Cooking for Large Group

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lowcountrygamecock, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    I have a pretty good size cook coming up for a group of 100-120 for a church fund raiser.  Planning on pulled pork for the main dish and baked beans, mac and cheese and banana pudding on the side.  Couple questions. 

    1)  Should we do pulled pork sandwiches or pulled pork and a roll?

    2)  I'm in South Carolina.  Should we have slaw or not?  Personally I don't eat it so I have no interest in making it but I can or we have some good local places that make it for take-out that everybody loves.

    3)  Planning on 8 - 10 butts from Sams.  The cases in our Sams come with 8 butts that are around 8-9 lbs each.  By my figures that should be plenty of meat but I wanted a second or third opinion.

    4)  We're serving lunch at around 12:30 so I planned on cooking the butts through the night and storing them wrapped up in a cooler if they finish early.  I always wrap at 160 but never pay much attention to how long it takes to get to that point.  I know every butt is different but what's a good average time to figure before wrapping?  I'll check temps on each one before I wrap but I'm looking for an average time to help put together a game plan.

    5)  What am I missing???

    Thanks in advance!
  2. martyj

    martyj Fire Starter

    Sounds great. My only suggestion would be to bring them to an IT of 195-200 before pulling in wrap. Enjoy and good luck
  3. martyj

    martyj Fire Starter

    Sorry I misread. Yes wrapping at 160 and putting them back in until they get to your desired IT is perfect
  4. 1. Have you polled anyone else? If you have time, might be a good idea to poll a representative sample of your likely consumers. Before I started doing the ketogenic diet, I would have said King's Hawaiian Rolls but I wouldn't have fussed at all if you went with sandwiches. (I was a very indiscriminate eater.) YMMV, my opinion and tastes may not at all reflect those of the people you will be cooking for.

    2. Again, as with above, I'd suggest a poll if you have the time. I don't know if there is a local or regional preference. I can tell you that I love cole slaw with BBQ. If it was me cooking, I think I'd make it myself -- would take some time, but you're almost certainly going to be able to make it for significantly less than take-out. Unless, of course, you can convince them to donate it towards the fund raiser... [​IMG]

    3. At a half pound per person, you should have plenty -- and probably leftovers -- especially with sides. Unless you're selling tickets ahead of time, having extra would probably be a good idea in case you have a better than expected turnout. I did a smoke for our church fellowship group on Memorial Day 2015, used the half pound per person formula, and had plenty of leftovers.

    4. Sorry, but not much help here. I haven't timed the butts I've smoked, or ever used foil -- simply smoked them until IT was 205ish, then wrapped them to rest.

    5. Do you have people signed up to help serve the meal? Regulated and consistent serving size will help the food stretch, whereas some people are pretty liberal with portions if it's self-serve. Condiments / sauces all lined up? Drinks / cups / ice? Plates and utensils? Napkins / paper towels? Serving trays / containers? (I used disposable foil pans from GFS -- worked great.) Serving utensils? Garbage cans / bags? Cleaning supplies in case of accidents / spills? Coolers / cambro to keep food warm?

    Hope this is helpful!
  5. lowcountrygamecock

    lowcountrygamecock Smoke Blower

    Thanks for all the suggestions.  We have asked around about opinions and long story short, I asked 10 people and got 10 suggestions.  The last few said, hey you're the cook, you decide.  We definitely have servers lined up and I agree it does help with portion control.  We also have all the supplies we'll need as we're serving at the church.  This includes all the drinks, ice, cups, foil pans, forks, knives and so on.  All I have to do is buy the food and have it ready to eat on time.  I'm planning to do a test run this weekend to make sure my recipes are dialed in and that I have my timing down. 
  6. I ran into much of the same when trying to pin people down. Maybe narrow their choices to "rolls OR sandwich" 0/1, YES/NO proposition? Why is it so hard just to answer a question? (Rhetorical question, btw...)

    Sounds like you've got a good plan. I also did a test run before I cooked for my group, and I found it helpful.

    Best wishes for a successful fundraiser!

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