Housewarming party!

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by lawman2391, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Hey y'all -

    Wanting to do some meat for around 100-150 people for a housewarming party.  Preparing for 150 just in case.

    I will be doing pulled chicken and pulled pork.  My thought is that if each guest eats 1/3 lb of meat I will need about 50 lbs of meat total.  I have quite a bit of experience doing Pork butt and feel pretty confident that about 50 lbs (uncooked) will be plenty for that half of the meat (25 lbs).  The pulled chicken I have no experience with.  So, assuming that I am doing bone in and skin on chickend thighs for pulled chicken (per Jeff's recipe), how many lbs of thighs do you think would be needed (precooked weight) to yield about 25 lbs of pulled chicken?  From some priliminary research I've done, I'm thinking around 40 lbs should get me there.

    Let me know any thoughts you have.  Thanks!  Really appreciate it!
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The yield on Chicken Thighs is about 50%. So 25lb Pulled, you need 50lb Raw...JJ
  3. Thanks JimmyJ...I'll throw a few more on then, just to be sure!

    I'm planning on starting to smoke about 10 lbs of them tonight, so I'll have a sample of how much I get from that and use that as a guide as well.
  4. Just an update here...

    Last night did a test batch.  Eight thighs (about 3.8 lbs raw) yielded just over 1.5 lbs pulled chicken, so Chef JimmyJ is correct here with the yield being about 50% (mine was actually a bit under).

    That being said, the taste was amazing and I am planning on cranking out as much as I can before Thursday night when the butts will have my full attention!

    Thanks for the this place (forum)!!
  5. Just thought I'd give a quick update...

    The party was a success.  Ended up doing 50 lbs (uncooked) of butt (6 total) which yielded about 24.8 lbs of smoked deliciousness.  Also ended up doing 72 chicked thighs, which yielded just under 15 lbs pulled chicken.

    Thanks for all the advice here!  I will post Q-Vue when I get time!
  6. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    That's really great news! How did you end up warming everything up and serving at?
  7. I kept about 25% of it in the refrig (would have been more, but space was at a premium since we had sides, etc. in there also) and put the rest in the freezer just in ziplocs.  I transferred it as needed to the fridge to defrost and just used two regular sized crock pots on "warm."  I also had some homemade BBQ sauce in a mini crock right beside them.  It worked OK, but was a little stressful, as some of the meat was still frozen and had to put Crock on "low" to warm everything.

    One thing I did that I would HIGHLY recommend is, when I was pulling the butts, after pulling I mixed in some of the extra juice before bagging it up, but then I also had more "extra" juice and I poured all of that extra into a mason jar.  I did this for each of the six butts and even after mixing a lot of it in while bagging, I still had about 3/4 quart of "drippings/juice" left in the jar.  Everytime I added meat to the crock I heated up this wonderful stuff and spooned a few spoonfuls over the meat and then mixed it with a tongs.  Kept it juicy, flavorful and awesome!  I think one of the reasons I had so much juice was that I foiled all of the butts so I could decrease the smoke time...turned out to be the best for this situation...even though I LOVE BARK!!

    Since the party I have talked to two other "BBQ brothers" that have both done large events that swear by vacuum sealing (Food Saver) the meat in 3-5 lb portions and then heating it by throwing that pouch into boiling water for 5-10 mins so that the meat steams in it's own juices. Then they just cut the top of the bag and dump the steamy goodness and juice into the crock pot or roaster.  I tried this after the party, when I was vac-sealing the leftovers and ended up having the vac seal back opening and it was a complete FAIL!  So, not sure if the pot wasn't big enough or what.  I could see that method being awesome, just didn't work for me the first time.

    I would be curious to hear how others have reheated their pork/chicken also...I will be doing a graduation party in about 9 months so need all the tips I can get!

    FYI...We served somewhere around 110 people from 2:00 pm - 10:00 pm so it was fairly easy to "keep up" since it wasn't a mad rush at any one time.  I ended up with about 5-10 lbs leftover pork and about 5 lbs leftover chicken.
    floridasteve likes this.
  8. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for sharing the blow-by-blows. Lots of good info! We're having a company picnic this Sat and I'm taking a crock of polled pork.
  9. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Glad things worked out. Just a Safety Note, The Warm setting on a Crock Pot is designed to maintain around 160°F. Great for keeping HOT food safe but NOT suited to Reheat. Protein based foods have to be reheated as quickly as possible to a minimum of 165°. Boiling in the bag works and in an Oven at 325 is also sufficient...JJ
  10. ag2979

    ag2979 Newbie

    I did a 9 pound butt last Sunday for a work pot luck the following Friday. After I pulled the meat I used gallon ziplock bags, put in an ice bath and froze. Friday morning I boiled the bags and put the meat in the crockpot. Success!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    What if you set the crock pot to high?
  12. 4pogo7

    4pogo7 Smoking Fanatic

    That sounds awesome about all the meat! Glad it worked well.
  13. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yep...Then back off to warm when at 165...JJ
  14. floridasteve

    floridasteve Smoking Fanatic

    Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
    Thanks, JJ!
  15. Quick question...when I tried to do the "boil in bag" method (using real (not generic) FoodSaver vacuum bags, it was a completely disaster.  I tried this twice and both times the seal released and let all the pork juice out into the surrounding boiling water!  What a waste!

    Has anyone else had this experience or have any advice for successfully reheating pulled pork (or anything else) with the boil-in-bag method?  What am I doing wrong?
  16. I hate to hear that. I have never had that happen. I double seal every bag that goes in the freezer with an older foodsaver that can seal closer to the end than my newer one. I also use a large pot, bring the water to a boil then reduce to a slow simmer before putting the pre-thawed bag in.
  17. Hmmm.  OK, this is quite different from what I have tried.  I just took the (single bagged) pork from the freezer straight into the boiling (not simmering) water.  Also, I had considered that maybe I was making the bags too big.  I did about 2-3 lbs per bag, so maybe they were too big and hitting the sides of the pot?  Thanks for the input hamrhead!
  18. The size of the bag is fine, that's about the size I usually freeze. I don't know if it's needed, but if I need to reheat multiple bags I have a wire rack that I put in the pot first to keep the bags off the bottom of the pot.
    I always thaw mine beforehand. If they thaw early, I throw them back in the fridge till needed. Then when it's time, it only takes a few minutes to heat a single bag.
  19. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    BOIL in the bag is really misleading. It's one thing when talking boil the bag Rice or frozen foods in specially designed bags and reheating stuff in vac bags or zip top bags. In vac packs you are Simmering, 185-200°F, to reheat. As Hamrhead mentioned, a rack is a good idea if the pot is thin or an old school method is to place a folded hand towel in the pot to protect the bag from direct heat...JJ
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another trick I Have used to keep the bags off the bottom is to clothes pin them to the side or run a dowel or wooden spoon across the top of the pot and clip them to that.

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