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Hey guys Jeff here. Picked up 2 catering gig's for Super-Bowl Sunday. Need advice: Yes I searched the forums already!

1st Function: Brisket & Pulled Chicken for 80 people.

2nd Function: Ribs, Brisket & Pulled pork for 50-60.

I have never cooked 8 briskets at once. (I may need more!) I am thinking of getting the rib racks for the FEC 100. I am also thinking about breaking out my Backwoods for maybe just the butts. Any advice?
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I try not to be a caterer,but sometimes I do cook with them.

How are you presenting the chicken.

Whole chickens ,shredded yield about 33%.

Packer briskets about 50%,flats-more like 60%.

What kind of eaters,and how much do you want to feed them?

Are you doing sides,and how many?

We do three and four ribracks in the FEC.

Are you doing spares,or loinbacks?

Many would advise to do brisket-or pork.

Not both,or everyone will sample each?

Are you doing the prep,serving?

Here is a post from Eliabeth Lumpkin,that many folks find useful.

This was posted by Elizabeth of Boss Hawgs Restaurant and Catering in Topeka,KS.

Elizabeth and Hank have been very successful on the comp circuit and their restaurants.

They have always shared graciously with the BBQ community.

This was originally posted to Ray basso's forum.

Hope some find it useful.


Posted by Elizabeth on September 18, 1997 at 16:48:55:

In Reply to: Catering question posted by Shake on September 18, 1997 at 12:45:19:

Hi Shake, I've fed groups of 100-300 for a couple of years. Been doing it for money for a year now. Figure on 1/2 cup of beans and 1/2 cup of your second side per person. If you're doing 3 sides, figure on 1/3 cup per person per side. In other words, a total of 1 cup per person of sides. Figure one gallon of bbq sauce per hundred people. On meat, figure 3 oz. and one bun per person for a light meal, 4 oz. and 1 1/2 buns per person for a regular meal, 5 oz. and 2 buns per person for a heavy meal. If you're feeding just ribs for the meat, figure 1/3 to 1/2 slab per person (that's for REALLY meaty ribs, like a top quality 1.75-2.0 lb. babyback, more if you're using a less meaty rib). If it's ribs in combo with other meats, figure 1/4 slab per person and 3 oz. sliced meats and one bun per person. The size of the plates you use will definitely affect how much people will eat. We use a 7 1/2 inch plate for light meals, a 9 inch plate for medium meals, and a 10 1/4 inch plate for heavy meals. Put your side dishes at the beginning of the buffet line, your buns and sliced meats in the middle. Put your ribs at the end of the buffet line. This keeps those retired football player types from coming through the line and taking a whole slab of ribs which would cause you to run out before everyone gets a chance to eat. We have our servers say "Brisket ma'am?" and "Baked Beans sir?" to make sure we don't load up someone with something they don't like. With ribs we say "Do you care for ribs?" Depending on the enthusiasm expressed for ribs, we will put 1 or 2 on the plate. If they are wildly enthusiastic about ribs, we put 3 on their plate. We always say "come back for more, there's plenty!" To figure out how much to charge, take your raw food costs and multiply by 4. That will cover your labor, your overhead, your utilities, your wood, your charcoal, your insurance, soap for the dishes, etc., and leave you with a 10-18% profit margin, depending on how carefully you manage your labor force and your other resources. Best advice for feeding the public is to never ever reduce the quality of your product. Let some other guy try to be the cheapest caterer in town: your reputation should be for the best food. I believe all of us who make honest traditional REAL barbeque cooked over wood/charcoal have a duty to be barbeque evangelists and spread the word about what barbeque SHOULD taste like. I hope it changes consumer expectations so that fake barbeque goes the way of the Edsel. But don't kill yourself trying to do competition level barbeque in volume isn't possible. Just make it delicious and wonderful and know the limitations of volume Q. And have fun with it...if you're not enjoying yourself it's not worth doing.

Thanks for my only response!
I am not so worried about the yields & quantities, I have run some of Chicago's biggest restaurants & have a good feel for the assembly.

What I am worried about is how to produce all that food together out of one unit.

I am doing the first function: 2 meats & 4 sides.
1. Pulled Chicken & Sliced Brisket
2. Carrots, Salad, Slaw & Mac-N-Cheese
**this order is being delivered hot & ready to serve, they are going to serve it family style. So I am going to wrap everything in separate pans ready to serve.

The second deal is going to be an all you can eat buffet: BBQ items: Ribs,brisket & pulled pork. Plus lots of sides, but I am going to have help.

I was thinking whole packers. All fat side down with Cookshack rub. Pecan Pellets?
Chicken: whole fryers cut into pieces, smoked & then pulled, Cookshack chicken rub. Apple or Cherry Pellets.

I am going to do baby backs (Rib Rub)(I called Cookshack today to order the rib racks, but they were closed? Was it a holiday? Not in Chicago, just 8 degrees!

Here's what I am thinking, Butts Friday PM into Sat AM. Pull Butts Sat afternoon.I am thinking about doing the chicken Saturday afternoon before the briskets go in. Pull briskets Sun am & put ribs in.

What do you think?
Originally posted by j-pouchman:
...I called Cookshack today to order the rib racks, but they were closed? Was it a holiday? Not in Chicago, just 8 degrees!

Here's what I am thinking, Butts Friday PM into Sat AM. Pull Butts Sat afternoon.I am thinking about doing the chicken Saturday afternoon before the briskets go in. Pull briskets Sun am & put ribs in.

What do you think?

Uh, no, just about 2 to 3 inches of ice and sleet with 6 inches of snow on top. And no, this isn't chicago, we don't like that stuff.

Tell me quantities of what you're cooking.

You said 8 briskets (which I've done many times in an FE), but what about butts?

Reason I asked is you said you needed brisket for the first and butts for the 2nd.

How much and were are you cooking the chicken?

How many racks of ribs?

I like the racks more for St. Louis than BB (because of the curve). I've only done a mass of BB once, but I remember they were very curved and that was an issue (but maybe someone else that does a lot of them can help) or maybe you're aren't that curved.
I use rib racks for BB when I have 10 or more racks. The thing about the curve is you place all the ribs so the curves are all going the same way....either left or right. When it's time to slather the sauce I take each rib by the ends pull it out of the rack rest it ontop of the other ribs slather and place back into rack. Once you get the hang of it it goes rather fast. I've cooked 30 racks of BB on more than several occasions. Thing to remember is to rotate your Rib Racks clockwise and top to bottom. I do this half way thru the cook.
Sorry not to get back,but we just returned from cookoff.

Sounds like the others have given a good start.

We have also cooked the full loads of loinbacks and made the above adjustments.

Kinda the same rotation on butts,or load by size and early morning start pulling out done ones and slide others to hot spots.

Keeping in mind that the butts are easier to pull and hold well,than briskets.

Lots of folks, out in brisket country, will use sholder clods,or rolls for buffets.

Cheaper in your area and lots easier to hold.

Shout if we can help more.

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