Need menu for 300 people

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by rookiesmoker, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brass! Last football season I "signed" up for bringing pulled pork for a tailgating party at my VFW. I planned on a sandwich and a half for everyone considering that some would make one, some would grab two. Felt I had everything under control and smoked so I could let rest and then pull and finish right before serving. My timing was perfect, the amount of food should have been plenty. Word of mouth travelled what I was making and all these hethens showed up like we were giving away superbowl tickets and free beer! Well most of them never had NC pulled pork before, they ate ALL of it and left some late comers empty plated. I would never under take 300.
    What I would be worried about here is if this is just like for like an appetizer or is she having an actuall dinner afterward. Sounds like this will be her main source of food for serving. People will scarf it down. I think most people expect a meal when attending a wedding. If pork and briskett sandwiches are the meal, then they will eat more than that one sandwich...
  2. rookiesmoker

    rookiesmoker Newbie

    It is Wednesday April 18, and the big event is Saturday.

    The "Meat Man" just delivered the goods....

    8 Bone In Pork Butts 10lb average pre cook weight for $85.60
    6 USDA Choice 12lb brisket pre cook weight for $96.43

    Yeah, I think I got her a heck of a deal. That is $1.07 per pound for the butts and $1.33 per pound for the brisket. I just ordered a case of 6lb pork loins for $2.12 a lb. It helps to have a friend working for a major food distributer that gets meat at cost.....

    I will continue to update this blog with pics from the start of the smoke until the end.

    And just to let everyone know, when I agreed to do this, I was under the impression it was going to be for about 50 people, and when I found out that there could be as many as 300 I was thinking the same thing you guys are saying, "HE'S NUTTS".

    Oh well, Get-R-Done..........
  3. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Good Luck Rookie!
  4. chefloydb

    chefloydb Fire Starter

    That is a tall order
    I think if it were me i would agree with zardoc and do boneless skinless breasts and thighs. you could also do somthing like a smoked chicken salad if the smoking doesn't have to be done onsite.
    I would also try to push some pork either pork loin or butt.but if you must do the whole chickens a 4# wog should get you between 6 to 8 snack sized servings that pus you at about 38 to 50 chickens.
  5. rookiesmoker

    rookiesmoker Newbie

    Sorry folks, left my camera at work last night. Had to take it to work to download all the vacation pictures to a cd and left it there.

    Anyway, here I am back at work at 7:45 after being up pretty much every hour and a half last night. (YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)

    At around 10:00 p.m., I trimmed and rubbed three of the six brisket's down with my favorite rub, put the wood chips in to soak, and got ready for the start of a 2 1/2 day event.

    I then got everything else ready to start the three masterbuilt electric smokers that I was able to borrow from friends and family. Had to keep everything separate so that I did not mix and match. Cleaned all the components of one, then the second and then the third.

    I estimated that at around 12 lbs apiece, they would take approximately 15-16 hours to cook, and I get home from work around 3:30, so I decided that 1:00 a.m. would be the official start time.

    Took a little cat nap, and around 1:15 the first three briskets were in the smokers, so I toasted myself (cause the wife and kids were in bed) with a good ol' Natie Lite.

    Back to bed for another cat nap, this time I would need to be awake about 3:15 to mop and flip the meat. Well, 3:45 rolls around before I wake up, oh well nobody is perfect. I mopped the meats, flipped them, and check the wood chip trays in the smokers, then back to bed.

    5:00 a.m. back up to mop and make sure everything is going good. Looks great, so back to bed for another quick nap. 6:20 another mopping, temp check, everything is going great.

    Two cups of coffee while watching morning news, s---, shower and shave, get dressed, then back out to mop and check before I go to work.

    I am going home at lunch to check and will take pictures then.

    Yes, I think I am NUTTS but were doing great.
  6. msmith

    msmith Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    RookieSmoker your not nuts sounds like to me your a true blue smoking fool like the rest of us Lol.
  7. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Can't wait for pics!! It's almost lunch![​IMG]
  8. rookiesmoker

    rookiesmoker Newbie

    Just wanted to let everyone know that the brisket and pork butt came out great. I will post a couple of pics here.

    The Pork butt is complete and the brisket is about two hours in to a heavy smoke on a wood burner.

  9. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Rookie -

    Are you trying to say that this type of behavior is not normal? [​IMG]

  10. rookiesmoker

    rookiesmoker Newbie


    I am not sure of what you are trying to say. If you were referring to the meat coming out great, well yes that is normal, but remember it was 155 lbs of it, starting at 1:00 a.m. on Thursday and ending at 11:45 on Friday night.

    Here is how it went down.

    Started with 3 of the briskets at first. Just to get my feet wet on the electric smokers. Set temp to 220 and timer to 15 hrs.

