Help needed for Church Picnic

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by itsbigs, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. Hi all,

    I'm looking for recipes and portion help for an upcoming church picnic. I want to make both smoked pulled pork and pulled chicken. I have a couple open weekends prior to the picnic, so I want to put my MES 30 to work. My thought is for both meats would produce an unsauced product and allow people to apply their own sauce from a few different types to fit their taste buds. Any good flavor, but neutral spice(heat) recipes? Also, I'm guessing 40-45 people. What should target pounds for each meat? I'm just wanting to avoid making too much.
    Thank for your help!
  2. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'll bump this so I can come back to it later when I'm home.
  3. icyhot

    icyhot Smoking Fanatic

    Try jjs finishing sauce for the pork. You can find the recipe on here if u do a search
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not a caterer, restaurant owner, or chef.  I'm just a guy who knows how to cook and often provides smoked food for parties, potlucks, family get togethers, etc.  Allow me to brainstorm this with you. 

    First, I'm not sure why you want to provide both pulled pork and pulled chicken.  If the pulled chicken is going to be served enchilada style, I get it.  If it is going to be serve with the same BBQ sauce choices, I'd do one or the other but not both.  Pork is easy, inexpensive, and you don't have the bone choking hazard you'd have if you smoked whole chickens and pulled them.  Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs are just as easy as pork, much quicker to smoke, but generally slightly more expensive.  Both pork and chicken are fairly neutral meats, but pork just has better flavor IMO.  Just a thought.

    Concerning your idea about serving unsauced meat and a variety of sauces, three things come to mine.  First I've found it is best if people at parties and potlucks don't have to make decisions about how to prepare their food once it is on their plate.  The line moves faster because there are some people who literally can't make decisions, especially about food prep.  Plus, you lose control over the flavor of your offering.  Second, sauced meat, even lightly sauced, will stay moist and juicy longer than dry meat.  Third, I love Chef JJ's finishing sauce.  I don't serve pulled pork without it.  I've taken squirt bottles of Chef JJ's finishing sauce to three parties/potlucks, instructed people how to use it, and still came back with almost full bottles.  Now I just put it in the meat before I serve it, which kind of circles back to the first point.

    My recommendation would be pulled pork or pulled chicken only, lightly sauced for moistness.  I've never taken pulled chicken to a party or pot luck, only pulled pork.  If you are the sole supplier of protein, 20 lbs of bone-in pork butt/shoulder will be plenty.  If there are going to be other folks bringing burgers, hot dogs, sausages, ham, etc, half that amount.  If you don't want leftovers tell folks to take home what's left.  It will all disappear.   

    There are lots of rubs you can use that are neutral.  My favorite store bought is McCormick Sweet and Smoky.  It works on pork or chicken.  Best price is at Wal-Mart.  I don't think I could make it for their sell price.  I can post my recipe for the same thing here if you want.

    Finally, it sounds like everyone else is going to be bringing sides.  If you want to contribute in that area, use the search feature above for Dutch's Wicked Baked Beans.  It can be prepared without the peppers and is still delicious.   
  5. Thanks! I knew I'd get the advice I was looking for here. I'm now a lot more clear on what I need to do.
  6. phatbac

    phatbac Master of the Pit

    If may make a suggestion if you are going pork and chicken. try drumsticks or drumettes. they are ridiculously cheap and drumsticks are very potluck friendly because it has a handle and therefore kid friendly. the take like 2-3 hours to smoke and can be dipped in a light bit of sauce and put in the oven or grill to set up the sauce,

    however you do it good luck on your church picnic. 

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)

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