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I have a large benefit golf tournament that I have been asked to cook for in mid May. Estimate is about 200 people. The most I have ever cooked for in the past is around 50 and it was much less pressure! Just a party. I am planning to do pulled pork sandwiches. I have pretty well decided on 1/2 lb per person cooked weight to be safe. I am using Boston Butts and figuring on 50% loss so I will need about 200 lbs raw bone-in butts.

My main delimna is when exactly to cook it. The tourny is on a Monday and I am to serve lunch. I am planning to play golf so that morning I just want to drag my smoker there and have it keeping the food warm. I was thinking od doing it Saturday and pulling it and packaging it somehow Sunday and then rewarming it Monday on the smoker in aluminum pans. I will have servers on the day of so my main job is to have it ready to go. I have seen where people have done this a week in advance and then freeze it until a couple days before. Am I just being too ambitious in wanting to play golf and have my cake and eat it too? What would be the best plan of attack for me? Any input would help. All the sides and such will be store-bought so those won't be an issue.

Thanks for any input.
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Well this is going to be a new one for my smoker as far as how much meat will be on it. I haven't cooked that much of any one thing ever. I know it will fit and then some but I figure it will have some effect on the temperature. My initial estimate of 12 hrs will probably be quite short. I imagine it will be more like 16-18 or so for 190+ degrees.

As far as tee time goes I'm not sure yet. If there are enough to have an afternoon flight it won't much matter cause I'll play in it.

As far as a sub-par round...Don't I wish. I shoot for sub-100 rounds!!
What smoker? How will you cook it, all at once or multiple runs? Will it hold that many butts for cooking/reheating?

Will it hold all the pans?

Since the "new" forum is trying to recommend searches less (just a not for the new users) let me know what smoker, but I'd cook on sunday, if you do in two batches, pull Sunday night, chill.

Reheat on Monday, add some liquid (a finishing sauce or sauce and some extra rub)
Thanks Okie. I have an Oklahoma Joe's that I refurbished. It will should hold it all no problem so I think I should be able to do it all in one batch.

But you say chill Sunday night. I was thinking that if I waited to cook till Sunday that I would keep it warm in ice chests with foil and towels and then just keep it warm Monday. Is that too long without chilling if I was to pull it all off Sunday evening?
Sounds like Smokin' is leaving it open,until you answered several questions.

Todd's approach is good-if you know your cooker.

Your tail may be draggin',if you cook 25- 8 lb butts,all Sunday nite in a stickburner,wrap,cooler,present,etc and try to play golf.

If by yourself,Smokin' saves you by having the pulling done and just set the pans out as you need them.

If you have help,chill the butts,whole,reheat in the stickburner and hold,and let the help pull the butts -just to stay ahead of the crowd-while you golf.

Sounds like three workable plans,if you know your cooker,butts,labor help,your own energy level,etc.
My option (I know my smoker) would be to cook them overnight (I don't have to tend the fire) and pull off about 4 hours or so before. Since you're golfing you can pull off earlier, and they're still be too hot to handle.

Is someone else doing the pulling while you're playing golf?
Good input guys. I really appreciate it. I am certainly hoping to have some help with the pulling and serving. We all know how that can turn out but I will have that nailed down beforehand for sure. I agree with you Tom on the fact that my own butt will be cooked after smoking all night and then getting it all ready plus golfing the next day. That's why I was hoping to at least have Sunday night off if I can manage it.

As far as the stickburner goes, I certainly love the way it smokes and I'm pretty proud of all the work I put into it but it is definetely more work than one you can leave on all night and not worry about. One of these days I'll have one of those but it's a ways away. This is the first major gig I have done really. Normally I host parties and general beer drinkins amongst friends but this was a request and it's for a good cause so I'm kinda gettin thrown in trial by fire so to speak! Again, thanks fellas.
Well just to let you guys know the tourny went well. I actually smoked all day Saturday. I smoked 16 butts. The first was done at 8 hrs and the last at 17.5. Quite a difference in size but it all turned out great. I took them off and immediately foiled when they were done and kept them warm in an ice chest until Sunday mid morning. We pulled them all into 2 gallon ziplocks and cooled in an ice chest.

Monday morning I fired the smoker back up at the course and got it going. We put the meat in aluminum pans with some apple juice in the bottom and covered the top. Reheated everything about at about 250 degrees. It turned out great but now that I know what I'm doing a bit more I doubt I'll rewarm next time. Just suck it up and not play golf. Although I have to thank the my wife and mom and friend for letting me golf. After I started the fire and gave them a run down of stoking and regulating I didnt have to worry about it. Drank beer and hacked away. Thank you all again for your help.
I know this event is over, but I just read this thread.

I have not tried this, but a good friend who does alot of catering, gave me this tip.

He will cook and pull the pork and cool. Then he will take the zip lock bags and place them with the meat in the smoker at 215 and reheat it in there, while still in the bags. He says it will not melt till the smoker gets to around 250???

For what it'e worth??

Well that sounds like a great plan. The only thing I can see that could be a problem is if your smoker gets away from you. I know mine quite well and I am confident with it but it's a stick burner and thats a tight tolerance to stay under 250 but above 215. I think I'll stick with aluminum pans. If I had a propane smoker that I wouldn't have to worry about that would be a consideration. Thank you though!

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