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Thread: Feeding 40 people

  1. #11
    TVWBB Hall of Fame timothy's Avatar
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    You could also try Roadside chicken https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?33874-Roadside-Chicken and pulled beef https://tvwbb.com/showthread.php?2848-Pepper-Stout-Beef.
    A few pork loins instead of PP is another idea.

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  2. #12
    TVWBB Wizard Timothy F. Lewis's Avatar
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    I did pork loins for a wedding I catered, I believe I did four whole (eight halves) for 150 people. They are an easy product to handle, season, roast indirect (or on the WSM) slice and you are finished! I love them. Usually not prohibitively expensive either.
    I make a nice apricot/red pepper jelly to serve with that or offer a basic red barbecue such or a Carolina mustard sauce. University of KY used to run a pork chop sandwich booth at a bluegrass music festival that was more a very thin vinegar mustard seed, brown sugar "splashy" sauce that was fantastic, I think Paula Deen had one very close on her show once upon a time. I might have it if I wasn't too lazy to loook for it I'd share. Damn, just had lunch, the hotdog thread made me want one of those, not I want a pork chop sandwich! My doctor is going to make me stop looking at this site!
    Chris, PM me of you want the sauce recipe, I think I know where it is.
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  3. #13
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    40 ppl with 3 or 4 proteins is actually pretty easy. Do 2 butts the day before for the pulled pork. Reheat in bags or in 1/2 pans Get 10 boneless chicken breasts from the grocer. At home, lay out a sheet of wax paper and grab a meat mallet, a coffee mug, or something somewhat heavy. Lay a chickenbreast on the wax paper and cover with another sheet. Pound the thickest part of the chicken to get it to match the thinner side. Don't go overboard here. You aren't trying to pound the whole thing into a thin cutlet. What you are aiming for is consistency from one side to the other. After you do this, grab your knife and cut the breast down into smaller portions. Usually that will be 2 pieces, but sometimes, I even do three pieces on really big breasts.

    About 3 hours before serving time, place the chicken in gallon zip lock bags and add in a bottle of zesty Italian dressing. Add a couple of good shakes of Worcesteshire sauce to the mix. Seal the bag and roll it around / shake it to get a nice mix. Unzip, remove as much air as possible, then reseal the bag.

    Add in 15 burgers and a pack or two of hotdogs and you are set. The entire cook can be done on the Performer. Fire up a large chimney and dump it on one side of the grill. Spread the coals out to cover 1/2 the cooking surface. Put your grate back on and throw the chicken pieces on to direct grill. About the time you get the last piece of chicken on, it's probably time to start turning the chicken that went on first. All you are looking to do is here to get some color and some grill marks. IF nothing is ready to flip yet, put the lid down for a min or two then check again. Flip the chicken once to get the same nice color and grill marks on the other side. Then, move the chicken to the other side of the grate to finish indirectly. At this point, place the burgers and dogs over the direct heat. Put the lid back on for some covered cooking. remove lid to flip burgers and turn dogs as needed. Bring all food off the grill when it's done.

    Simple, easy.
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  4. #14
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    Thanks for the replies guys. It gives me stuff to think about. I was thinking again and will likely do what Dave is suggesting on the chicken, I've done it before, why not do it again. Its easy and people like it.

    I definitely think I want to do the pulled pork as I can get that done ahead of time and not have to worry.

    May consider doing drums on the performer to add to it (and possibly have an excuse to buy a Vortex), or do the flank steak idea. Probably 1 or the other if I end up doing burgers and dogs.

    ideally, I think I"ll have 2 grills going, I'm still learning the charcoal grill. I've so far lit a weber chimney on fire, melted a glove to the lid, had a bunch of lump fall through the charcoal grate and some in the ash catcher. I've had some decent burgers so far, a slightly overcooked ribeye, OK sausage, and some struggle on drumsticks.
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  5. #15
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    Late to the party here I know...but I may be of help to someone for ideas later on?

    I've been the primary meat end of the menu provider for a yearly party of a good friend. Usually 100 - 120 people show up.

    I'll get at least 4 good size butts ready for pulling, resting in coolers to mellow through. I've somewhat perfected the 22 hour smoke on my WSMs, no problems with timing for the service. These'll rest in coolers for quite a few hours packed correctly.

