Large Cook Advice

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by djtech2k, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    I have been smoking for a few years now so I am not new, but I always have more to learn 🙂. I have 2 main smokers: cookshack pg500 and a lg BGE.

    I am planning to do a cook for my sons HS football team. I need to plan on about 60 people. I am trying to figure out what meat to cook. I need something that will not only be a good protein for them to eat, but something that I can buy a lot of and not spend a ton. My first thought was pork butt or shoulder. That's my default but I am looking for any ideas or suggestions. I was thinking I would need around 20-30lbs of meat but I have never done anything this big so I could use suggestions there also.
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    You loose about 50% of the raw weight during the cooking process.

    Since your cooking for a football team I would figure about 1/2 lb. per person.

    So that would be 30 lbs. of cooked pulled pork for 60 people.

    Which would be about 60 lbs. raw.

    8 - 8 lb. butts should do the trick.

  3. My inclination would be butts also... they're cheap and, other than a little time consuming, relatively easy. And I'd agree with Al about quantity...60 pounds...

  4. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    Thanks for the replies. I really didn't think I would need that much meat, but you might be right. I am sure there will be sides, but not sure what yet. That's why I am in the early planning stages. I don't know of anything cheaper or easier than Pork Butt. I don't think I have room for 8 butts so I will have to figure it out. I do not know how pork loin is priced, but I know I made it a couple years ago and its a lot easier to cook, since it only has to go to about 145 if I remember correctly. I thought about chicken too since its a shorter cook, but no idea how to measure that much meat.
  5. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    I guess I need to go price some of the meats now.  I can never remember what each one cost.  I just did a pork butt Saturday and it was right around $2/lb.  What about pork shoulders instead of just the butt?  I know the butt is just part of the shoulder, along with the picnic, but just wondering if the price is different. 

    So I guess I will check on chicken, pork butt, pork shoulder, and pork loin prices.  Now figuring out how to get that much meat in one cook will be another thing to think about lol.  I would rather only use 1 smoker if I can.
  6. If you have a Sams, Costco, or Gordon's food center near you look for those 2 pack of Pork Butts they should avg 16-19 lbs for both. Speaking for myself 6oz cooked is a decent amount if you have sides... i can maybe see 8oz cooked if it's just sandwiches even so 6oz is 2 pretty large sandwiches. If you don't have a large enough smoker to hold 60lbs of butts and you have a vacuum sealed, I can't stress enough that pulledpork freezes great so do multiple cooks pull the meat and vacuum seal.... in fact at serving time it will be a huge help... drop the bags in a large roaster with HOT water and in 1 1/2 hours from frozen you will be serving moist hot pork. Slice open the bag and dump into a steampan to serve.... freeze it in 5lb bags.

    I just delivered 30lbs of frozen pulled pork to my brother in law that he is serving August 27th for a surprise Birthday party for a friend. I had to cook that in 2 smokes.
  7. djtech2k

    djtech2k Fire Starter

    Thanks.  I do not have a vacuum sealer but been wanting to get one.  I am obviously in the beginning stages of planning so almost everything is up in the air as of now.  I am trying to figure out meat(s), sides, how to server it, etc.  I will most likely just be doing the meat but have others I will need to coordinate with for the rest of it.

    I think my PG500 "low and slow" cook zone is about 17" x 17" or something close.  I know its between 17-20" in a square.  So I do not have a huge surface area but I guess I could stack some of the meats if I had to.  There is a hotter cook shelf on the top that I could get 1 or maybe 2 butts on, but it will cook a lot faster up there, about 30-50 degrees hotter than the lower section.
  8. I have an Englander PG100 and it should have the same size indirect side as your's (18x18). I have two butt's on as we speak and to allow room for smoke between the butt's if that's what you decide on I would place two butt's on the top rack and two on the bottom rack and have two smokes. Make sure and check the IT on the butt's about half way in so you can rotate them from top to bottom if you need to. Best of luck!
  9. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    One thing to keep in mind, pork butts are cheaper by the case also. Usually come 8 or 10 to a case you would have to ask to see.
    You could do pulled chicken but that wouldn't be cheaper. Just a shorter time for smoking.
    Also high school kids can put some food away.

    Sides will help some depending on what you have.
    I find that on average a 2" full hotel pan of mac n cheese feeds 40 people and the same of baked beans feeds 65-70 people.
    Also make sure you have some help don't try doing it solo.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Butts and Picnics are usually within a few cents a pound. Picnics can go on sale real cheap, $.99/lb, but the yield is lower, 40%, so you have to buy extra anyway eating up any savings. Plus you need some good knife skills to skin them. The yield on Chix Thighs for pulled chix is about 75%. So 60 X 8oz / 16 = 30lb / .75 = 40lbs or 1 Case. Cheaper than Pork. Plan on 2 sandwiches per...JJ
  11. @Chef JimmyJ

    Are you talking bone in thighs then pulling when done as you'd do with butts? Thanks for the info I wouldn't have thought chicken yielded that much.
  12. zymer

    zymer Fire Starter

    As hardcookin suggested large, active, teenage boys can consume mass quantities of food, so need to factor that in.

    I agree with everyone that pulled pork is the way to go.  But you may want to have an alternative (like maybe chicken quarters) for those who either don't like pork or don't eat it for religious reasons (latter depends on your locale).
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Oooppps![​IMG]  Read the wrong column on the chart. Thats trimmed and boned but still raw. Once cooked the yield is 52%, similar to pork. So if just pulled chix, you need 60 pounds raw. Sorry, gettin old and goin blind ...JJ
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017

Share This Page