What to smoke for a group of 30

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jritt74, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. First off, hello. I'm new to the forum and new to smoking also. I have smoked two turkey breasts and they turned out wonderful. I have a 22 WSM and am looking for ideas that a newbie won't have much difficulty with. My 40th birthday is in a few weeks and we are planning on having roughly 30 people over.:sausage:I want to smoke something to feed this group. I was thinking beef or pork or a combination.

    The party is on a Saturday evening and would like to start in the morning. I know I will be limited on what I can do with this time frame and will be open to longer smokes if I don't have options.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The easiest thing to smoke for that many people would be pulled pork .... maybe some ABT's for appetizers...
  3. d-train

    d-train Fire Starter

    I'm in the same boat. My wife and I are having our son's 1st birthday party in May and we are expecting about 40-50 folks. I was thinking 2 large boston butts and a nice sized brisket. Will probably do some smoked sausage appetizers too. A local joint called Burn Co sells raw "lava link". It's the best smoked sausage I've ever had. But not sure if the 2-butts and brisket will be enough.... And wife wants to start eating around 1230 or 1. Needless to say I'll be up early that morning.

    For those of you anywhere near Tulsa, check out burn co if you haven't already. They do all their Q on hasty bakes. It is by far the best BBQ you will find around here. Expect a line tho!
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree with pulled pork..... But give yourself, your wife, and friends a break and cook them before your party. Butts take awhile to cook, they are easy to cook, but they can be temperamental. See no one ever taught them how to tell time. So, do pulled pork ahead, use a good finishing sauce like JJ's, and throw it in a crockpot the day of the party. It will save you clock cooking stress and embarrassment. You want your friends and guests to believe to are totally in control and have mastered the pit and have a cool hand controlling the smoker. Besides you get to sleep the night before the party, and not be all yucky at your own party.

    He's what I do. party is Saturday, I'd throw mine on the smoker to be done Friday evening. pull 'em, Ziploc squirt a little JJ's famous finishing sauce in the bad with 'em. Yada Yada Yada..... by doing this its like beans, it only gets better the second day!

    So you want to do something at the smoker .... do the quick and easy stuff. Throw some sausage on, some ABT's, maybe make the mac & Cheese, or some wicked beans. Throw some ribs on, you want low maintance cooking where you can open and mope and play with the food and not have to worry about them getting done. Sausage and ABTs can be sampled at the pit with cold refreshments.

    Pulled pork, butts, figure about a 30/35% loss of weight from smoking, figure about 1/2 to 1/4 lb. per person. I learned from another here, use small buns, for less waste. Usually a nice warmed sauce served on the side. Matter a fact, you might ask your brides favorite bakery what they would make the buns for.... not you are getting fancy.

    By doing the pork ahead, mine take about 20 /22 hours unfoiled. And no messing with them.... let the smoker do all the work.

    Just my opinion..... pulled pork, and horse-dervies. Throw in some beans and slaw, its and easy delicious paper plate party, and you gain extra points with the bride when you offer to do the dishes! Happy Happy!
    dish likes this.
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    About 20 years ago there was a killer BBQ restaurant in Tulsa. Their rib were of legend! But my old feeble mind, I can't remember the name...... and of course now I will just think and think upon it trying to remember now. LOL

    Another great little restaurant there was the green onion. It was worth going in just for the tater!
  6. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Heh, I guess I've just gotten used to it, but 30 people is a small cook, to the point where you can do just about anything you want..  Big question, do you want to make a production of it and actually smoke the food while the people are there ?  Or is it fine to smoke all day and you just want to have hot food once people arrive ?
  7. d-train

    d-train Fire Starter

    Green onion is no longer here. I only ate there once and it was really good!

    Stuffs house of BBQ has been around for a long time. So has Elmer's... The ribs at BurnCo are crazy ridiculous. Everything I've had there is out if this world!

    By the way, what's ABT's? I'm new around here
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Atomic Buffalo Turd's
  9. Hey guys, thanks for the response. Pulled pork was something we had discussed.

