Help with company picnic

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by dbryson, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. dbryson

    dbryson Fire Starter

    Help! I have been nominated to grill/bbq for our company picnic. We have 40 adults and 22 kids to cook for. We are thinking of doing steak, chicken, pork and salmon for the adults and hamburgers and hotdogs for the kids. The lady planning this thing would really like some sort of teriyaki chicken. How do I calculate the amount of meat to buy?

    For the cooking, I was think of doing up the pork butts (however many needed) at home on my wsm starting early in the morning and also marinating the steaks and chicken and preparing the salmon. Then start grilling the steaks, chicken and salmon a bit before everyone arrives. I have no idea how much grill space I will need. We have two basic charbroil gas grills available and there is some sort of charcoal grill available at the park.

    We have a budget of $500 to buy everything we need. The sides are being done potluck style, so we only have to pay for the meat, condiments, and plates and silverware.

    Any advice, recipes, ideas, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Don't hesitate to make any recommendation.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    Costco or Sams for the meat.
    OR call your local place and see if they'll sport you a bulk price.

    Other than that, the fine folks here will pipe in.

    GOOD LUCK! :)
  3. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    Oh yeah, Here's a good cheap side I love.

    5 Carrots - Peeled then sliced on the bias - you can blanch these too if you want.
    6 Stalks of Celery - chopped into slices same thickness as carrots
    1/2 Onion - Prefer Vidalia - sliced into strips

    1/4 Cup Olive Oil
    3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
    1 1/2 Tsp Salt
    3/4 Tsp pepper

    Want to ramp the recipe size up?

    The above serves my beautiful Wife and I plus our two girls.

    Good news too, it doesn't need refrigeration at your picnic.
  4. williamzanzinger

    williamzanzinger Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    if your handy with a knife, you might want to look into picking up 3-4 strip loins each cuts into 12-15 decent steaks 3/4 of an inch thick
    check it out here
  5. bigwayne

    bigwayne Smoke Blower

    General guidelines for meat quantities are 1/4 pound boneless meat per person. Picnics like this where the company pays people will eat 2 to 4 times that amount though, especially if it is tasty stuff.

    The grill facilities you are describing will be tough to manage if you are really trying to cook that many different things all at once. Try to get as much done in advance as you can.

    Pork butts you should do the day before unless you are 22 years old and hyper without caffeine at 3AM. (Note you don't say what time the picnic is, but these family things usually are not late night affairs.)

    The chicken should also be at least partly done ahead. I would do this to really wow them. (Only requires browning/crisping at the event.) If you can get large packs of cheap bone-in chicken thighs, that is the best choice for this dish. Breast meat can get a bit dry.

    Unless you are going to smoke the salmon and chill it, I would not recommend doing that in advance. For the salmon, I would recommend getting skin-on fillets if you can. Put them on one of the grills with covers, skin side down. Baste half of them with Hoisin Sauce and the other half with Pesto sauce. Cover the grill and cook 10 min per inch of thickness. Scoop the flesh off of the skin with a big spatula and put on the serving platter. It will look good and you have two flavors. If the Teriyaki queen insists, you could slap some on some of the salmon.

    In any event, make sure you have the facilities checked out in advance so you can plan out what you are going to cook on each grill and how long it will take. With basically 5 or 6 different distinct grilling/warming tasks, it could get tricky.
  6. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    For sure do the butts ahead of time, pull and chill for even 48 hours. Reheat in covered pans with some of the "liquid gold" and make a finishing sauce. BIG timesaver there. Heat them up in your oven, place in pre-warmed coolers...good for 8 hours to serving temp :{)

    You have alot of other stuff to deal with too: This avaliable it a biggie? You will need prolly 3 different cookers due to the different stuff yer planning on... You got a couple helpers? Phew!
  7. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Big Wayne, great advice (points) I love chicken adovo, my mom used to make it for us when we were kids(bout 97 years ago). When my dad was stationed in Fla.(navy) we lived next door to some philipino folks who taught my mom how to make it. Thats a great idea for the chicken, and he could do it with teryaki too.
    dbryson, I hope there is a promotion in this for you! Lots of work and planning, better get a half dozen volunteers, and at least 3 of them better know how to cook, grill, prepare food. I would try to rustle up a couple more grills.[​IMG]
  8. For a large group I have done Boneless Chicken Breasts with good success. I buy them in the bulk pack and two days before I put the whole bag(s) in the refrigerator to thaw. Once thawed, I slice a small opening in the corner of the bag and drain out the liquid. I then add a brine (I use just salt and suger) and brine until 12-hours before I plan to cook. I drain the brine and rinse the chicken (without removing from the bag). Once rinsed, I add a marinade mix to the bag (I like to use either
    mesquite or tequila lime) and put back into the refigerator. The chicken has always grilled up nice and I never have had any complaints.
  9. monty

    monty Master of the Pit Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I posted this marinade several years ago for wings. However it has been used by many members for other chicken parts and pork with great success. I offer it up again:

    Teriyaki Marinade

    How about Teriyaki Wings? This recipe will do about 40 wings. Whether or not you separate the wings is up to you. This recipe doubles easily. Since I see that some of you can get higher temps in your smokers give this a whirl! Aim for at least 300! And for on the spot grilling this is excellent stuff.

    40 chicken wings /10 lbs other chicken parts
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    2 cups teriyaki marinade/sauce
    2 Tbs dry mustard
    2 Cups dry sherry
    2 Tbs ground ginger
    1 Tbs garlic powder
    1 Cup honey
    1 Tbs onion powder
    About 1 inch fresh ginger minced
    Four large cloves garlic minced
    2 Tbs minced fresh onion

    Mix all ingredients together in a pot of sufficient size, add wings. Add more teriyaki sauce if not covered in pot. Cover and marinade overnight in fridge stirring several times. Stir well just before placing on cooking surface. If cooking in a smoker baste with sauce several times. If cooking on a high heat grill baste once. When crispy they are done! A bit of cayenne can add some heat.

