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Preparing/Planning for a Party

robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
edited July 2013 in EggHead Forum
We are having a party in a few weeks.  My guess is 20-30 adults plus kids.

To feed that many people I am thinking of smoking 2 8lb pork shoulders a day in advance.  I need tips on how to keep that meat tasting great.  FTC for a few hours then pull and place in aluminum trays, cover and into the fridge?  How should I reheat them and keep them moist?

What else should I cook? 

I may also do some appetizers the day before, ABT's, Pig shots, or something new? - Same questions as above on storage and reheating?

Thinking maybe chicken wings early that morning and reheat some how?  or flank steaks?  Or something good?

I have the gasser sitting there unused in over a year and a half that I could use for basic burgers/hot dogs I guess


_______________________________________________________________
LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


Garnerville, NY
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Comments

  • HibbyHibby Posts: 317
    edited July 2013
    In my experience, putting the pork in ziplock bags after it has been pulled and sauced and sucking all the air out before sealing followed by heating the ziplock bags in a pan of simmering water will yield you the closest representation of fresh. As for the appetizers the day before? Never have had luck getting them to come anywhere near 'fresh' but hopefully someone else will chime in here shortly to recommend something. A microwave is not the friend of meat.
    Conservative stalwart in Thornville, Ohio
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 536
    I'd cook and pull as usual, then put it in freezer bags or vacuum seal bags if you have them and put them in the fridge.  I usually reheat on the stovetop and add some sauce. 

    I'd steer away from reheating chicken wings. 

    Maybe throw a chuck or a small brisket on with the shoulders and make a beef chili.




  • SaltySamSaltySam Posts: 320

    Are you pretty set on cooking everything a day in advance?  If not, an overnight cook will allow you to finish up on the morning of the party.  Then you can just FTC the finished roast for up to 4 hours, and pull it apart just before serving.   That 4-hour FTC time is also a little insurance time, in the event your roast doesn't come to temp in time.  The beauty of pulled pork is that you can cook it low and slow, go turbo, or even a combination of the two, all in a way that works with your timing. If you don't FTC at all, you'll be good.  If you FTC for an hour, you'll be good.  It's pretty forgiving.

    As far as other cooks, ABT's are always a hit at our place.  They are a little labor intensive, though.  You can always assemble them the night before, and then plan to cook them about an hour before the party. 

    Wings are another option to cook about an hour before the party.  The added benefit of both items is that you can use similar temps from your pork roast low-and-slow.  If you take the butt off a couple hours before the party, you could immediately put the ABT's and/or wings on, and be good to go.

    LBGE since June 2012

    Omaha, NE

  • D_TrainD_Train Posts: 41
    I'll second the recommendation for an overnight cook. My second cook on the egg was 30 lbs. pork. See http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1153571/pork-on-power-out-party-tomorrow. I timed it so that if it took 2 hours per pound the pork would be pulled off about an hour before go-time. The timing worked well. I FTC'ed the 4 butts, pulled the first at the start of the party, and pulled each butt as the pork was almost out. I got a lot of compliments and interest in the egg.
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    edited July 2013
    I can do the night before and have done that in the past.  But doing that means nothing else will be cooked on the Egg for the party since I only have a large.  So its either a bunch of salads and pulled pork or something totally different.  I have fit 2 x 8 lbers with no problem but I do not think that will be enough food.  If people arrive at 2 for the party and we wont eat dinner to at least 6 I would have the pork on to at least 3 or 4.  Meaning no appetizers on the Egg.


    I hate using the gasser and want to avoid it if possible.  I do not think ABT's would be good on the gasser.  Or any food for that matter.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    Cook butts then FTC while cooking apps. Don't reheat PP.
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    So pulled pork only with burgers and dogs on the gasser.  There will be no time for apps if I cook the pork to be ready on party day.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,869
    As mentioned above, you can easily have a 4-6 hour FTC window with the pork.  That gives you plenty of time to cook apps on the BGE and possibly hook a few guests into BGE purchases while you are at it.  But your party-your call.
    Louisville
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    I hear ya on that but that leaves only an hour or two in reality to cook apps and he large dies not have enough real estate to cook 30 abt's 50 wings, and 30 or so pig shots at once. Plus the chicken is a direct cook and the abt's/shots are indirect. May have to rethink the whole plan and got burgers/dogs on the gasser and pasta salads and dips for the sides.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    What other ideas can I cook of that many people on what I have? I also do not to be slaving over cooking during the party, I would like to mingle with the guests.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    Ok we have talked it over and I will cook the meat the night before into the party day. Should be able to squeeze the time.

    Now we are at 30 adults so far and a bunch of kids. I was thinking if pulled pork but I do not know if that is enough? Would 2x8 lb'ers be good of should I add a brisket or other. Dont want to spend a fortune. Looking for something that can be cooked with the pork. I do not want to be slaving over the egg cooking close to dinner time so I don't think flank steaks would work but maybe. Was thinking of growing on some asparagus close to dinner time as they won't take long to cook.

    Apps that I hope to squeeze in are abt's, pig shots (hour 1) and hopefully a mix of buffalo and just coffee rubbed chicken wings (hour 2).

    I am going to prepare beans the day before and reheat them in the oven. Maybe have some guests Brian sides of salads.

    Ideas?

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • Are you using a large? Make any sort of improvised second grate. The first time I needed to do 4 butts, I just took two bricks and set them on the edge of my grates which still gave me plenty of room for two butts. Then I set the grate from an old small portable weber on top of the bricks. Then put two more butts on that rack. Just keep in mind that the ones on the top grate are likely to reach temp quicker.
    LBGE and recently added SBGE
    Columbus IN
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    I have a large and the adjustable rig. I can do two levels.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • That's what I would do. Leftover pork goes great in just about everything! Especially baked beans.
    LBGE and recently added SBGE
    Columbus IN
  • Smokin_TroutSmokin_Trout Posts: 169
    I put a couple DRY paver bricks in the egg while cooking the butts. These go in the bottom of the cooler. Make sure you put a towel under them. Keeps the meat nice and hot.
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    Will try that. 

