Large event 300+/100 slabs

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by samsonite1004, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. samsonite1004

    samsonite1004 Newbie

    Thanks for taking the time to read this and provide some guidance. First, the event is a fundraiser for a swim team.  We will have approximately 300 people at the event and should easily (based on the response from last year) sell 100 slabs in 3 rib plates.  In addition, we sell the full slabs anytime during the event.

    So here's my issue that I'm trying to address based on observations from last year.  We cook on a 15 rack rotisserie smoker which will hold approximately 150 slabs.  We started cooking everything at the same time.  The event will serve people from approximately 4 pm until 8 pm with leftover slabs being discounted and sold at the end of the night, if there are any.  

    My issue is that the meat was ready to be served at 5 pm and we did not have cooler space to wrap and hold that quantity for 3 to 4 hours.  Now, realistically we did most of the service from 5 pm until 7:30, so the number of slabs in question was a bit smaller, but they still ended up overcooked based on my standard.  

    My question is whether or not I should stagger the slab start times so that I have a 15 to 30 minute difference on each couple of racks, or should I still cook at the same time and try and come up with as many coolers as I can? Because this is a fundraiser, I don't want to spend anymore than is necessary, especially since we only do something like this once per year.

    I know it'll take some very diligent management of which rack was started when, but it's an option that I could manage if needed.

    I appreciate your thoughts.
  2. Use foil to mark the racks in the rotisserie. You seem to have an idea of when the crowds will be there, so prepare enough to be ready for the busy period, and stagger the rest.

    If you are involved next year, cut down the serving time (say one hour), so everyone knows to be there during a certain time. Also, have the swim team sell tickets for full racks in advance and schedule a pickup time for those as well.
  3. samsonite1004

    samsonite1004 Newbie

    Thanks so much, Kevin!  We did some advanced orders last year and that really helped.  Great idea with the foil and I'll be sure to do that.  I'll see what we can do on narrowing the time.  I truly appreciate your guidance!
  4. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have used tooth picks before when putting ribs on in stages. One pick for first on 2 picks for second on etc. You can tell in a glance which slabs went on when.

    Now I have reached the point where I can pretty much tell by looking how close a rack is to being done. If it looks close it gets the bend test.

    If you are storing in a cooler you can remove them from the smoker a little early as they will continue to cook in the cooler.

    A word of warning. A cooler becomes a rib humidor after awhile because there is no venting.. Can make your ribs wet and mushy. Might want to prop the cooler open a inch or so to let the moisture escape.
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    If you can control the temp of the cooker have all racks ready for service, set cooker to 150°F and they will hold 4-5 hours,during sales, and no coolers needed. Foiling is an option for easy grab and go orders. Way easier then learning and fussing with a staggered timing for a once a year event...No one looking for Comp doneness, 99% of folks will rave over how Fall Off the Bone they were...JJ
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016

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