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What to serve at a large gathering 100+ people

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Rifter well done
well done

Posts: 340
Location: Idaho, Boise

Ok, I was thinking about doing something like 16 or so Beer Can chickens... but the more I think about it, the more of a headache I think this will be. I have a chargriller, and want to cook something on it, that can help feed a lot of people. I am taking suggestions. One thing I have been thinking about, is a small pig. Z said you could fit about a 25lb pig on the grill. Does anyone have any experience with this? How many people could a suckling pig like that feed? Any other ideas. We are trying to keep the costs down on this, as well. We are looking for items that give a large bang for the buck.
Kevin 'Rifter' Rank
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Post Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:01 am
502mids well done
well done

Posts: 305
Location: Centreville, Virginia
Check out Big D's report on Canada Day post, if you want to read about a good party. See if you can find his posts from last year, he goes into much more detail.

The Three Guys from Cuba sight has an article on roasting pig
http://cuban-christmas.com/pigroast.html

The whole site is great to explore.

Post Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:17 am
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
Rifter,

Don’t know if you want to do something basic like Tri-Tips & Chicken (looks like you live in ID, so you should have access to Tri-Tip) or something with more of a wow factor… but…. I did a party recently with about 60 people. Did Tri-Tip and chicken… Huge Hit.
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Post Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:18 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Rifter I agree that a whole hog is better than the birdies (I don't think 16 birds is near enough) but I don't think a 25 piggie will be enough for 100+ people. I just literally filled my Chargriller to capacity over the 4th with a 15 pound brisket, 2 shoulders, and 2 butts and that fed 40, plus the various other sides as well including 5 doz ears of corn and 30lbs wings and a large crock pot of crab soup. The point is that I just don't know if 1 smoking period on the chargriller will be enough to feed 100 no matter what you choose.
You may want to consider multiple days of prep and or another rig to offset the chargrillers load.
As much as I'm a fan of whole hog I'd say that once you dress out a 25 pounder the meat it produces is far les than if you were to do a few butts or shoulders. That would be my advise. Cook 2 days and go for 2 or 3 big briskets plus 6 to 8 butts or shoulders. That should feed 100.
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Post Thu Jul 08, 2004 10:45 am
Big D well done
well done

Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
25 lb pig wont feed that many people - remeber that includes head, bones, ineards, etc. A general rule of thumb for whole hog - as I was told - is 1 -1.5lbs per person with 1lb/person being a small meal.

I did a whole 30 lb hog butterflied on my Summit D like in HTG and it turned out fabulous and wasnt much work. Had my butcher dress it, I rubbed it and let it sit for an hour or so then just put it on and mopped it everynow and then and a little BBQ sauce at the end.

I also did the spareribs and stacked them on each other and rotated everynow and then... although I did it over a very low heat while smoking them and found it really didnt need to be turned that oftened as their was no direct heat and low indirect heat so bottom one wasnt burning and top one was still cooking fine (just sprayed it with apple cider and occasional brush of bacon fat to keep it moist since lower racks were basting in fat from higher racks)

Beer can chickens take up a lot of space and 16 is a lot of room but might be tight to feed over a 100.

You could do some pulled pork in advanced as it reheats well. I have also found the rolled stuffed flank steak in HTG can feed a good amount of people and you could probably fit a number of those on there.

Ya might wanna do something that cooks much quicker than chicken though if you only have the 1 grill (like burgers and dogs as steaks probably much too expensive) and just keep them comin and people can eat as they are ready - not as impressive but maybe a little easier to handle...

For CAnada Day I hold my Gold D but also brought several other of my buddies grills and had a large grill on site avalible at cottage rental..... you might want to rent some sort of rig or even just a large BBQ ( I know there is a place near me that rents a 4' by 3' gas grill with 1 30lb tank of propane for $75 a day ($50 U.S.))

Good luck

Post Thu Jul 08, 2004 2:09 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
Rifter I had enough to feed 100 folks at my 4th celebration (over 80 lbs of meat), but it doesn't happen in one cookout on most home equipment. I cooked two briskets, two pork shoulders, and two Boston butts ahead of time (two separate smokings). Then the day of the party I had two smokers and a grill running to cook 20 lbs of chicken leg quarters, four BCC's, hamburgers & hotdogs. We reheated the brisket & pork in an oven.

When cooking for a crowd that large some logistics are required. Of course I had almost twice the food needed, but hey, we have a FoodSaver, :wink: and everyone had their fill. :D

Had a bunch of fun cooking it, hope you do too!
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Post Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:32 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3062
Location: Atlanta-GA
Rifter,
I agree with everyone, a 25 lb. pig will not feed a 100 people. When cooking a whole hog, you’ll have to allow 1-2 lbs. per person ( due bones and other non-useable parts). I found pork shoulders are best for feeding a large crowd. Pork shoulder ( butt+ picnic portions)will yield the most amounts of meat, they average between 15-18 lbs. If you think about it, most of the meat comes from the hogs 4 extremities. The potion between the four extremities yields very little meat. And the pork shoulders require much less grill space.
The wise way to prepare for a large party as everyone mentioned is cooking ahead. But if you’re using your CharGriller, there is an alternative. I call it the Three-Tier-Method. This is how it’s done:
1st Tier- The charcoal tray or a small grate in its place as the first cooking surface. You can easily place 2 whole pork shoulders on it.
2nd Tier- the original grates. This gives you 30x20 inch cooking surface and can easily hold couple of shoulders and a brisket or two (depending on the size).
3rd Tier- the warming rack. But If cooking large cuts of meat, then remove it and replace it with a larger grate with legs. If you can’t find a grate with leg, just place few bricks on the original grates and place the third layer of grates on top of the bricks.
You will have to cook at a higher temp (300-325 degrees) when using this method. You want a higher temp because of the larger mass you’re cooking.
I hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
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Post Mon Jul 12, 2004 1:46 am
Rifter well done
well done

