My BBQ Next Month - Help

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by gav iscon, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. gav iscon

    gav iscon Fire Starter

    Hi All,

    Next month I've got a largish BBQ and obviously this year its going to be more smoker orientated, so I'm after ideas/comments to make it a bit easier. I read kiska's thread and thought there was some good tips in that. Its mainly the smoking stuff that I need a bit guidence on and my ideas are in the brackets. Any comments would be most welcome.


    2 x brisket (to be sourced and cooked on the day - am start)

    2 pork shoulders - (Pre-cook day before ??? . These will be Bookers shoulders  I like the idea in a previous thread of slicing 'au jus' instead of pulled)

    Ribs - (probably bookers or chinese c&c. Idea was to pre cook them (3:2) and finish on the day (1)  ???  )

    Grill (mainly for the veggie person)

    Lemon Charmoula Squid

    Tikka Paneer (homemade paneer)


    Tandoori chicken wings

    Vegetable Stuffed Peppers


    BBQ beans (recipe to be decided)

    Potato salad (missus makes a simple tasty one)



    Garlic rosmary roasted potatos

    Roasted vegetables

    My plum tree is showing lots of fruit tis year so I fancy a Plum Chili BBQ sauce.  Found an easy recipe last night that I'll try.

    Any comments glady recieved good or bad

    Kind Regards

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  2. Hi Stu,
    Sounds a good menu, I can't really help with the cooking side of things as I'm still learning myself but that plum chilli sauce sounds a great idea. I'd be interested to know how that turns out :)
  3. gav iscon

    gav iscon Fire Starter

    I thought I'd go for an easy sauce and found this as a starter to have a bit play with. (love the site name)

    If my tree's anything like previous year, i normally get carrier bags full of plums. [​IMG]

    And as for the cooking side of things, your pulled pork looked good to me.[​IMG]  
  4. That looks pretty good, I might have to give that a go myself. Should go nicely on ribs.
    Thanks :)
  5. Hi Gav, that sounds like a lot of work - have you cooked large quantities for lots of people before? Can your smoker hold all that?

    I would practise any cuts you haven't done before so if something goes wrong on the day you have a better idea of what's happening. I've done food for a dozen or more on my weber kettle; did pork shoulders for 3-4 hours to get smoke into them, then whacked them in a low oven while I did some ribs. I also prefer sliced pork to pulled; to me, a thick, soft slice of bbq pork in between a couple of slices of crusty bread is as good as it gets.

    Let us know how you get on.
  6. gav iscon

    gav iscon Fire Starter

    Keep talking like that. [​IMG]  

    I had bbqs for about 20 -30 people before and managed with a 'just keep it coming' cooking.' style. I've regularly cooked for up to 15 people with other foods. (I always make too much. My portion control leaves a lot to be desired)

    The smokers obviously new but I think I'll manage. I always find the prep is harder than the cooking and if I plan everything out it hopefully should go ok. My smoker is a Proq excel Elite which holds a fair bit. I thought if I did the pork the day before i could reheat it sliced in its own to keep it moist. The ribs would be pre-done and finished of whilst the beef was foiled in a cooler box to finish. Thats the plan anyway but any comments/advice would be appreciated.

    When I tried my smoker last week I had a few problems but I know what went wrong and why. Its not till the back end of next month but I've started with the lists and recipe collection. Photo's will be posted.

    Regards Stu
  7. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is fun cooking for a crowd. I am this Thursday at my wife's school. 30 x year 6 leavers during the afternoon and 25 x staff in the evening.

    You have got it right - It is all in the planning. The pork works well when cooked the day before and reheated. It also seems to develop a greater depth of flavour when reheated.

    Get the briskets on as early as possible as they really benefit from the resting.

    Ribs to can be cooked in advance but if you do they need to be warmed up gently wrapped in foil. Finish them off over a hot BBQ.
  8. gav iscon

    gav iscon Fire Starter

    The only problem with cooking the pork the day before that I can see is me constantly troffing at it [​IMG]  My mother used to say my eyes were bigger than my belly. To bad she's not around now for me to prove her wrong...[​IMG]

    Anyway, Plan is to leave the pork whole, slice the next morning and warm in oven gently in its own juice with perhaps a spray of apple juice if it needs a bit more moisture and of course foil covered.

    Brisket will be a salt and pepper rub but I'm open for suggestions for a rib and a pork rub?

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What temps are you planning to cook the brisket at? Full packet or just the flat or just the point? With a pit temp of 225-250, plan on the brisket taking 2+ hours per pound. If your heaviest brisket is 8 pounds if figure 18-20 hours, that would include the rest required prior to slicing.

    For the pork shoulder/butt, if it was me and I wanted to slice I wouldn't buy pork shoulder. I'd buy loin. The main reason for this is that most people don't like all the fat that is marbled throughout the shoulder. When you pull a shoulder that has been taken to an IT of 205f quite a bit of the fat renders out. What hasn't is easily separated when pulling.

    The loin doesn't take as long to cook and can be cooked the day of. At 225-250 a typical 3"-4" thick loin will hit an IT of 145f in about 4 hours. A shoulder at the same temps is once again at the 2 hours per pound to get to an IT of 200f. Pulled pork reheats nicely. The loin cooked the day of can be held in foil and a cooler for hours prior to slicing.

    For ribs I'd do them the day of. Of everything you have listed, besides the grilled items these are the easiest to cook. For Baby Backs figure 4-5 hours for spares and beef ribs figure 6 hours. You can use the 2-2-1 or 3-2-1 methods or cook them straight without foiling. With either method hold off on putting your BBQ sauce on until the last hour. Any earlier and you'll risk burning the sugars in the sauce.

    That's an ambitious cook you have planned I hope this helps. Only other advice I can offer is recruit some help
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2015
  10. Cool - sounds like you've got it all under control. I generally keep things simple on the day, get your prep done the day before then you can relax and enjoy it as well.
  11. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid! Any thing you can prep/cook the day before is the way to go!

    Not sure if you will be able to slice, the Pork Shoulder?
  12. kiska95

    kiska95 Smoking Fanatic


    I did my first big BBQ cook on the 11th July (my post "Ambitious or what?).

    Planning is essential so I made a list of what I had to do each day leading up to the event and moved things about as things developed

    Best tip I had off these lads was to cook what I could the day before or prior to the event. So couple of days before I did beef jerky and cold smoked salmon. I got the Mac n Cheese, Texas Beans, Chili and Pulled Pork done the day before. I cooked the brisket overnight and it kept warm wrapped in foil and towels in a cooler for over 4 hours. So just had the beef and pork ribs to do as a bit of a party piece on the day which gave the smell and atmosphere to the event.

    Second best tip get a mate to man the hot grill for you for the basics, sausages, burgers and the veggie while you are busy

    Next tip I have was that I made a big bucket of Sangria poured into jugs with a help yourself note. I also put loads of different types of beer in a big cooler with ice, basically so everyone didn't have to keep stopping me asking for a drink. Its hectic but as most is just heating and serving you can chill a bit.

    Trying to slice pulled pork is a nightmare it just doesn't work. The muscles slide all over due to the fat. Also it looks crap as there is a lot of slimy fat that you normally get rid of when you pull the pork. Your man was right get a lump of loin from Asda if you want to slice as the meat holds together great. Make sure you keep all of the juices (fat skimmed off) as its necessary on the reheat to keep things moist.

    Kept the brisket simple just Worcestershire sauce(rubbed on the meat) pepper and salt

    Pulled pork and ribs same recipe that I posted on your "first ribs" post

    Hope that helps.

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