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Feeding 5,000

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    Feeding 5,000

    I sent this as a pm originally and was told to post it in the open. I wasn't given advice as to what section to post it in but I'm sure I'll be told that soon. I have just been invited to bbq for an expected crowd of 5,000! I've never q'd for that many and was wondering if you would help with the calculations? I'm planning on doing brisket and venison(haunches/shoulders/similar cuts to brisket) as someone else is doing a whole hog How much meat do I need per head? How much wood? I have apple and cherry for sure; I'm not sure what else...I don't know which smoker/grill I'll be using yet, but I have all my probes! Thanks again for this wonderful site. Stacy

    It depends on if it's by the Sea of Galilee and if Jesus is there teaching his disciples, and a large crowd is trying to find Jesus because they've seen something in Him they haven't seen before, the love and power of God on display, and Jesus sees that the people are needy and one of his disciples finds a boy with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish...


    • Jerod Broussard
      Jerod Broussard commented
      Editing a comment
      Don't forget that was just men, add a wife and a few kids and you got close to 20,000.

    • PaulstheRibList
      PaulstheRibList commented
      Editing a comment
      You are so right, Jerod! #JesusNeverRunsOut

    I would definitely need Jesus to cook for 5,000.


      Total protein per head (all people cooking) should be about 1/2 lb. That means 2,500 lbs. Even if the other person is cooking a 300 lb. hog, that leaves you with a ton of meat to cook. Not feasible on what I see as your cooker in your signature.


        I have a spreadsheet from the Cookshack forum that allows you to enter the number of people to feed, the number of meats being served, number of sides, etc. and it tells you how many pounds of each you'll need. You can even change the % of weight lost to fit your specific historical results. PM me with an email addy and I'll send it to you if you're interested.


        • mr.brisket
          mr.brisket commented
          Editing a comment
          Although I am not planning to cook for 5,000, I would love to see that spread sheet if you would be so kind as to send to me. [email protected]

          Thank you

        • FLBuckeye
          FLBuckeye commented
          Editing a comment
          Dr ROK , can you post the link? TIA

        • Dr ROK
          Dr ROK commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't have a link to it, but I can share it via evernote -


          or if anybody messages me I can email the actual Excel file.

        Wow, that's awesome, so much respect for taking on such a daunting project!

        What kind of equipment (or how many smokers) do you use to cook that much food? Would love to see pics of your set up and the final orgy of BBQ'd flesh, good luck!


          As Hooper says to Quint in JAWS, "You're gonna need a bigger boat"

          They must be providing a cooker for you to use. With over 2,000 lbs of meat to cook you're going to need a ton more cooking room. If you know exactly what you are cooking on, the members that do large cooks will be able to help you better. Maybe see if someone in the catering section has some ideas to throw your way. That's about 4,970 more people than I have ever cooked for. So I would even know where to start.
          If you do it, You deserve a BBQ medal of Bravery and Valor!!
          Good Luck. I hope to see some pictures from the top of this BBQ mountain.



            You might something like this....

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            • Breadhead
              Breadhead commented
              Editing a comment
              smarkley you beat me to it. When I read the post I was thinking I'm going post the picture of that huge smoker truck I have saved in my picture files. Then I scroll down and noticed you were thinking the same thing.

              That truck is always good for a chuckle.

            • Papa Bob
              Papa Bob commented
              Editing a comment
              hey!!! I've been a truck driver for 40 yrs. ill drive and help ha-ha

            Get good, good insurance...lol


              Stacy... I remember when a Howard Behar, the guy that grew Starbucks from 28 stores in Seattle to 1000's of stores all around the world told me... PIGS GET FAT AND HOGS GET SLAUTHERED! He was my boss at Grantree Furniture Rental, he was only a VP at that company. I was the buyer at GFR at the time. I had made a decision to buy a huge lot of bedroom furniture, well over a million dollars of product... Because the company that offered me the deal was hurting at the time and needed a really big order to keep from going bankrupt. Howard told me... Look at the big picture. If they are that desperate, to give you that price, the odds of them being in business, to honor their warranty, is not good. So he said discount their discount by 20%. He said where are going to warehouse this large quantity of product... Extra space adds costs. How you sort the numbers is important. A big deal, a big project... Is not always a good deal? Feeding 5000 people with limited equipment and NO liability insurance is a perfect illustration of... Hog's get slaughter! If I were you... I would not take this deal. I would offer to help them find a provider that can handle that volume, for a cut of the gross.


                Hi and thank you to all of you that have posted encouragement and helpful information. I ordered my commercial size smoker/grill and the dates for Woodfest are in September. I'll post my success pics here when it's all done. Thanks again for your support.


                • (fuzz)
                  (fuzz) commented
                  Editing a comment
                  What did you go with for a commercial size smoker/grill?

                I don't know how one even goes about feeding 5,000 people. I'd opt to sit on a lawn chair, sip beer, and watch how it's done. Best of luck to you, bbdiamondgrl !

                I bet you're going to have some tasty test runs on that grill. Enjoy!



                  Holy mackerel .... I've fed 100 and that was a lot of work, between the meats and the sides. 50 times that seems incredibly daunting to even contemplate, let alone actually do. Love to hear all your lessons learned, see your pics, etc.


                    I was at the F1 race in Austin last year, the main barbecue vendor there had a rig that had to be pulled as a tractor-trailer combo and looked like this: Click image for larger version

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                    They had a staff of at least 30 people to tend the pit, serve and collect the money.

                    My hat's off to you for even thinking about this, God be with you! And I hope they're buying you a collection of commercial smokers, not just one(unless it's one like this).


                    Last edited by billg71; June 29, 2015, 05:30 PM.


                      Better you than me...lol. I can't even imagine attempting that



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