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Me and My Big Mouth

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    Me and My Big Mouth

    I made the mistake of telling the minister at our church how I love to cook and BBQ. Next thing I know, I was signed up to cook for the Christmas dinner, approx around 100 people or more! Yikes.
    I’ve done BBQ for as many as 50 before, but nothing this big. The only equipment is this gas grill and 2 small ovens in the church kitchen. I would normally do pulled pork for a crowd, cook ahead of time, but they seem to want a more Christmassy theme.
    My plan is to do chicken halves (spatchcock) on this grill, as well as some grilled eggplant parm or stuffed portobellos, for the vegetarians. I’ve never done it, but I think some extra large aluminum pans can be used to cover the chicken, for a make shift oven? I’ll also bring my WSM to heat up boneless Costco hams, Kirkland Master Carve Hams, which I will make some glaze for.
    The biggest challenge so far is trying to figure out how much meat to cook. One whole chicken yields 8 pieces, so I figure one piece for 80% of the total? How much ham, is 1/4 lb per person a good estimate?
    Depending on how many hams, I might also need some people bring a Weber kettle.

    Suggestions welcome. Wish me luck 😬


    s

    #2
    Wishing you all the luck you need 😊

    Comment


      #3
      Can't help you with your food calculations, but wishing you all the luck there is. But remember, it's just for the church. What's the worst that can happen if you screw the whole thing up? Eternity really isn't that long.

      Comment


        #4
        Yikes! That’s a lot of mouths to feed. Best advice is to plan, plan, plan. Then plan some more for when the original plan goes to s**t. Good luck pitmaster.

        Comment


          #5
          Er ... not wanting to get into the possible theological aspects of spatchcocked yardbird vs. pulled pork ... but is one really more Christmassy than the other?

          FWIW, if pulled pork is out of the question, how about pulled chuckie or something similar instead?

          Comment


          • Dr. Pepper
            Dr. Pepper commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree MBMorgan After all, he said 'Church', not 'Synagogue' or 'Mosque'!

          #6
          Interested in this thread. It is surely doable. I get the desire for the Christmas theme. You can do a bunch of eggplant parm ahead of time and freeze it. The chicken sounds great but you may work yourself cutting all of that up in my opinion. Perhaps thighs?

          Comment


            #7
            Simplify, simplify, simplify.

            Do the eggplant parmigiana ahead. Add more hams to the mix. Drop the chicken. I'd be VERY tempted to do nothing but ham, the parm, and sides. IF they insist on another main, I'd look at beef, but the traditional beef for Christmas would be prime rib which is pricey. Smoked chuck taken to slicing temp vs pulling temp would be an alternative if they don't want the pulled texture.

            If they're trying to dictate the menu too tightly (vs expressing desires about it), say No. Cooking for 100 is enough work without someone else telling you what you have to do.

            As for quantity.. I keep hearing 1/2 pound of the main dish per person as a guideline but obviously it will vary depending on the makeup of the group. For leftovers... donate them to a charity doing meals for the homeless etc? Figure that out beforehand of course.
            Last edited by rickgregory; December 6, 2021, 01:22 PM.

            Comment


            • rickgregory
              rickgregory commented
              Editing a comment
              BTW, you could do the meat (chuck, whatever), days ahead, especially if you are doing slicing temp. Wrap, refrigerate, then reheat in big hotel pans (foiled) to serving temp.

            • SierraBBQGuy
              SierraBBQGuy commented
              Editing a comment
              No one pressuring me to do anything specific, it’s my call. I think though they have had pulled pork many times in the past, so that’s why it’s headed this direction.

            • efincoop
              efincoop commented
              Editing a comment
              +1 on Rick's suggestions. I used to cater and have done my fair share of church cooks. Keep it as simple as possible and do as much as possible on your equipment and use the church facilities for serving.

            #8
            I would definitely do what is easiest for you and if that is pulled pork , then find a Christmas type sauce or topping that works. Second Rick’s suggestion to take suggestions but retain the final decisions. It is a huge amount of work!

            Comment


              #9
              Is it really appropriate to serve pulled pork or ham to commemorate the birth of the King of The Jews?

              Sounds like something out of Life of Bryan.

