HELP!!! Homecoming Backyard Bonanza

Discussion in 'Pork' started by pullinmypork, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. pullinmypork

    pullinmypork Newbie

    Ok, so on Labor Day, my Parents asked me to have a cookout for my little brother who is coming home from the Army for the first time in almost a year. My thought was just immediate family but now the list has grown to almost 60 people. I have never cooked for this many people at once. I am planning on about 40# of chicken quarters, 16# pulled pork, and 20 gallons of my chili. 

    My question is, that I have a Charbroil Vertical Charcoal Smoker and this is what I have to do the Butts in, will I need to rotate the Butts from shelf to shelf or will I get an even smoke and cook throughout? Like I said I have never cooked this much at one time and I don't have the proper equipment to do this. I do this for fun because of lack of $$$$$. As is, I have to rent a grill for the chicken. 

    Any insight
  2. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper

    Looks like a lot of food for 60 people!  Smoke the pork butt early and reheat it the day that you serve it.  Heck, make some of your chili with some of the cooked pulled pork in it, it's amazing. 

    Good luck on the large cook, take pictures, enjoy your time with family, and tell your brother thank you for serving!
  3. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with heyer5 completely. You have plenty of time to plan this out and no sense killing yourself the day of the party. Your brother must be excited to be coming home and I will bet he will love some home made grub for a nice change!  
  4. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    i agree...i think with that menu you have plenty of food for apprx 60 people.

    if you want 16lbs of pulled pork are you planning to smoke between 30-35lbs of butts (assuming around a 50-60% loss of weight due to cooking)? If so are you thinking 3 10lbers? or 5-6 smaller butts? IF your limited on smoker size  you mgiht want to do larger butts such as 10lbrs. You could smoke them for 4-6 hours and then put them in the oven to finish so you have the smoker for the wings. 

    sounds like you have the chilli handled,assuming that'll be on a stove top or propane burner. So all you have to worry about is the quarters. can you fit all 40lbs in your smoker? if not maybe once the butts are in the oven you do 20lb and 20lb in the smoker and then finish the first set in the oven.

    hope this helps and feel free to post more questions/concerns. Is  your vertical charbroil a 16" smoker? 
  5. millerk0486

    millerk0486 Meat Mopper

    If it were me I would smoke the butts a day or two before, then put the pulled meat in the crock pot the day of. If you're serving it unsauced, you can put a little water in the pot to keep it moist. I do this all the time. You can even smoke it a week or longer in advance and freeze the pulled meat.
  6. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Whoa, I think you got plenty of chili to go around! that's 320 cups of chili, I think you would be ok halfing that

    Start off with a list of supplies, get all your non perishables early.

    Create a list of guests.

    Prepare for bad weather rain and wind, canopies, tie downs etc... unless you will be indoors, hopefully the weather will be perfect but I always say "prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

    Make sure you have plenty of coolers and start making block ice way in advance... that is if you have a place to keep it, block ice will last 5 times longer than crushed. Separate alcoholic beverages from non alcoholic beverages, try to organize the coolers for example, Coors light on the left, Yuengling on the right.

    Designated drivers... I know, I hate to be a "Debbie Downer" but this is a serious problem anymore!

    Adequate seating and tables.

    Cook your PP the day before and use a finishing sauce when reheating.

    Double up on your pork, 16lbs is ok for a group of 30. 16 pounds with a yield of 50% gives you 8 pounds and at a quarter pound per person that's 32 servings (I actually estimate 1/3rd pound per person).

    Use small slider rolls for the PP to keep waste at a minimal.

    If using solo cups, place a marker by the solo cups so folks can write their names on their cup


    Memories - have some cameras or ask folks to bring theirs, if you have a cheapo digital camera or two, leave them out and put a sign out asking folks to snap off pics, or buy some disposables.

    Music, create a playlist of music to compliment your brother, throw some music in that fits your guests as well.

    Put the dog and cat away, not everyone loves animals.

    Delegation... don't be afraid to delegate some tasks to others such as setup and decorations.

    Do you want to be cooking when guests are about or do you want everything ready to go?

    If you want everything setup so you can mingle, then look into getting chaffing dishes, these can be used for hot and for cold foods such as potato salads.

    Make signs for everything, Trash, Recyclables, Beverages, descriptions of foods.

    Also place tags by the foods with the ingredients for Gluten Free guests and folks that may be allergic.

    Coffee, start a pot right away, many folks like coffee as their main beverage, also put out some hot water for tea.Don't forget sugar substitutes for our diabetic folks.

    Keep extra toilet paper by the toilets and a plunger by each also.

    Of course this list can go on forever but I said enuff already!

    By doing all this prep work, you will have more free time to mingle, and wont be bogged down by the needy folks that need to ask where everything is constantly!

    But most importantly enjoy yourself, have a good time, the more relaxed you are, the more comfortable your guests will be.
  7. I think that has about everything covered.

    Happy smoken.

  8. heyer5

    heyer5 Meat Mopper


    That was a heck of a list!
  9. pullinmypork

    pullinmypork Newbie

    My family doesn't drink, more for me:). My little brother actually has no idea we are doing this for him. He is coming home Sept 1, and we are surprising him the next day. ( I didn't even get a welcome home like that. I got picked up at the airport and my dad bought me McDs) As for the chili problem, with my friends and family that might not be enough. I would make that on camping trips with 10- 15 people and it was gone. Thanks for all your replies. I am going to rent a chicken pit 2 x 5 for the day @ $40.00. My problem is the more I smell it while cooking, the less hungry I get( I also pick a little) but as for the rest of them, that might not be enough food. So far the menu includes:

    Pulled Pork

    BBQ Chicken


    4 dz ears of corn

    Mac Salad

    Potatoe Salad

    Cole Slaw

    Coke, Pepsi, Ice Tea, Liquid courage for me( I think I will need it to deal with everyone)

    I think it will all be good, but this is the last time I say I need a hobby.

    I am in the process of planning a smoker build out of an air compressor. Winter project
  10. I second sqwib's post. When serving a lot of people, I always like to prep as much as I can in advance. I learned that the hard way haha. I usually get my sauce ingredients, serveware, charcoal and wood chunks a week in advance. Produce and meat 3 days in advance and then I'll start marinating, rubbing, chopping 2 days out. This way I can cook the day before and on the day of reheat and do little finishing touches so I can spend most of the party playing host. Nothing sucks more than cleaning up cookware and utensils while everyone else is shooting the breeze having a couple cold ones. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the compliments!
  11. pullinmypork

    pullinmypork Newbie

    Hey guys I appreciate all of your insight and help. I'll try to get some good pics and comments from the party. Thanks again

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