a tough job. My respects to each of you.

I have batted around the idea of a restraunt but there are so many BBQ restraunts in the area it seems that it would get lost in the mix. Most seem to be barely able to stay afloat. Ran across a quote from Michael Symon on Food Network that goes some like "Learn  a recipie and you can make a meal - learn a technique you can make 100 meals". So I am learning different techniques as I go.  I've been playing with sauces lately looking for a unique basic sauce with local flavors.

The smoker itself wasn't difficult to figure out. It started out heating up to 450-500 so I moved all the wood and charcoal down to the vent side (opposite the flue) to mimic an offset heat path. Used the one burner to supplement heat generated by the wood. This brought the heat down and more consistent. Kept a thin blue smoke most of the time. The challenge for me was they gave us 9 hours to cook brisket that normally takes 24 hours. Then 15 minutes of rest before I had to start slicing (hence the need for a power slicer). I ran the temp to 250-300 for 5 hours then panned & covered the brisket for a few hours (ala Texas crutch style) to steam for tenderness. Not ideal but it got the job done and people were happy. I am not a big fan of beer butt chicken but they like it so I cooked it. I prefer brined and roasted/smoked butterfly chicken.

At the end of the night they raised about $17,000 for their organization.
Great Job ! ! ! It's great that you take the time to help others....I've tried to show my kids that it's always good to give back........ Hope you are feeling better from the accident. Keep on smoking ShoneyBoy is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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