Presmoking for an Event in the Future

Discussion in 'Pork' started by sw552704, Jul 23, 2015.

  1. sw552704

    sw552704 Newbie

    I work at a plumbing wholesaler and every year we have a lunch series, with the last one being pulled pork that my Dad and I smoke for roughly 100 hungry plumbers (they eat more than one sandwich a lot).

    It has gotten to be such a task, that my father just wants to buy the pulled pork from a BBQ joint in town for $10/lb rather than spending 4+ days smoking and pulling meat.

    Does anyone have experience with pre-smoking and pre-cooking pork shoulders and either pulling them and freezing the meat, or freezing them whole and reheating and pulling?

    I would hate for our small family business pulled pork tradition to end.


    Using a Bradley Digital smoker - we can fit roughly 3 butts in at a time.  Depending on the size, we smoke anywhere from 9 to 11 butts.  

    Ideally, I would like to get everything cooked, pulled, bagged, and in the freezer, and just reheat the day of - but I'd rather buy good product locally, than serve up dried out shoe leather that we made ourselves.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    It freezes very well. We also smoke an extra butt or two for the freezer. Smoke and pull like normal then vacuum seal bags of it and freeze it. When time to reheat thaw put in large disposable aluminum pans, mix in some finishing sauce, foil over the top and reheat. Comes out just as good or better.

    or a bigger smoker I can do 45-48 at a time [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2015
    jcollins likes this.
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yep that's one of the best things about pulled pork. You can cook it in advance, freeze and reheat. If you have the freezer space and you are going to serve within a month put the meat right into foil pan and cover with foil, freeze. Reheat in the oven asrt at 200-225, good to go! If you catch the drippings when cooking add those back into the pulled meat prior to freezing.
    jcollins likes this.
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Approximately 200 sammies X 6oz ea. (Man-wich) = 1200oz / 16 = 75lb Pulled pork / .6 (60% yield) = 125lbs Raw Butts / 9lb average butt = about 14-15 Butts needed. That's 5 days of smoking.

    IF...$10/lb is Just Meat...That sucks! Either Pork is $3/lb Wholesale where you live (most likely half that) or that guys Pulled Pork is so damn good, people are willing to pay any amount for it! You will be able to save money, $6-7 a pound, making and freezing your own. Do it over as long a period as you can, 3 butts a day over many days, in this case. Do Not wait until the last 4-5 days before the event. Electric smokers die, you could run out of Pucks or bad weather kills the power costing ou a day or more. To make an inexpensive easy Finishing Sauce, combine cheap Apple Juice or Cider with Apple Cider Vinegar, to your taste, more sweet or sour. You will need about 1C Sauce per Butt. Always pull the pork when cool enough to handle...Then, bag and freeze. Trying to freeze Whole Butts can lead to a lot of problems, for the meat and everything else in your freezer.

    If the $10/lb includes 3-4 Buns, 3-4oz Sauce and an 8oz Side or two...That's not bad and worth considering...JJ

    BTW...Where you live? I could move there sell at $6 a pound, make a better than average profit, and run that Thief out of business.[​IMG]  
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2015
    jcollins likes this.
  5. smokesontuesday

    smokesontuesday Smoking Fanatic

    One of the local chain BBQ places charges $13 a pound for pulled pork and $15 for brisket, both just meat without sides. They also have baby backs for $21 a rack. 

    Every time I see their prices it makes me wonder if I really could make a living with a restaurant.
  6. i am sorry that i have no valuable input but i found the responses to this extremely helpful i am trying to plan a meal for a wedding reception and wanted to do PP so i have been looking for ways to save money thanks guys
  7. sw552704

    sw552704 Newbie

    Thank you everyone for your input - we're smoking some shoulders today to get put in the freezer (obviously we'll have to do some "quality control" first).

    We don't have a vacuum sealer - I'm thinking that the very heavy duty freezer bags will work.
  8. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    I have made a lot of pulled pork and pulled and froze or left whole and froze. Heavy duty freezer work but you cant freeze as long as the vacuum sealer bags. Once the meat is done resting i freeze and when it time to use i put in a slow cooker for an hour or two on low heat with apple juice apple cider vinegar mix about 75 juice 25 percent vinegar and reheat that way. now since you are serving a lot of people foil pans may be a better option with the same juice/vinegar mix cover in a 350  degree oven for 30-45 minutes. i find that i can pull once its defrosted before it gets really hot and then finish heating the rest of the way. I usually serve on bun with sauce to taste. when in mixed company there may be some cole slaw but i dont use on PP that i cook.

    That is how i would do it and have done it in the past. Good luck with your gathering. ya know if you buy the PP it will take the fun out of cooking it!

    Happy Smoking

    phatbac (Aaron)
  9. rc4u

    rc4u Fire Starter

    well I am different...I would not this is able to refrigerate for 6 days if you are scared{no reason to be} then freeze the first batch or two....but I keep them whole and thaw{which takes two days in fridge} then reheat at 350 in oven till hot...then put in big heating server. and pull at only takes ten miniutes to get first pan done and you can keep up[my two kids pulled as I kept them going with pieces till done} ...  I just did this Wednesday for funeral and had 32 pounds or 4 butts I had about 120 dinner buns and it was perfect for funeral not drinking event.... when I heated in oven I wraped each and put half cup of apple cherry juice in each..just something to think about. I have a smoke hollow 44 and plenty room left over and did at 225 and 10am to 4am but propane had run out so probably 3 am...they were so good everyone wanted to know how and who and used Jeff;s sauce and rub.. ..jeff
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just a bit of Caution guys...ALL cooked food needs to below 40°F in 4 hours or less. Cooling and Freezing Whole Smoked Butts can push or go over this recommended time. Now depending on how you cool you can have a MUCH larger impact on other food. Sticking a Rested but still Hot whole Butt in the refer or freezer will drastically raise the temp of the food storage area. This jump can easily put Refer items in the Danger Zone or start to Thaw Frozen foods that can impact flavor, shelf life and texture. It is always less risky to Pull the rested Pork. Pack in bags to a thickness of no more than 2", cool and refer or freeze ASAP. The greater cross section and thin profile will get the job done Safely and in much less time then cooling or freezing whole roasts. The flat packs take up less space than a whole roast too...JJ 
  11. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Definatly pull before freezing , the heavy bags should be fine, just push as much air out as you can and you're good to go . . .

    Have fun and . . .
  12. rc4u

    rc4u Fire Starter

    to each there own....its what makes world work...dang college kids are going to die from eating two day old pizza left in the box...I know there's science behind it but just look at even 50 years ago and then a hundred then a thousand...not a lot died from eating meat after cooked to proper temps and let sit for a day or two then eat it... I've did it all my life...its not like I try to but sometimes it just happens. Of course undercooked chicken and such is bad for this but common sense keeps us all alive...not a bash just not a germ my bacteria in system takes care of germ nuts have to be careful as they don't have the good bacteria in system eh?.jeff

Share This Page