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Tips for feeding a medium size gathering

JBinGB

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Hello all, last year I had a smallish, maybe 15 people, BBQ out at my parents land. I had smoked 2 pork shoulders and 2 racks of ribs, and my mom prepared a bunch of sides. Corn bread, beans, etc.

We are planning on doing a little larger gathering this year, maybe 30-40 people. Simple math would tell me 3-4 racks and 3-4 butts would be enough. I am thinking about maybe doing a few more racks of ribs, like 5-6 racks, and maybe 2-3 butts.

I just want to make sure no one will go hungry, but i would be pushing the limits of my smoker with that amount of meat. I would probably have to get a rib rack and stand the ribs on their side to have enough room.

Anyone have any tips for cooking for groups?
 

sawhorseray

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I used a rib rack when I needed a little more room on my SQ36, they came out great. RAY
 

kilo charlie

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I'd plan on 1/2 pound of meat per person with the pork shoulders and I honestly don't know how to plan for ribs per person.. hopefully someone else will chime in.

If you're making pulled pork you could do it the day before to free up room on your smoker to do the ribs.
 
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zwiller

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Smoke in advance and grill to serve. I never eat what I smoke same day...
 

JBinGB

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I'd plan on 1/2 pound of meat per person with the pork shoulders and I honestly don't know how to plan for ribs per person.. hopefully someone else will chime in.

If you're making pulled pork you could do it the day before to fee up room on your smoker to do the ribs.
I hadn't considered smoking in advance. I usually like ribs right off the smoker but i feel like pulled pork is usually better after sitting overnight in the juice.

And as far as portioning ribs, i feel like thats a tough decision. Some people eat 1-2, or theres people that cam eat almost half a rack.

So i guess planning ahead with the pulled pork and smoking ribs day off sounds like a decent plan.
 

Wurstmeister

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Hello all, last year I had a smallish, maybe 15 people, BBQ out at my parents land. I had smoked 2 pork shoulders and 2 racks of ribs, and my mom prepared a bunch of sides. Corn bread, beans, etc.

We are planning on doing a little larger gathering this year, maybe 30-40 people. Simple math would tell me 3-4 racks and 3-4 butts would be enough. I am thinking about maybe doing a few more racks of ribs, like 5-6 racks, and maybe 2-3 butts.

I just want to make sure no one will go hungry, but i would be pushing the limits of my smoker with that amount of meat. I would probably have to get a rib rack and stand the ribs on their side to have enough room.

Anyone have any tips for cooking for groups?
Here is a BBQ planner that might be helpful. Covers most of the bases for a caterer and works really well when I have to feed all of the relatives BBQ ! LOL!🍻
John
 

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Wurstmeister

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JBinGB - Sorry for not posting this in my precious note. Definitely make you meals ahead of time. Makes you day with the family a lot more fun and less stressful. When I cook for my family in the Lowcountry, feeding about 20 people(including 4 kids who eat like a football team!) During the week or a day or two before the meal, I precook the long cook items, chill them, vac-bag, freeze. If I'm making any sides, I follow the same procedure. Day of your event, start your equipment as normal, safely thaw the foods to room temp, unbag, pan, cook to safe IT, pate and serve. I find smoking/grilling the long term items is less stressful and I can enjoy a few libations with my son and the in-laws. Most importantly, you can positure like Ric Flair or Machoman Savage strutting good and amazing the family at the pit! LOL!!!!! 🍻
John
 

thirdeye

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A couple of tip for group events are:

1. Have the meats and sauces at the end of the serving line, so peoples plates will be partially full of salad, sides, and a bun.

2. We always have something for the kids, but it looks and tastes good enough that adults dig in too which can help with portion control if the main BBQ meats start to run low. My favorite is an adult style of Sloppy Joe's, very flavorful.... not like the bland ones you had in elementary school. I make them ahead and package in gallon zipper bags. I use an electric roaster to reheat but a crock pot works good too. I make pickled red onions for the topping, and have two kinds of mustard for them. There are rarely any leftovers. Some people eat a scoop without the bun.

3. Keri C's 'Hog Apple Beans' are always a hit, and also a make-ahead dish although the cook time is pretty short. These use canned beans smoked sausage and apple pie filling. I actually print out the recipe because so many people ask for it thinking it's a scratch home-made recipe. Jack's Old South (Myron Mixon) makes similar ones with peach pie filling. My funniest Hog Apple story was when a lady came up to me at a charity BBQ event and said "I know you probably won't give up the recipe, but the beans are great"... I replied "Sure, no problem, do you own a can opener?" Then I reached out and handed her a copy of the recipe.
 

bigfurmn

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As far as smoker space I did this a few years ago for my nieces grad party. (175ish people) Smoked the pork shoulders ahead of time by a day or two in a serving pan. Saved the juices and reheated the pork in a roasting pan with the juice that I saved from the cook. Just a thought to save yourself a little space on the smoker.
 

JBinGB

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Here is a BBQ planner that might be helpful. Covers most of the bases for a caterer and works really well when I have to feed all of the relatives BBQ ! LOL!🍻
John
Thank you, but the file was in a format I cant open. Is there a place to find this in a pdf?
 

Fueling Around

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Lots of great make ahead recipes especially on the sides. The only side I prefer fresh off the smoker is mac'n'cheese.
The thirdeye thirdeye distraction buffet line is priceless.
The only add is the repeat cruisers will look for favorites .
Chop ribs into 1-2 bone pieces
 

Wurstmeister

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Thank you, but the file was in a format I cant open. Is there a place to find this in a pdf?
Sorry I don't have the file in PDF format. The Excel spreadsheet I posted contains all the calculation/formulas to compute your project. Let's try the Excel97 format without all of the extra fluff found in Excel2010! If you don't have Microsoft Office, there numerous free open source office program that will access the various Office files for Mac and Windows. 🍻
John
 

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