Here we go! First time feeding 50 friday night...

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by mobcounty, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. mobcounty

    mobcounty Smoke Blower

    This is my largest crowd thus far, but I have practiced each dish a couple times and I am pretty confident in a positive review. I hope to document the process for SMF'ers, thats why I have posted here.

    The location is 20 minutes from my house, and will have 50 people. Last year they had tri-tip on paper plates. We are taking over the dinner this year, and we are trying to make a good impression.

    I am not afraid of any of the cooking. However, serving warm courses will be a trick. I plan on reheating the pork and tri-tip a few hours before and serving in foil pans. I also plan on heating the beans on site and serving these from foil pans. Salad will be prepped some time the day of the meal (I do need a tip on keeping the salad from wilting or turning brown).

    Here is the menu.

    -Pulled Pork (Meowey's Basic Pulled Pork sticky)
    -Finishing sauce (Jeff's sticky)
    -BBq sauce cut with vinegar and mustard
    -Dutch's Baked Beans
    -Soft Rolls
    -Vegtable platters w/ dip
    -Red Wine, White wine, (Merlot, Cab, White Zin, two cases total)
    -Coffee (caf/decaf)
    -Dessert (sheet cake)
    -Vegetarian Tofu Dogs

    I plan on running my smoker at the site to keep pans warm as we need them. I also plan on using my two burner stove to keep beans warm as we need them.

    Per a suggestion on the forum, since some people do not do pork I have added some tri-tip. I plan on cooking the tri-tip early then slicing it into a small amount of sauce made from cooked down rub and beer. I have done this before to great effect.

    Any additional tips are welcome.
    All the best,

    SEE PAGE 4 FOR THE QVIEW UPDATE on this project =)
  2. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Keep a detailed report of how ya do it all... I may have to cook for 50-70 hungry fishermen in March. I am trying to figure out amounts of food needed. Keep me posted on how it all goes...
  3. mobcounty

    mobcounty Smoke Blower

    A quick note, my notes say to figure on 1/2 lb. (pre-cooked) meat per person. Is that reasonable?

    Right now, I have in uncooked meat 31 lbs (bone in) pork butt and 10 lbs of tri tip. Is that enough for 50'ish?

  4. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wait to dress your salad untill the last moment. Or do the salad and have the dressing on the side...
  5. mobcounty

    mobcounty Smoke Blower

    Will do! Thats exactly why I wanted to keep a record.
  6. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That amount of meat sounds good.
  7. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Are you serving people or are they serving themselves? If you are serving, you can control the portions and figure out amounts exactly........a lot more estimation involved if you are just throwing it out there for them to take what they want.
  8. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    Send me your email. I have a spreadsheet that I think will help you, but it is too large to post
  9. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Definitely serve on the side. Whenever we serve salad we have usually 3 choices next to the salad bowl. We have a BIG mixing/serving bowl that we put the green in and then we have a small "bucket" that we have the chopped tomatoes and onions in. Right before we get ready to serve, I'll toss the tomatoes and onions into the lettuce. When they go through the line they can get their own salad and dressing choice.
  10. buddy

    buddy StickBurners

    Good luck on your cook. Hope everything turns out ok.
  11. mobcounty

    mobcounty Smoke Blower

    The guests will be coming up buffet style. Oh, and I sent my email to ya Joe.

    Thanks for the salad tips, I'll keep the dressing on the side as suggested. Is there any word on how many hours chopped lettuce will stay before wilting?
  12. kookie

    kookie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good luck on your cook. Looks like you have everything covered.

  13. cman95

    cman95 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Set your containers of lettuce in ice. Not just on top of ice but put the containers about half way down in the ice. It will help slow the wilting process. Good luck with your feed.
  14. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    When you chop put it straight into ice water. Once done chopping spin it in a salad spinner to dry and put it into a container and cover with a slightly damp rag/ cloth. It will keep a day or so before turning.
  15. dutch

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

    MC-Just a quick tip that I have used in the past - the Igloo type insulated cooler also does a great job of keeping things hot. I have a cooler that will hold three full sized hotel pans. Place lids (use the metal ones) on the pans and use aluminum foil to seal the lids to the pans. You could probably get by using foil pans but I don't know how well they will hold up to stacking.
  16. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Figure 50% shrinkage on the pork, less on the steak, so you end up with 15# pork at 1/4# serving's = 60 serving's.
    Everyone know's at a buffet they will take triple that so i would suggest a couple more butt's, ya want leftover's don't ya???
  17. mobcounty

    mobcounty Smoke Blower

    Cman, Thanks for the lettuce tip!

    Vlap, thanks doubly for the lettuce tip!
    I'm now confidend in my lettuce prep=).

    Dutch, I have two coolers just like you described, They are now going to be pressed into keeping food warm. I've got foil pans, but I have the hots to get some hotel pans. Maybe this is the perfect reason, muahahaha.

    BBq Bubba, I feel you on the meat count. Maybe I am just a nervous nelly, but I ran out and picked up another 10lbs of Tri-tip just in case. I think my total meat will be 31lbs pork (w/bone) and 20+ lbs. of Tri-tip. [​IMG]
    That should keep me in meat for the next month haha. At least it will keep me in meat for the playoffs on sunday [​IMG]
  18. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    In November we did a tailgate for 50 people, it was in another state (Indiana, we're in PA) so we had to prep early as much as possible. Below is a link to it, but I will give you how much I got and what I ran out of and what I had extra of.

    One box of 1/4 burgers - 48 count
    Hotdogs - 48
    Jalapeno hotdogs - 16
    hamburger bbq - 10 pounds burger (almost full half pan)

    We fired up the grills around 8 am and served until about 10 then broke down and got ready for the main course. This was just a teaser so people didn't starve to death.

    Pulled pork - 22 lb's, 3 boneless from Costco
    crab soup - one half pan full
    smoked salmon - 5 full fillets
    shrimp - one box frozen jumbo's mounded in a half pan
    filet mignon - 3 full loins, trimmed out to just filets

    Crab soup we ran out of about 2/3 of the way through and that was with us serving a small cup to everyone. Screwed up on this amount. [​IMG]

    Pulled pork - had extra, this was about 3/4 full in a full pan, we served with smaller dinner roll size rolls but let them take as much as they wanted.

    Salmon - after smoked I cut down the middle and then about 2 in slices. Had a little left over, but had a few that didn't like fish so they didn't take it.

    Shrimp we handed out to those who wanted and had just enough.

    Every body got a filet and if you got a small one you got two small.

    So the only thing I didn't have enough of was the soup. Keep in mind though that they had just eaten 2 - 3 hours before. Some of the younger guys took bigger portions, some of the older people took smaller and not everything, but I think it evened out on the richter scale.

    Hope this helps. Here's the link with maybe some more info to help you (and my BIG problem with the smoker)
  19. gramason

    gramason Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Nice menu, good luck.
  20. mulepackin

    mulepackin Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I've always understood that torn lettuce wilts less than knife chopped. May not be practical under those circumstances. Otherwise, not much to add that the pros here haven't covered. Good luck. (oh, what times dinner?)

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