Need advice and encouragement for July 3 smoke for 100+

Discussion in 'Pork' started by fatback, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. fatback

    fatback Fire Starter

    Alright folks... I have some experience, and I am familiar with the basics. I have cooked for 25-30 a couple of times, but I have never tried anything on this scale. My July 3 crowd will be at least 100 -- maybe as many as 200. I will have more certainty about headcount later. My biggest questions are regarding meat quantities and cooking time. Pulled pork is the choice. These here internets are all over the place when it comes to meat lbs. per person. I have read "12 people per butt", "1/3 lb. per person", "3/4 lb. per person". That's a huge range when considering such a high head count!!! Regarding cuts of meat, I will probably buy whatever Costco has the day I go shopping. Last year, it was a bonless shoulder, split into two pieces, about 14 lbs total if I recall. At that size, I don't know if it was the picnic or the butt or both.
    The cooking time really has me baffled. I know the rule of thumb of 1-1.5 hours per pound...but 100 lbs of meat doesn't equate to 100+ hours of cooking. Should it be 1-1.5 hours times my largest roast? Plus some extra for having the smoker loaded to capacity?

    Any other thoughts? Things I should consider? Do you sense my anxiety? [​IMG]
  2. gaga

    gaga Fire Starter

    I have absolutely no experience, but I'll add my 2 cents:

    1. Make sure you got a lot of sides. That's what those all you can eat buffets do. Fill em up on the sides, just in case there's not enough Q.

    2. Enjoy the process, cause most people aren't gonna know if you did a good job or not (so long as you don't kill them all). Hopefully, everyone will be drunk and they'll be mesmerized by all the pork. Have fun!
  3. pinkmeat

    pinkmeat Smoking Fanatic

    Man, not too bad at all. You may use a bit more fuel to maintain temps, but everything should cook at the same rate. I cooked ten butts for a festival and they were done and coolered in 12hrs.

    Order a case of butts from Sam's/Costco. 5 2pks of blade in butts and you will get them slightly reduced for buying in bulk... I can update you a little better in another week. I will be cooking for 40 and I am planning on 1/2lb per plate for men, and 1/4lb for women at this cookout. Kids same as women.
  4. dutch

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

    fatback, check out the resizer tool in this link.
    I find that it's a great tool when cooking for big groups. You can get as detailed as you want by selecting sides and what-not or go simple by using the chart to figure how much meat you need to get.

    You can also find the link here in the Caterings & Large Group Gatherings forum.

    Looking forward on how this turns out.
  5. wutang

    wutang Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    When buying the meat remember to account for shrinkage when cooking. 1/3 to 1/2 lb of COOKED meat per person should be pretty safe. But the butts shrink 40-50% from precooked weight.

    120 lbs of butts could weigh 60lbs when done cooking. 60 lbs cooked pork could feed 120-180 people depending on side dishes and how hungry they are.

    Good luck with it!
  6. fire it up

    fire it up Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You also might want to check with travcoman45, he will be able to give you some great catering advice.
  7. fatback

    fatback Fire Starter

    Thank you much!
  8. bigbaldbbq

    bigbaldbbq Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    You might want to consider serving them too. 50lbs of cooked meat will make 200 1/4 sandwiches. And yes have plenty of sides.
  9. We catered an event a few weeks back. Close to 700 people showed up. Here are some tips.

    - Pork renders out to 50% so an 8 pound butt will be 4 pounds cooked
    - a portion is 1/3 pound. You need 33 pounds of finished product or 66 lbs raw
    - We always cook 1 week ahead and freeze. Onsite we just thaw and warm up
    - Given the choice, people prefer pulled chicken just as much as pulled pork
    - Make a hotel pan of potato salad and pasta salad for sides

  10. bigwayne

    bigwayne Smoke Blower

    What are you using to cook with? You gonna have to do multiple sessions to fit it all in? You probably want to get stuff done ahead and freeze or refrigerate some or all of it.
  11. fatback

    fatback Fire Starter

    I think I can get 50 lbs in there. I may break out more than one smoker to get it all done in one session.
  12. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yeah what he said. And YankeeRob too.

    I don't have much else to add except load 'em up on bread!

    Oh and good luck with this this. Keep us posted and show us some picts of the smoke and the event!
  13. bmudd14474

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

    I figure 5-6 oz per person and that will take in account for the ones who eat less and the ones who eat more. If your using the boneless roast you will yield about 60-65% of the raw weight. 100 people would be about 60lbs of raw. I would prob do 75lbs. But thats just because if its left over you can vac pak it and have a freezer full of cooked pork. Also the catering file that Dutch posted works good too for help.

    Good luck.
  14. melleram

    melleram Smoke Blower

    cooking time will be 1.5 hr x your largest butt. So If your biggest butt is 8lb then 12 hrs.

    I've done a quarterd hog before with hams and shoulders weighing 20 lb
    It took no where near 30 hrs in fact less than 20 hrs.
    So i think after a certin weight that 1.5 hr per lb logic goes out the window.
  15. newbeestl

    newbeestl Fire Starter

    fatback, please keep us posted on how this turns out as I'm in the exact same boat for a party for late July. I'm planning on bone in pork butts. I was thinking about smoking the night before and simply cooler until I'm ready to pull it. It will all go into a huge roaster and simply kept warm until eat'n time.

    I've read a lot about making it prior and then freezing it. I've had frozen pulled pork before and I think it loses something after being frozen. What does everyone else think? Maybe it needs to be vacuumed and frozen?
  16. fatback

    fatback Fire Starter

    Don't know if I will bring it with Qvue or not. I have not tried to post Q-vue pics before, and I don't need any additional challenges. I am taking my first run at ABTs on Saturday, and could use that as an opportunity to figure out the Qvue thing. We'll see.
  17. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Another great make ahead side would be some foil restraunt pans of Dutche's baked beans! Make em 1-2 days ahead and reheat.
    I also love to grill (as in high heat) corn on the cob. Marinate the corn in Italian dressing and then put on the grill, turn it once or twice, baste 1x with dressing about half way through. Makes awesome tasting corn on the cob and you don't need any salt, pepper, or butter.
    Another high heat grilling item is take loaves of french bread, cut in half legthwise, brush with melted butter, season with paprika, cummin, garlic powder and place butter side down on a hot grill. Grill just till you get some nice color - gives nice flavor while being differant from garlic bread!

    Best of luck! And don't forget to have SOMEBODY ELSE CLEAN IT UP! lol
  18. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    DO A WHOLE HOG, FRIEND. 180# hog when its dressed out along with sides.
  19. I would suggest smoking in different stages, then vac bagging and freezing. This way you will have the time to do each batch up right and not feel pressured by time constraints. Especially if you borrow a smoker to do the whole smoke session at once... you will be overwhelmed!

    Doing it in batches, takes the pressure off! Plus if you have problems... you still have time to correct things and get back on track.
  20. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I figure 12-15 servings per bone-in butt![​IMG]

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