Posts: 340
Location: Idaho, Boise

I am seriously thinking about cutting a 55gallon drum in half, and building a larger grill. I will still have the chargriller on hand, though. :-) This is really, from what the wife is saying, one aspect of the meal, but most of the meals are pretty boring. I want something with pizazz. :-) From what I can see, I can fit a much larger hog in a 55 gallon drum. My dad has a machine shop, so this should be fairly easy to do. But, I will keep the prok shoulders in mind.
Kevin 'Rifter' Rank
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Post Mon Jul 12, 2004 7:49 am
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5918
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Love the suggestions so far!

One thing, though: if there's a local party rental shop they may rent you a 55-gallon type grill for a lot less money and hassle than it takes you to make one yourself. Plus, you don't get stuck with a grill you may only use once a year.

Post Wed Jul 14, 2004 5:16 pm
Rifter well done
well done

Posts: 340
Location: Idaho, Boise

Ok, after talking to my wife, and her talking to the Butcher at the store she works at, it looks like we will be doing shoulders. With the other stuff we are fixing, it looks like we should be able to get about 40lb of meat. From what Z has said, I think that is very doable. I will probably cover the bottom "tray" in tinfoil, since coals normally sit on it, and then put the normal BBQ trays above. I THINK 2 tiers may work, looking at what Z has said. Too bad I can't do something cool, but, I think the key is just to get the people fed. I may throw some other stuff on to supplent a couple of other meals. I think we are having spahgetti one night... so maybe some grilled garlic bread to go with it. :-)

Next trial, get the smoker box on the side of my grill. Chargriller needs manules that are a little more clear, graphically speaking. :-)
Kevin 'Rifter' Rank
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Post Thu Jul 15, 2004 7:27 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Don't worry to much about that side box, it will go on easy enough. A buddy and I put my whole chargriller together in 2 hours while drinking beer...and its still together, It can't be that tough!

Good Luck with your shoulders, I think you'll find that they're an impressive sight all on their own.
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Post Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:23 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3062
Location: Atlanta-GA
Riffter,
IF you cover the charcoal tray with solid-piece of foil, it will prevent the smoke and the heat from reaching the meat above. It will also prevent the smoke from reaching the side of the meat that is touching the foil. The best way to do this is by putting a smaller grate on top of the charcoal tray or using a flat roasting rack. Home Depot sells foil grill toppers for 10 dollars/pack that will also work well to cover the tray.
Here is the pix:
Image[/quote]
The Tiers system will only work if you allow good air circulations all around the pieces of meat. And it will only work while using the side firebox. If I read correctly, you have not installed yours yet? The best advice I can give on that is this: Prior to punching holes in the side of the grill, aline the side firebox with the side of the grill and mark those holes that match up with the side firebox. This way you won’t end up with more work and openings than you need. I have to agree with on the instructions, but once you start putting it together, you won’t have any problem understanding them. When I first read it, it did not make any sense either.
Let me know if you have any questions. I assure you the shoulders will be impressive and tasty.
Good Luck!
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Post Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:24 am
Rifter well done
well done

Posts: 340
Location: Idaho, Boise

I got the side fire box on last night. Ugh, I hate this 100 degree weather. Anyhow, I am all set to go, for the family reunion. I will pick up a pack of those grill toppers. Thanks for the help.

The side firebox was kind of a pain to get on. The instructions say to knock out the four holes on the Grill, but then I missed where it says there are 2 more holes. So, 6 total. It was definately a LOT easier to use a drill to open those holes up. This is my VERY first experience with a side firebox. So, last night, after I had it together, I coated it, inside and out, with vegitable oil, and figured I would do a quick burn in. After the coals had burned down some, I went to our cherry tree that I am afraid is dead, and pulled a dry branch off, and threw it on the fire. I put away the tools I had been using, came back, and noticed that the paint was bubbling really bad. So, first time I use it, I mess it up. what a bummer.

Tonight, I am using a varriation of Z's Chuck roast recipe, and am going to have a chuck roast smoke for most of the afternoon. :-) I'll even get to test out my new remote thermometer.
Kevin 'Rifter' Rank
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Post Thu Jul 15, 2004 12:22 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3062
Location: Atlanta-GA
The hardest part I found with installing the side firebox was separating the perforated area. Did you have any problem separating that large piece of metal?
The paint will bubble up if you build a fire too close to the top of the fire box. Fortunately, it’s very easily repaired. Just pick up a can of grill spray paint and patch it up. It will look as good as new. Once the paint drys up, apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the outer surface of the grill and the firebox.
Good luck on your chuck roast, please let us know how it turns out.
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Post Thu Jul 15, 2004 1:16 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Kevin don't worry about the paint bubbling. Mine did the exact same thing. I did just like Z says, brush it, spray it with high heat spray paint and keep cooking.
Enjoy your new toy, it is worth the work.
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