    One of the previous replies recommended the Roadside Chicken recipe...I'll get a mass of chicken thighs trimmed and "prettied" as if I were doing a competition, then use the Roadside marinade. Usually let them sit in the marinade overnight in large ziplock bags, packed in a cooler with bags of ice top and bottom. I'll set up a WSM with the charcoal ring half full, then dump in a full lit chimney. Assemble the smoker, add the water pan with cold water. Start laying out the thighs on the bottom rack, then use three 2" spacers (I've got a bunch of cut maple tree branches for this process, after losing the bunch of tomato past cans I had saved up for this purpose). Add another rack, place another layer of chicken, add three more spacers, another rack, place chicken, etc. You can get a lot of thighs in the WSM this way, and the internal temp is easy to maintain. Add smoking chunks if you wish, not too many. I've been able to get excellent results with crispy skin this way. Remember to baste the top layer often (quickly, keep the grill closed as much as possible), it'll drip through the layers.

    Nearing the food presentation time get some volunteers to pull the pork. Kids are actually pretty good at this, using plain old kitchen forks.

    One year I got a big beef clod and did a pulled beef. This worked well, but the consensus was the chicken and pork fit the need.

    Got this routine worked out well enough that I've been doing onion rings, stuffed jalapeños, scotch eggs, teriyaki beef and chicken on skewers, other appetizers in play also. Lots of prep, but the cooking goes easy.

    I do have multiple WSMs (usually at least 3 in play for this party, sometimes 4 or 5 for convenience). Might have a kettle or two going to, along with a 60" Big John type charcoal/wood grill going for keeping pots of food warm, last minute crisping, hot water for dipping tongs into for quick cleaning.

    The key is prepping and organizing. And keep everybody away from the grills and food preparation areas. They mean well, but.....
    Last edited by JBaker; 06-11-2017 at 08:44 AM. Reason: typo

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  6. #16
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    Thanks for the replies everyone.
    Final menu has been set. Food is going to be bought over the next few days as I didn't want to freeze and thaw.

    Going to do
    -pulled pork, 2 maybe 3 butts depending on size, trying for around 20lbs-25lbs
    -20 chicken cutlet breasts. cut in half, marinated in Italian dressing, I've done it before, people love it, I find it boring but whatever.
    -1 try of Pasta Primavera (as a side and for the vegetarian folks, poor misguided souls)
    -3 rings of Kilbasi as an appetizer

    -1 large pretzel platter

    -chicken nuggets

    We're at 33-35 people plus 7 or 8 kids. I think we'll have enough, If not we'll get some pizza.
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  7. #17
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    Sounds like a great plan. If you want to change things up slightly on the chicken to make it less boring, add 2 or 3 good shakes of Worcestershire sauce to a bottle of Italian. Just don't go crazy on it.

  8. #18
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    I wanted to circle back now that I had the party. Overall I think it went well. We had WAY too much food for a number of reasons. It rained which put a bit of a damper on things. It started about 30 minutes before the party (after everything was set up). It stopped during the party, so some people went outside.

    1) we had a no shows. Also we had some people who RSVPed yes, but then were really just 1 hour drop ins. The end result was between both factors, we lost 1 kid, and 10 adults from our count. So we went from 35/7 down to 25/6

    2) I errored on the side of more pork and went with 21 lbs of pork, 3 shoulders. That was probably too much for 35 people. It was way too much for 25 people, then of those a bunch didn't eat pork. I ended up with 2/3s of it left over.

    3) chicken I marinated about 13 lbs of chicken, which worked out to be around 40 pieces. That was the right amount for 35 people and the kids, we only had left overs due to the no shows.

    The pretzels were a hit, the Kilbasi we served 2 rings and that mostly went (it normally does).

    I did my first overnight cook with the pork shoulders. i made 1 critical mistake at the beginning and I continued to pay for it for the rest of the cook. I lit too many coals to start the cooker, which in turn, lit a lot of the ring (minion method). Temps skyrocketed at the beginning. I had to remove lit coals to bring temp down and by then, a lot were lit. I didn't replenish enough, so at 4AM I had to go out again, then at 630, I had to add more charcoal with a chimney.

    I cooked the chicken on the new S-440 I got. All I can say is freakin awesome. It doesn't get quite as hot as my old genesis, but it more than makes up for it in even nice heat without flare-ups. Not that grilled chicken is super complicated (it isn't). But no blackened pieces, all pieces done evenly throughout and juicy. Its also fantastic to have the capacity to cook that much.

    I should have taken pictures, but with active raining when pulling the pork off, combined with the active raining when we were cooking the Kilbasi and chicken, it really didn't come to mind until it was too late.
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  9. #19
    TVWBB Pro KevinJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for letting us know how it went. Now you have a good base of how to handle feeding a load of people. Make sure you make notes so you can reference them in the future. Sounds like even with the rain it was a sucessful cook!! Nice Job!!
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  10. #20
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    Great job for your first time cooking for a larger crowd! I understand about the no-shows, too...but at least you wound up with leftovers for yourself.

    Photos are nice but the food's always more important, especially when there's a lot of it. You had your priorities in order!

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