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Wedding BBQ

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    Wedding BBQ

    Good evening everyone, hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather. Wanted to get a few opinions for my backyard wedding I'm also cooking for.

    We will have about 50 people and I will be doing pulled pork, brisket, and salmon tacos with good homemade tortillas. I will be smoking 1 packer and 3 bigger shoulders. I have been into competition cooking for a while now and used to a time frame, but this will be my first time cooking for this many people so I want to get it right. Of course, I'll dry brine the night before. I want the meat off by 4 or 5 to be ready to serve by 7ish. My question- what's the longest you have held your meat in a Cambro? I'd like to put everything on around midnight and cook around 250-275 and give it a good 15-18 hours to cook. Shoulder I will not wrap unless the stall is killing me, brisket I may wrap with butcher paper. My worry is everything will get done too early, but I have a feeling since this will be going into tacos it may not be a big deal. I'll have Lexington dip and another sauce to go on the tacos. I got a real Cambro as a gift, so it holds food to temp for a good 12 hours or so. Any input would be greatly approciated!

    Gbell1577 ...

    Cooking for your own wedding... Ballsy.😎

    My method of cooking butts and briskets is i cook at 225°. I don't wrap.

    I think I get really good bark by not wrapping. By anticipating the stall and waiting it out I know a brisket or butt is going to take about 16 hours. RARELY does it go 18 hours. RARELY does it take less than 14 hours.

    So... I alway start my butts and briskets 18 hours before I want to serve them.

    If they get done early or they get done later than normal I have leeway. I really want at least 2 hours in the cambro but if I only get 1 hour I'm good. If I get 4 hours... I'm good.

    Then if they are freaky and get done really quick you can cambro them with your temp gauge in and if they are getting below the safe point.. 140°, put them in the oven at 170°.

    When you're cooking for a large crowd a long cambro is MUCH better than having a hungry crowd of people waiting for your meat to finish.

    Failing to plan properly is the same as planning to fail... John Wooden.


      Gbell1577, I think Breadhead just gave you good advice! Good Luck an congratulations To You and Your Bride! I have owned my wife for 42 years now, got her at an outdoor wedding as well, If I Ever Catch Up To That Preacher I Am Going To Sue Him For Selling Me Defective Merchadise! She Has Never Obeyed!! Congratulations Again, Dan


      • Breadhead
        Breadhead commented
        Editing a comment

        Obviously your bride doesn't read your Pit messages. Other wise she would probably move the couch you've been sleeping on outside.

        Some women would think castration might be fitting if a male thought they owned them.🔪

      • Karon Adams
        Karon Adams commented
        Editing a comment
        your problem, Dan, was that you have the 'obey' backwards. HWMO learned that very quickly.

      • Danjohnston949
        Danjohnston949 commented
        Editing a comment
        Breadhead & Karon Adams, Guilty as Charged, More Therapy Needed, Pass the Whiskey Please, Dan

      I agree with Breadhead. Ballsy. you DO realize if anything goes wrong you'll never hear the end of it? But, that's OK, every set of mismatched chromosomes needs to start wedded bliss knowing where he stands ;-)

      Not to beat my dead horse, this is where I would seriously think about timing my cook a few hours earlier, then sealing everything into bags and keeping them warm in a sous vide.

      I would also recommend you make a primary BBQ dressing of pork gelatin. That is the first thing to go as pork reheats or hold in heat. Smoke some trotters ahead of time and make a nice, big pot of trotter jelly. Right before service (assuming you are holding your meat at tem,) toss the meat with a dressing of the gelatin (which will melt into the meat and give you back a close fit to the first off the grill bite) then offer sauce after.

      Next time I cook, I am going to pack off the uneaten meat with a nice, generous chunk of gelatin in the freezer bag with the meat.


        I'd think the more meat you put in the Cambro the longer it will stay warm. More thermal mass and all that.


          I pour boiling water in my cooler, swirl it around. Close it for about 10 minutes, dump the water. Then put in the meat wrapped in towel and it stays hot (yes hot) for 4 hours.


          • Breadhead
            Breadhead commented
            Editing a comment
            Ernest ...

            If I know my meat is going to stay in the cambro for over a couple hours I use your hot water warm up too. If it's only going to be a 2 hour rest I don't bother.

          • Huskee
            Huskee commented
            Editing a comment
            I bathtub mine, fill with hot water. Let it sit for however long until I'm ready to put meat in it then drain. Like Breadhead if it's a relatively short hold I don't bother.

          I would also add a wrapped stone. if you have it, one of the salt slabs. something else to offer thermal mass. If you use regular brick, bricks, wrap them in aluminum foil, then wrap them in some form of fabric. Preheating the cooler is absolutely the best. I do that for hot and cool with Iced salt water.


            Thanks for all the great advice! I'm giving myself about 18 hours. I've tested meat for about 4 hours before and it turned out great. Besides, it's hard to mess up pulled pork.



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