how far ahead to cook for big party?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jerseydrew, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    we are having our annual Christmas party and i am supposed to cook the pulled pork for 90 people. obviously i am going to do it ahead of time and then reheat the pork the day of the party. my question is how many days ahead of time would you cook it?

    in other words how many days will it keep in the fridge and still taste fairly fresh?
  2. phatbac

    phatbac Smoking Fanatic

    For the refrigerator, i wouldn't go past 3-4 days. I would (and have) cook it like a week or two ahead of time and then after your pork butt rests, vacuum seal or even baggie the pork( if you need some room cut into 3rds or quarters). then the day of take out the pork and reheat in some apple juice and apple cider vinegar mix in a crock pot ( in the case of 90 ppl's worth i would use foil pans in the oven)  Once its reached temp or even just not frozen anymore pull apart with two forks and finish heat the rest of the way. If you got above 195 degrees IT on the pork it should pull easily. As far as the smoke flavor i taste it stronger after a freeze than the day of. (that just might be me)

    Happy Smoking,

    phatbac (Aaron)
  3. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    what @phatbac  said!

    I would only add that I would FOR SURE vacuum seal it up, it keeps its flavor and moisture sooooo much better. And agreed that I wouldn't shred it until the day of the feat either. To answer your actual question, I would do it as close to the day as possible, the closer you are the fresher and better it will taste. (for sure no more than 3-4 days in the fridge, even if vac sealed.)
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cook a week or two ahead, vacuum seal, and easiest way to reheat is put the vacuum bags in a pot of hot water on the stove. Don't boil them, just get (and keep the water) a bit below simmering. They will thaw and reheat fairly fast, then once hot cut the bags open and put the pork in a foil turkey pan with either some finishing sauce or a cup of apple juice. Cover the pan tightly with foil and you can keep them at temp in the oven till you need to serve them.

    Last Christmas I did meat for my parents party (about 75 people), and used the method above. Worked like a charm!
  5. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    unfortunately i don't have a vacuum sealer. but i got the gist of it.
  6. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Grab a used on off of Craigslist, usually can find them for less than $50, they are well worth having if you have a smoker.

    I usually only have to fire up my smoker about 2x a month now, I load it full then vacuum pack the meat and toss it in the freezer.
  7. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    ok so i went out and got a vac sealer today. i even bought some expandable bags so i can pop in the whole butt into a bag before sealing. i hope this works out. 
  8. travisty

    travisty Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Good Call, I think a vac sealer is essential in smoking, but that is just me. I use mine for everything though. Buy meat when its onj sale and freeze it up, even just vac sealing certain leftovers or if I have a lot. it will save you more money than it cost in the long run
  9. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    So my plan is to cook it thursday starting very early and getting it done by dinner time. I will then let it rest and pull ot later in the night. I will then vac seal the pork. Then on saturday i can cut open the bags and add a cup to a cup and a half of apple juice and put it into a couple of pans and reheat just be fore serving.
  10. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    I agree with the crew above. I have found it easier to Pull the pork after a rest rather than reheating a Butt whole or in chunks. Less hands on the day of the party. I have also had no issues with Ziptop Bags, air squeezed out, and keeping pulled pork in the refer 7 days. I have a FoodSaver and it is great for keeping frozen meat at it's peak...JJ
  11. I agree with Chef Jimmy. Go ahead and pull the pork before you bag it. That way you can flatten the bags out which will make storage easier and will also make reheating faster ir you decide to reheat in the bag. As chef stated, it's also less hands on the day of the event. Not so much stress.

    Smoke it up
  12. jerseydrew

    jerseydrew Smoking Fanatic

    4 butts (35ish lbs) defrosting as we speak...

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