              Comment


              • DaveD_SpaceBBQ
                DaveD_SpaceBBQ commented
                Editing a comment
                “All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

              • Dr. Pepper
                Dr. Pepper commented
                Editing a comment
                Spam?

              • DaveD_SpaceBBQ
                DaveD_SpaceBBQ commented
                Editing a comment
                I think that was the bloody Vikings...

              #10
              I think ham is a great choice, it’s pre cooked and can be served at room temp. As far as the chicken, was thinking of an herbed roast chicken, as opposed to BBQ. If I was doing ahead of time, definitely would do pulled (or even sliced) shoulder, or chuckles, but ham seems like far more manageable. I don’t think there are many vegetarians. So a just a few grilled eggplant or portobello should be easy? At least it should be fairly fun, the minister is a buddy from the cigar lounge, and loves to smoke, and 🥃. Lol. What makes this even more risky, this is planned as an outside event, 6:00 PM. In Folsom CA, it could be 40° and rainy. There is no plan B. Hopefully they have assurances from the Big Guy, we will have no rain.

              Comment


              • tbob4
                tbob4 commented
                Editing a comment
                I might do tri-tip or chicken breasts. I would cook ahead and transport in a Cambro. I have cooked for large groups - my best tools have been my electric slicer and the Cambro. If I were doing full birds - I would cook ahead, refrigerate - reheat with BBQ sauce at event. It’s what I did for my wedding 33 years ago.

              #11
              Another thought ... you might limit use of the church gasser to making some simple Christmassy appetizers. Save the church ovens for keeping things warm. Do everything else ... whatever it turns out to be ... in advance.

              Comment


              • SierraBBQGuy
                SierraBBQGuy commented
                Editing a comment
                Good idea, if I need that. I’m not in charge of sides, appis and desert, hope someone else does that!

              #12
              Pulled pork is my go to for a crowd. I'd do more hams and add a baked ziti with ground beef and cheese. Something that could be made ahead of time and reheated or cooked in the ovens. If you need to do chicken do something braised so you can do it in advance then re-heat like coc au vin or chicken caccitore.

              Comment


              • Jared49
                Jared49 commented
                Editing a comment
                +1
                HowToBbqRight has a great recipe for “Double Smoked Spiral Ham that could be made in advance. And it’s really good.

              #13
              Me!!!!.... make the meal....Oh, I thought you were kidding about that....
              Couple of Spiral hams would be my choice, an hour or two on the gasser or Weber, they come with they're own glaze.
              Three cuts vertically down the bone and its on the serving platter.
              If your doing the foil pan thing some kind of rice dish, Portuguese rice comes to mind, really easy to prepare ahead and reheat.
              Pasta salad and a green salad.
              Cooking the amount of chicken your going to need that day is going to be too time consuming.

              Comment


                #14
                Hummm… many of you seem to think chicken is not the best idea. Perhaps I need to re think that one? My thinking was that I’ll have all afternoon to grill the chicken halves, and cutting up into pieces would be very fast. No work to heat up the ham. Main thing right now is to get a head count. I think I can handle up to 8 hams in the WSM, and probably 10 chickens on the grill.

                Comment


                • smokin fool
                  smokin fool commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If you want a second meat dish I'd go with an eye of the round or sirloin tip roast(s).
                  Will show a better smokey flavor than hen, cooks in two-three hours, goes further sliced than parting out chicken.
                  My 2 cents worth.

                • rickgregory
                  rickgregory commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Depening on how you divvy it up, you could need to cook a lot of chickens. If you leave the legs and thigh as one and the breast as one serving, a chicken only serves 4. So you'd need 10-12. They're not hard to do, as you note, but they also can't really be done ahead of time easily if you want to serve them hot. But they'd be a fine choice as a meal.

                • smokenoob
                  smokenoob commented
                  Editing a comment
                  25 precooked chickens from the local grocery store sound good to me!

                #15
                If it makes you feel any better, my big mouth costs me money. I have a bad habit of telling the wrong people how things really are Your predicament is but a speedbump and later on a great memory waiting to happen. My predicaments end up affecting me for decades

                You got this, the pit will steer ya right.

                Comment

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