    Every hour and a half or so, I would spray the brisket down with apple juice and check the chips. Then when temp hit internal temp hit 120-130, I wrapped in foil and sprayed again. At about 11 hrs, the temp was hitting about 185. I wanted to get them as close to 200 as possible, and actually hit 205 at 15 hrs. I then unwrapped them and placed each in their own juice in a aluminum roasting pan, covered the top with foil and let stand for 2 hrs. before I duplicated this process, I wanted to check the taste to see if I needed to alter anything. Man that stuff just melted in my mouth, it was great, but the smoke ring was not very good, just a little, and I wanted a good smokey flavor. The electric smokers were just not going to get it done.

    So for the next rounds what I did was to get the wood burner cranked up to 225 and I smoked the meat in there pouring the smoke to it for about 4 - 5 hours, then I would transfer the meat to the electric to finish cooking.

    This method turned out great. The flavor and the texture were outstanding. If anyone is going to do this in the future, I would recommend this method. You can over smoke in a wood burner for a while, and I mean smoke just billowing out the stack, then transfer to an electric to finish the cooking.

    To give you an idea of how much meat we had, there were around 275 people at the reception, and I smoked 80 lbs of pork butt and 75 lbs of brisket. There was about 1 butt left and half a brisket left.

    Again, this was not intended to be a meal for everyone, it was just to be a finger food snack. So you can draw your own conclusions about how much it would have taken if it was a meal.

    Thanks for all your ideas, they really helped a bunch.
  11. goat

    goat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Congratulations Rookie. Sounds like things went real well for you. Do you have any food porn to show us??
  12. keywesmoke

    keywesmoke Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Interesting. Can't you put a whole lotta wood in an electric,or is the heat source just never hot enough?
  13. rookiesmoker

    rookiesmoker Newbie


    The electrics I had borrowed were all the Masterbuilt electric that BassPro Sells. I believe they were the 3 rack models, and the wood tray is not very big. The problem I believe is that the wood never fully turns to ash, so the space is limited.

    It did give the meat a smoke flavor, just not what I like. Not to say my idea is the right idea, but my preference is a good smoke flavor.
  14. keywesmoke

    keywesmoke Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    OK. I was advised here to put a cast skillet right on the element and put chunks on it as well as the tray. I'll see, I get mine on the 30th!
  15. mysticalman

    mysticalman Fire Starter

    I have to agree with you about the Masterbuilt smokers. They do an ok job for smoking but they do not give you a true smoke ring like other smokers. I think it may have to do to the fact they have no holes to let smoke out, they are more of a closed system. I have a few other friends that have electric smokers of different brands and they all complain of the same thing. So recently I just switched over to a GOSM and the results have been much better.
  16. keywesmoke

    keywesmoke Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Huh. My new Masterbuilt on the way has a vent on the top, maybe a mod in response to this problem.
  17. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Rookie -

    Your said "Yes, I think I am NUTTS but were doing great."

    I said "Are you trying to say that this type of behavior is not normal?"

    When I typed it it looked like it was comming right after you comment but we must have all beentyping at the same time.

    Glad it all when well for you kiddo! It's amazing sometimes what we can do when we have too!

  18. rookiesmoker

    rookiesmoker Newbie

    Ok DeejayDebi,

    I understand now.

    Yes it is amazing what we can get accomplished once our backs are against the wall.

    I wish I had more pics for you guys. Unfortunately, both my kids were having ball tournaments that day and I was unable to attend the reception. My boss and two other individuals from work were able to attend, and all said things turned out great. I even found out that the people serving the food pulled the pork and sliced the brisket before they reheated it (I told them to reheat then pull and slice) but they said it did not dry out.

    Just to let everyone know, after smoking the meat (Pork Butt and Brisket) I transfered from the aluminum foil into an aluminum roasting pan, the ones you can get at Wally World for a couple of bucks, and covered the top with aluminum foil, and let set on the cabinet for a couple of hours (trying to duplicate the wrapped in foil and towels in an ice chest method). Since there was sooooooooo much meat, I did not have enough ice chests to do this.

    I then transfered into the refrigerator until the day of the reception. This seemed to work great, so if you are ever worried about refrigerating and reheating, it does work fine.
  19. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    not sure where you're going w/ this but the last large chicken smoke i did was for over 2,500(you read it right), not sure what size your pit is or anything else but i do know if you go to a meat market or meat purveyour it's easier to get a good count & decent price- now as far as servings & price go- let's say hypothetically you go to walmart. you can get 10# of chicken quarters(roughly 10 quarters per bag) for $4-6.. thats a quarter chicken a person(which is usually plenty) & the sweeter the sauce the fuller you feel,especially if you have molasses &/or brown sugar in the sauce. if thats any help at all.
  20. gypsyseagod

    gypsyseagod Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    ops sorry guess i posted too late as i didn't read all the posts - but maybe my post will give some scope to another person doing this - i do know how to plate price for caterings and serving size(w/ extra) for caterings so if you have a gig or a team or questions- don't hesitate to mail me.. always willing to help

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