    Foamheart, how many days in advance could I do the cook and still expect good results on the big day?

    Demosthenes9, no production here...that will come later when I'm drunk...if I knew you better I'd sent pics! I would like something that I could start early morning and cook all day.
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That depends, I always figure on the day before if possible. I guess up to almost a week depending upon your reefers cooling ability. In this I bow to your Bride, she'll better tell you your abilities and limitations..... LOL

    Loads of folks here pull and freeze, as do I when there is any left. I have used the left overs for taco, great tamales ( I only have 1/2 dz.  left in the freezer), on pizza, great with BBQ sauce on baked potatoes AND tater skins, etc. etc. I even hear you could make Boudin with it!

    I would shoot for a day or two in advance. Another thing, I read where a lot of the folks here remove some of the fat from the meat when pulling, I guess its a health issue, but I think that cholesterol is the part of the meat that holds all the flavor. You and your may or may not agree, but it is sometimes possible to remove some while pulling.

    Here I go again, writing a book to answer a simple question.
  11. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hahahah, I hear ya.  I've written 2 books in response to this and ended up deleting both of them just prior to posting.   Am currently working on 3rd reply trying to shorten it down a bit  :)
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  12. Thanks again guys. I think we are going to do pp and of few appetizers. As of right now, I'm going to take Friday off and enjoy a few cool ones and cook! I figured some well traveled individuals would have recommended that from the start...lol. I'll try to remember some pics.

    Thanks again

  13. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Consider trying these while you are doing the Horse dervies on the grill. Uncle Dave and SQWIB's are pretty good cooks.






    Maybe make a bunch ahead of time and throw a sampling on the grill with some ABT's the day you cook, clean the Veranda and quality check the beer ..... well of course you as the good host would never want to serve skunky beer! How rude!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  14. I'll check em out, thanks. I really do like the way you think, except what is this veranda you speak of? ;)
  15. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I would say get a bunch of smaller pork shoulders or cut some big ones into pieces no more than 4 or 5 pounds. Smoke them around 300 degrees, will average around an hour a pound and the taste and texture will be just as good if you went low and slow. Then you can pull it from the smoker and pull it in front of your guests to a chorus of oos and ahhhs. You can tell them all that you smoked at 225 for 14 hours. I won't tell anyone haha.
  16. joopster

    joopster Smoking Fanatic

    That's alot of pressure to cook for 30 people on your first real smoke.

    Do you have a grill?  Maybe do something like brats - burgers etc. to supplement your smoke in case it doesn't turn out just right...

    Just a suggestions.
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its where to take Betty Lou Thelma Liz to talk on the porch swing till her Momma calls her Daddy inside. Then ya head for the gazebo for some courtin & sparkin.......
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  18. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Oh man, if you are taking Friday off and cooking then as well, absolutely everything is on the table. Why stop at PP as your only entrée ?     Throw on some spare ribs, brisket, Prime Rib, Baby Backs, pork loins, whole sirloin tip,  what have you. 

    Basically, Friday will be taken up with smoking the butts, doing prep for Saturday and drinking some cold ones.      Apps on Saturday will take about 2 hours.    That leaves time for smoking all sorts of other things if you want.

    I guess I'm kind of weird when it comes to throwing parties and having people over as I just can't limit myself to one entrée selection.   Between my smoker and my grill, I'll usually have 5 or 6 different meats on the table, not counting appetizers   [​IMG]

    The time is there, question is, how crazy do you want to get ?
  19. Ooh...a porch...you Southeners tawk funnie! lol

    Joopster, I do have a grill...I do have all kinds of stuff that can be thrown on in a moments notice...where's the love and confidence brah? :yahoo: Trust me, every time I try something like this, I have a backup plan. Turkey day was nervous cause I had 26 coming for dinner...so I smoked some and fried some. All the folks who want me to fry my turkey, now want me to smoke it.

    Demosthenes9...if I follow your advice I will be divorced the day after. My wife would kill me if I did all that. Btw, can I come over...sounds like you know how to party!

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