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How many racks of baby backs?

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Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 6:45 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
Hello everybody,

My boss wants to have a small gathering for lunch next week. His current head count is 40 people. He wants me to cook the ribs. We are also going to be bbqing chicken breasts and hamburgers. Side dishes 4 different salads, chips, salsa, guacamole, bread etc.. My thought is 12 racks of ribs. Does this sound about right?

This is also going to be a three hour affair. Any recommendations on staggering the cooking time on the ribs? Should I fill the smoker early and just plan on keeping the first set warm and finish the others mid party?

Thanks in advance,
Eric

Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:16 pm
Don Marco well done
well done

Posts: 826
Location: Germany

Howdy...


12 Racks of Baby Backs doesnt seem an awful lot to me, especially if they are tasty (Wich they´ll sure be...)

Is that group a mixed group (M/F), any kids , football teams ? :D

What kind of cooker do you use for all that stuff ?

Don Marco

Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:42 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
The group will be mostly blue collar males , mainly automotive mechanics. No kids or football teams :shock: . I will be using my Oaklahoma Joes smoker (just like the NB smoker), which I just finished the modifications on this weekend ( I'll try to get some pictures posted soon). I did re-season it, but have not had the chance to cook with it yet in it's new arrangement. I figure I can get six racks cooking at a time. In most cases I would plan on half a rack per person, but with all the other food I figured I could cut down on that. We did think about people wanting more than a quarter rack. I think the logistics of getting 20 racks done in that time frame would be difficult. I am open to suggestions if it can be done. We still have time to change the menu. We will be doing the chicken and burgers on 2 Weber kettles.

Thanks again,
E

Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:47 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5375
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Try doing the ribs as an appetizer. Figure 3 bones a person. Maybe you can hold the natives long enough to cook the rest of the menu.

Have fun.
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Performer One Touch
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New Braunfels Hondo
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Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:03 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
Have you ever used the stacking system when cooking ribs?
This is how it’s done:
You stack several racks of ribs on top of each others, and then you rotate the rib racks bottom to top every hour or every time you mop. You’ll have to cook at a higher temp (depending on how many racks you’re cooking), and your cooking time will also be longer. I usually cook them at 300-325 degrees when using this method. This method is also good when using a grill to cook ribs. The melting fat from each rack will baste the rack below it. This way you’ll have an automatic basting system as well. That’s the only way I know how to cook large quantity of rib racks using only one smoker or grill. You could always rent a large smoker as well. Your estimate of half a rack per person is pretty accurate.
Good Luck!
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Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:06 pm
Airfoils well done
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Posts: 1063
That's how Emeril does it I beleive also.

Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:36 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
I like the stacking idea. If it's good enough for Emeril it's good enough for me. It will also save me some time. If I cook at 300-325 will it still take the same amount of time or longer due to the quantity? I think we are going to increase to at least 15 racks. Possibly some spare ribs as well. Any other ideas for me. I just heard my reputation is on the line :D. How many chicken breasts do you think we will need? I was thinking of at least 1 bag of frozen breasts from Costco.

Post Wed Jun 02, 2004 9:53 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5375
Location: Damascus, Maryland
If your rep is on the line I hope you're not talking about frozen boneless are you? These taste like the infamous rubber chicken. Do fresh bone in breasts and throw in some thighs as well.
Weber Summit E-470
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Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 5:22 am
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
It’s hard to judge how much time the ribs will take. It all depends on your type of smoker (I’m not familiar with the Okalahoma Joes smoker), the weather condition and how many times you open the smoker to rotate the ribs. It also depends on how many stacks you’re going to have and how many racks in each stack. Make sure you leave at least 2 inches of space between each stack to allow the smoke and heat to circulate. Also if you’re cooking spare ribs, you’ll have allow more time for these ribs to cook. Baby back ribs cook faster than spare ribs. Another word, give your self plenty of time and if they get done faster than expected, then just keep them warm. You can wrap them with foil and place them in an empty cooler, or drop the smoker temp to around 150 degrees and leave them in it.

As far as the chicken, I’ll be cautious with the boneless and skinless breasts (as YB mentioned). I cooked the same kind for a party at work (bought at Costco as well), but I let them defrost, marinated them over night, basted them constantly through out the cooking time, and then kept them warm inside of a pan full of warm marinade. They turned out very moist and tender that way. If you decide to do this method, you’ll have to have a dedicated person attending to them at all time.
Good Luck!
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Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 7:08 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Hey Z I have a silly question, since I've never heard of this method you'll have to humor me. What do you use to seperate the racks 2"? This is a great idea and if you and Emeril say it works thats gospel to me. You know me and large quantities, I will be trying this soon!
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Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 7:29 am
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5375
Location: Damascus, Maryland
He means to leave 2" between the STACKS not each rack.
Weber Summit E-470
Weber 22" MasterTouch
Performer One Touch
Traeger Lil Tex
New Braunfels Hondo
Bar-B-Chef
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Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 7:59 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Thaks Yard, he did say that, I just read it wrong.
That makes sense now.
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Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:49 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
We get the 'how much' thread a lot here and I think the root of the problem is people's fear of what happens if they run out? Mostly I think this fear is unfounded but understandable. It's also one I've suffered from. I think mostly, if you provide enough for everyone to have a decent portion you're golden and if you run out, people will eat whats left of other things. Sometimes it's hard to remember people will be comsuming many other things besides the prized Q.

Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:03 am
Info@Workman Site Admin
Site Admin

Posts: 590

Great points Airfoils--I think the how much to serve question is one of the hardest. Especially when it's food that takes a long time to cook. There's no turning out more right at the end. Plus, as a southern woman, it's physically impossible for me not to make too much food, and then try to make people finish it . . . so I really understand folks wanting some help in planning.

That said, how about we start another thread, and I, or another moderator, can make it a sticky thread so it stays up top for a while, with recommended portion sizes based on experience. It helps to know what's popular, what people tend to go for, what you can save on. With something like ribs, depending on the cost, you may want to serve them as an appetizer instead of a meal portion.

In my experience, until you've served a dish in a live, party setting, you can't guess what will get gone first--it's always something, and sometimes not what you think it will be.

So who's going to start our portion guide?

Info

Post Thu Jun 03, 2004 1:10 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2621
Location: Valley Springs, CA
Luckily my reputation willl only be linked to the ribs. We may be able to get a deal on fresh chicken and not have to use the frozen chicken. Half the chicken will be marinaded in Italian dressing, the other half in a mixture of BBQ sauce/Yoshida's gourmet sauce. The bright side of all the ribs being eaten are they must taste good.

So when stacking ribs, how do you stack

1- ( )
2- ) (
3- ( (

#1 looks like the best option to me, but the experts may have a different opinion.

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