    Do you think 2 8lb pork butts and a 12-13lb brisket will be enough food for 35-40 adults?  Plus apps?  Of should I plan more meat?

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • allsidallsid Posts: 336
    Hibby said:
    In my experience, putting the pork in ziplock bags after it has been pulled and sauced and sucking all the air out before sealing followed by heating the ziplock bags in a pan of simmering water will yield you the closest representation of fresh. As for the appetizers the day before? Never have had luck getting them to come anywhere near 'fresh' but hopefully someone else will chime in here shortly to recommend something. A microwave is not the friend of meat.
    +1 on a re-heat in a hot water bath.  A crock pot at full temp can be a great way to heat in the water bath ahead of time (leave plenty of time) and is a great holding and serving vessel.  

    For a fantastic side dish, go to Costco and get the big pack of kelbasa and the big jar of kraut. Grill off the Kelbasa on the egg and get the kraut going on the gasser or on a hot plate in a cauldron, lobster pot, CI or whatever.  Dump a couple of run of the mill beers (PBR) in the kraut and let it bubble away.  Add the Kelbasa cut into 2-3" slabs to the Kraut and it's a self serve dish.  The combination of the two is a deadly crowd pleaser.  The longer it cooks the better it gets.  It will hold at a temperature simmering for about 6 hours before the meat gets too mushy to be good.  Go with 2-3" slabs and opt for the big bag of dinner rolls at the Box store.  Don't forget the beer-

    Another good Costco App for a crowd is grilling off the frozen meatballs they have-  A beer bath makes a great way to keep it moist but you can sauce it as well if you wish.  

    Your gasser could be a great buffet table to serve the sides on low heat-
  • Smokin_TroutSmokin_Trout Posts: 169
    I would try to fit anothet butt on thete. If you start them about 9pm they should be done by noon, leaving plenty of time for apps. You will have to plan out your brisket for room and time. Good luck!
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    edited July 2013
    I dont think I can fit 3 butts on the Egg at one time.  I can squeeze 2 at a time on the top grid Not enough space between the top grid and the Oval stone on the Adjustable rig for a butt.  If I did a Brisket there it will be very snug.

    And are you thinking 3 butts and a brisket?

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 536
    If you premake sandwiches, 16lbs raw weight will give you at least 32 four oz sandwiches. 8lb cooked weight times 8*16 oz / 4 oz... I would encourage you to make 2oz sliders. I like to add a thick slice of a biased cut half sour pickle.  Many women and kids won't eat more than one.
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 536
    For visual...
    image.jpg
    3264 x 2448 - 2M
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    The 7-8 lb butts around here are also bone in. That will reduce the meat amount.

    Did I over-invite my capabilities here?

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 764
    I have made a shoulder and then switched to burgers and sausage for variety, pork will easily hold 5 hours in a cooler and be at the perfect temp for serving.  4 or 5 hours gives plenty of time to prepare other things.  

    Gerhard
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    Just very nervous on what to do.  I dont want to be slaving over the grill all day while the guests are there.  Cooking burgers/steaks/chicken will have me doing that vs mingling with my guests.  That's why I thought of the butts/brisket.  But using the "Meat Calculator" I will need about 22 lbs of pork butt.

    Now if the butts are 8 lb shoulders with bones does that meat ~6 lbs per shoulder?  If so I will need 4 butts.  I would probably have to cook two on Thursday night and two on Friday night.  Find a way to reheat the Thursday night butts so they are edible.

    Or just cook burgers/dogs on the gasser and call it a day.  Meaning I will be cooking/waiting on my guests instead of enjoying the party.

    I just dont know what to do now.  Most I ever cooked was 2 butts at one time.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 764
    When we host a larger number of people it is difficult to just enjoy the party anyway, and if you are in charge of the grill guests will congregate there even if they just want to tell you propane is best.  I would cook the burgers on the egg because they will be better than what most of your guests have had before.

    Gerhard
  • TonyATonyA Posts: 536
    If you are buying Costco etc you might be stuck, but if it's a grocery store, I buy 10lb butts all the time because I call and ask for them.  I only ever see 6lb butts in the case at best.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,590
    I just did the same thing for half that amount of people. Guess that is not the same. :)) We had 15 adults and I did 10 lb butt and three racks baby backs. Zero leftovers. You can fit 2 or 3 butts man. I have same setup as you. I would do sides and all inside and entree on egg
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    How can I fit 3 shoulders on the egg with the adjustable rig/oval stone setup? On the top of the AR I have he stock grate and 2 8 lb shoulders barely fit. On he bottom level is the stone and one notch up is the drip pan. Even I I did not have the drip pan on level 1 and placed it on the stone and put the oval grate on the lowet lestting that only gives about 3 inches to the top grate.

    I am missing something? Or are true Boston butts boneless and smaller than a shoulder? Largest Boston butt I have seen in the grocery store is 4lbs.

    I have ditched the brisket idea. Will throw on a few flank steaks (3)on the spider/cast iron grate and cook them in about 5 minutes down on the fire.

    Besides various sides and some apps would that be enough food?

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
  • robnybbqrobnybbq Posts: 1,521
    Over 40 adults and 15 kids now. Looks like 4 butts plus more. Anyone have a clue on how many flank steaks I should add. Was thinking 3-4. Plus dogs for the kids.

    _______________________________________________________________
    LBGE, Adjustable Rig, Spider, High-Que grate, maverick ET-732, Thermapen,


    Garnerville, NY
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