    The sherry keeps all the flavors together and then, when the chicken is put on the heat it leaves the honey to bind the flavors to the chicken. Try it at home and if you like it wow your coworkers with it!

  10. bassman

    bassman Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you're firing up the smoker anyway, do a few pans of Dutch's baked beans. I guarantee you'll have meat left over[​IMG][​IMG]
  11. biggiesize

    biggiesize Fire Starter

    If you have a choice of chicken parts, pick drumsticks. you can brown them quickly and put in tins and whatever differant sauces you like, seal over with foil. fill up the grill and forget it. let them steep in the sauce.
  12. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    You could even do some Coney Dogs
    Here's a couple of recipes I've used.
    Both are pretty darned good.

    Coney Island Dogs
    1 pound Ground Beef, Lean
    1 Small Onion, Chopped
    2 Tbls. Prepared Yellow Mustard
    2 Tbls. Vinegar (white)
    2 Tbls. Sugar
    1 Tbls. Water
    1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
    1/4 tsp. Celery Seed
    1/4 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
    1/4 cup Ketchup, Approximate (Use enough to keep mixture loose) Kosher All Beef Hot Dogs (6-8), BUNS

    In salted skillet, over medium heat, brown ground beef with onion,
    breaking up meat with fork to crumble fine. Drain off fat.
    Add mustard, vinegar, sugar, water, Worcestershire sauce, celery seed,
    and Tabasco sauce. Mix well. Add enough catsup to keep mixture loose.
    Reduce heat to low, and simmer (uncovered), for 35 to 40 minutes. Makes enough sauce for six to eight medium weiners.

    Loon Cafe Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce

    Hot dogs covered with a tangy meat sauce were
    originally sold by food vendors at New York's famous Coney Island Amusement Park. This is a tasty hot dog topping.

    Coney Island Hot Dog Sauce
    * 1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
    * 1 large onion - finely chopped
    * 32 ozs. tomato puree
    * 2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard (such as French's)
    * 1 cup light brown sugar
    * 2 T. apple cider vinegar
    * 1-1/2 tsp. chili powder
    * 1 tsp. celery seed
    * 2 tsp. salt
    * 1/2 tsp. black pepper


    Preparation -

    1.In a large skillet, VERY lightly brown the ground beef and onions
    2. Break up the ground beef as fine as possible. Drain off fat and set aside.
    3.In a large saucepan, combine all the remaining ingredients and cook over
    medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
    4.Add the browned ground beef & onions. Stir then lower heat
    5.Simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours,stirring occasionally.

    OPTION: place the sauce in a crockpot, set on low, for about the same amount of time. Sauce will thicken.
    6. Makes enough sauce for up to 2 dozen hot dogs
    store in refrigerator and freezes very well

    Loon Cafe
    500 North 1st Avenue
  13. dbryson

    dbryson Fire Starter

    Thanks for all the great responses. I do plan on doing the butts up before hand and I was also thinking of doing Dutch's baked beans at the same time. This thing is at 6pm Sunday, so I have Saturday and Sunday to get things ready.

    I have only one helper, but I may have to recruit some more and maybe get another grill.

    Precooking the chicken and then just grilling to heat it up and add some flavor seems like a great idea, although the idea of browning it and putting it in tins with sauce sounds good too. Smoking the salmon ahead of time and reheating on site might work as well.

    I just can't seem to figure out how much meat to buy. I know if buy one portion of each meat for every adult, that would be way too much meat. Does anyone know a "rule of thumb" or something as to how much of each meat people are likely to want?

    Also, any cheap/easy ideas for keeping things hot once they are off the grill?

  14. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds to me like there is 1 to many meats. What I have found in the past when grilling multiple meats like that is that people usually want some of it all. If I was you and was going to be doing six items including hamburgers and hotdogs for the kids I would make the chicken, steak, and salmon portions smaller than norm that way everyone can have a little bit of it all. If I cooking I would do 10-12 lbs each of chicken, and steak or tri tip. Salmon I would ask around and get a idea of the number of people that will be eating salmon and then figure about 4-5 oz per person. I would do about 20-25 lbs so that you finish with a bit more than 10 lbs of finished product. You will have some meat left over but its ok to have left overs.

    If your budget is $500 i would spend about $200 on the food. That will leave more than enough for supplies.

    Just my 2 cents. Good Luck and if you have any questions about how i figured the meat let me know.
  15. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    One more thing I like to do.
    Easy and cool lookin.

    Get a Red, Yellow and Green Bell pepper.
    Preferably large and the flatter the bottom the better.
    If the bottom isn't flat enough just slightly trim it off making sure NOT to cut through into the inside.

    Remove Cap, core and seed.

    Fill Red Bell with Ketchup
    Yellow w Mustard and
    Green w Relish

    Nice little touch.
    Then just use plastic knife or spoon for self service.
  16. bigwayne

    bigwayne Smoke Blower

    As I mentioned, people generally eat a lot more at these type of things, partly because "the company" is paying and they have a subconcsious thing about that in many cases. However, the best gauge is local experience. Did they have a picnic last year? What was served? How much? Did they run out or were there tons of leftovers?
  17. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'd do 4 butts, 3 strip loins and 20 lbs. of boneless breast halves (about 40 pc). The 4 butts would cost around $50-$60, 3 strip loins probably $150, and 20 lbs. boneless breast halves about $50 - that's $250 or so.

    But, what's everybody else gonna eat?


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