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What have I done now

Big Glenn

Smoke Blower
111
70
Joined Oct 27, 2018
I wasn't thinking clearly when I agreed to step in for our church's usual cook and do pulled pork sandwiches, beans, potato salad and slaw for about 50 people. Now that I have thought about it I am kind of freaking out. My smoker has four shelves so I am limited as too how much I can smoke at once. I am thinking about 35# raw weight of pork and 3 batches of Wicked beans that are so popular here. I have made potato salad most of my life so no problem with that except time. I will just have to slip in the slawsome time.
I know many here smoke for 150 or more people. I have cooked for over 100 before but that was a 1 dish meal (chicken and dumplings), so this is a big deal for me.
Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 13, 2017
Is the pulled pork the only meat / main course? If so and people are reasonably hearty eaters I’d probably error on the side of caution with 1/2 lbs. finished pork per person so 25 lbs. with 40% loss from cooking that would be about 42 lbs raw. May be a bit too much but I always would rather have a few leftovers instead of run short.
 

martin1950

Meat Mopper
219
208
Joined Jan 18, 2019
One thing I learned as a young "Boot" along, long time ago, Never Volunteer. Now take a deep breath and figure it out on paper, what can be iced down, what can be re-heated and what has to be fresh. You've got this.
 

flagriller

Smoking Fanatic
OTBS Member
995
22
Joined Jun 22, 2007
Start early..........I agree, 1/2 lb finished per person. I might suggest you get a few people to help you, start the night before with the sides and start smoking early. Since you're only having one meat have plenty of sides, and don't be afraid to purchase sides from Costco, Sams, or Gordon's and put in foil pans :)
P.S. you didn't hear that from me... also a good way to get help is to bribe with beer and wine!
 

SmokinVOLfan

Master of the Pit
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Joined Feb 27, 2018
Can you fit 4 10 pound butts in your smoker at once? If so then you are good there. Do the butts first and when they get done wrap them and toss them into the cooler and in go the beans for 3 hours or so. Potato salad and slaw can be done the day before and kept cold. If you really want to impress them mix up a couple homemade bbq sauces to take with you!
 

Big Glenn

Smoke Blower
111
70
Joined Oct 27, 2018
Thanks everyone. I have taken a step back from the ledge. Part of the problem is when I do something like this I really want to go all out. My plan includes a couple of sauces. Jeff's sauce and Jeff's sauce cut with a lot of apple cider vinegar. I don't think 4 butts will be a problem. My Pit Boss gasser has four shelves, each will easily hold a 10 pound butt, and it has plenty of power. Usually more trouble keeping the heat down than up.
I have a little less than a month to plan so keep the suggestions coming.
 

sawhorseray

Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Oct 17, 2014
I side with the others who say to get those butts on early to get 'em done and in a cooler, they'll keep and be ready for hours. I make slaw almost every week, cabbage, carrots, a little onion, easy peasy and can be done the night before. I've never been able to make tater salad as good as this deviled egg stuff we've become addicted to, if you can find it, it's great.
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I'd think with pulled pork, beans, slaw, and tater salad your only decision left to make would be on the buns for sammy's, Costco or Sam's Club should be able to set you up there. Good luck and keep us posted! RAY
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
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Joined Jun 13, 2017
From a timing perspective if it were me I’d cook the pork a day ahead and pull it. When I do this I also include a hotel pan size tray of chicken broth below the butts. Allow that to smoke and take on the drippings. Frig over night and skim fat. Put the pulled pork in roaster pans and mix the juice back in for flavor and moisture. I do this often for large gatherings and people rave about it. Cooking ahead like this also lowers stress many levels lol
 

Winterrider

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Sep 29, 2018
From a timing perspective if it were me I’d cook the pork a day ahead and pull it. When I do this I also include a hotel pan size tray of chicken broth below the butts. Allow that to smoke and take on the drippings. Frig over night and skim fat. Put the pulled pork in roaster pans and mix the juice back in for flavor and moisture. I do this often for large gatherings and people rave about it. Cooking ahead like this also lowers stress many levels lol
Totally agree with this plan.
I stress out trying to cook for a half dozen people, probably because haven't done it much. Usually just the wife and i.
 

hardcookin

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
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Joined Aug 13, 2015
I didn't see what time they are serving. I would do the butts the day before, make it easy on yourself, also do a little extra pulled pork.
 

Big Glenn

Smoke Blower
111
70
Joined Oct 27, 2018
Are you paying for the product or is the church supplying it?
The church is paying for it. Serving at 6:00 PM. I will definitely cook the pork the day before. Probably take to the church to pull and also make the potato salad since they have a well equipped kitchen with a commercial stove and big pots and pans and a big stainless steel work table. Great reminder about saving the juice to moisten the meat
 

jcam222

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,546
710
Joined Jun 13, 2017
The church is paying for it. Serving at 6:00 PM. I will definitely cook the pork the day before. Probably take to the church to pull and also make the potato salad since they have a well equipped kitchen with a commercial stove and big pots and pans and a big stainless steel work table. Great reminder about saving the juice to moisten the meat
Yep I am all about that juice. My smoker can have up to 6 shelves in and still fit butts. Sometimes I alternate axshelf of butts, then pan of broth/ spices using all 6 racks. Gives me a lot of extra Smokey juice I freeze for future use. Always comes in handy.
 

SmokinVOLfan

Master of the Pit
2,363
1,354
Joined Feb 27, 2018
The church is paying for it. Serving at 6:00 PM. I will definitely cook the pork the day before. Probably take to the church to pull and also make the potato salad since they have a well equipped kitchen with a commercial stove and big pots and pans and a big stainless steel work table. Great reminder about saving the juice to moisten the meat
Sounds like a good plan! If you got the sauce covered and have some extra time throw in some ABT's!
 

Big Glenn

Smoke Blower
111
70
Joined Oct 27, 2018
I was planning to smoke on Tuesday, but the weather here on Tuesday is highs in the low 30s with snow showers, so I moved it up to today. Here is 38 lbs of butts, rubbed and injected Sunday night, read to go.
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Here they are in the smoker

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It's in the 50s this morning, smoker is wrapped in a welding blanket and cooking temps have been no problem. plenty more heat available if I need it. Right now temp variation between top and bottom is 11º. Time to add some chips.
 

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