We have been enlisted to cater an employee lunch for 170 people. The employees will come at us in 3 different batches seperated by about 15 minutes. We start the 1st crew at about 10:30am and I want to make sure that I have the timing down. We are wanting to do it with just a FE100 since the location is so remote. Here's my thoughts, please poke holes where needed.
To ensure 2nds or left overs I am using 200 servings as the goal. I thought a mix of shredded pork, brisket and chicken 1/4s for the meat. Pinto Beans and Red Rice for the sides.
4 Briskets top 2 shelves 6 butts bottom 2 shelves go in at 5:00pm Thurs. on Smoke. Looking for them to finish around 4:30am.
Fri 5:00am St. Louis ribs filling two Cookshack Rib Racks on the top to positions balance of any brisket or butts needing more time on 3 & 4.
Ribs pulled at 9:30am and cooker filled with 50 chicken quarters running on 375ï¿½ (trim the fat real well and make sure to strip one layer of foil off the grease slide).
Chicken=50 leg quarters
Butts=6 or about 40lbs (little butts in Calif)
Brisket=4 or about 40lbs
No idea on the rice and beans.
This is a free cook from our company in appreciation of theirs so it will be received as a nice gift but we need to do a good job as well.
How far off base am I?
Two things I can suggest.
1. I would cook the ribs ahead of time on Thursday. When done, pull, wrap in foil and cool down. Reheat them on Friday morning and store in an insulated food carrier for serving later. If you want to add flourish, finish them off just before serving on a charcoal grill where you glaze before cutting them for your customers. BTW, you don't say how many racks you will be cooking.
2. Make sure you clean out the grease in the smoker before running it up to 375 for the chicken. Chickens put off a lot of drippings that have been known to flare up before. While I don't see a major problem since you are only using 375, it can't hurt to be safe. But it already sounds like you are on the right track for this for your comments.
Knock em dead.
I was thinking of doing 20 racks of ribs.
This event doesn't happen until the middle of June so I'll have some time to play with here.
If you're doing a buffet style meal, be sure to put your beans and rice in front of the meat. Set your meat up with the least expensive to most expensive after that. I think I'd stick some green stuff in there, like a salad or slaw. I'd put that in between the beans and rice and the meat. Or maybe, start with the chicken, then the beans and rice, then the salad(if you decide to do one), then pork, then beef. The sides can keep everyone satisfied, helping their plates, and slow them down a bit on the meat. Otherwise, they tend to plow into the meat, forget the sides. You'll be out of meat and have a lot of sides left over. I think your portions sound generous. You should do well. Best of luck.
"best bbq in town"!
i commend you on you request for imput. the first few big jobs are always touchy. we are doing a job here today, for 100. here is our lists. 25lbs pork, 25 pounds chicken strips, 25 pounds potato salad, 20 pounds slaw, 25 pounds baked beans. 104 rolls, one gallon sauce, half gallon honey mustard. i guess it depends on wether they are gonna eat, or just snack.
here, people tend to eat alot.
Is that 25 lbs. of finished pork?
Can't really answer for Coffee...but, I'd say that that is the finished product weight. Generally 1/4 lb. servings per head plus the 1/4 per head on chicken= 1/2 meat per head. That is about right for healthy eaters!
Though, I am a little stumped on the 104 rolls.
Timing sounds good. The only thing is that you wnat to be sure everything is DONE when ready to serve. I would start everything one hour earlier to ensure that it is all done in time. Like ribdog said, you might want to do the ribs in advance to make life easier on yourself. Offering so many choices on meat is nice but it will make guestimating servings tricky.
If everyone gets Pork and beef that is 3-3/4 oz of each per person--hard to measure that. If everyone wants chicken too then you are 120 short(they probably won't all want some of everything). Maybe try wings or legs that way you can do enough for all. Not sure how many ribs you are doing but you need to make sure you have plenty for all. Doing all the meats means YOU are going to HAVE to control the portions or by the time the second and third wave comes through you will be running out of stuff. That is one problem with offering SO much---you have to make sure there is plenty of everything for everyone. It can be wasteful and expensive. My advise is to offer only 2 meat items at 1/4 lb servings and offer 3 sides. Everyone will still be happy and it will work out to be MUCH better and easier on yourself.
I'm doing 80 people tonight(Sat) and 120 tomorrow during the NASCAR race. Thank goodness they booked at the same time and I was able to steer them to the same menu.
But I'm going with 4oz BBQ, 3-4oz brisket, and 1/4 chicken per person. Plus about 3oz each of slaw, potato salad, mac salad, dirty rice, broccoli salad, and bread. This is heavier than I would normally go on serving sizes, but NASCAR fans seem to have unusually large capacities for smoked foods. Seriously.
Like Peggy said, proper setup on a buffet can make or break you. I did the party for the NASCAR people last year and they all grabbed plates and then encircled the table starting where ever they happened to be instead of getting their plate and going in a line. I kind of sweated that event as I watched the meat going very fast. This year I've got a plan to exert a little more control over the way things work. My helper is actually going to hand out plates to each person as they enter the line rather than just having a stack of plates to pick up as needed. If that dosen't work, next year I'll use barbed wire and a cattle prod to instill order.
Thank you all for some very helpful inputs. Wife and I are already starting to change the menu a bit and setup diagram of the buffet line to play around with.
As always, folks associated with this site are just so helpful.
"best bbq in town"!
i love the barbed wire idea! i am rolling over here..heehee. speaking of rolls.....some of you were stumped by 104 rolls.....thats easy.....i didnt make them, i bought them in packages of 8...heehee 8X13=104
actually, we scaled down our quantities a bit... we went with 25 pounds of each meat, but the sides we dropped to 20 pounds each at the last minute. its a woman thing. what she says i do.....
it worked just fine. the food was plentyful, without being too much. on top of that, we broke our sales record yesterday. man, thats alot of work for 2 people.
magikwalt, i gotta agree with zeb. it seems like you may be short on some of the meats. i would have plenty more of all the meats(remember 1 butt will yeild about half its original weight) waiting in the wings incase i had to re- stock. also, another idea is to offer many more sides. although red rice and pintos are great, add in some slaw, potato or macaroni salad, maybe cheap mac and cheese or mashed taters or something, to fill their bellies. starches work well and are cheap to make. but i would definitely start my cooking earlier say like,,,, 2 days before. everything can be heated the day of event and taste fresh. main thing is that way, you have time to replace something if it broke or burnt or something.
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