BBQ for 350! Please help!

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by jenni belle, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. jenni belle

    jenni belle

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    Okay, I'm taking on a BBQ for 350 people. I've never catered anything this big before, but have plenty of help, so I know I'll get through it okay. The menu is steak and ribs. I'll probably end up doing sirloin strips and some cut of pork ribs. Baby back or St Louis...I don't know yet. Just not country style. My problem is I don't know how much to buy for that many people. How many pounds do I buy of each? Please help! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. danbrown

    danbrown

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    Jenni-

    The amount of protien is dependent on what other side dishes you're going to be serving. With ribs, I'd get a sample of what you'll be buying and cook it. I determine the amount of ribs based on a # of bones per portion. If you decide on three bones per portion, just figure out how many portions you can get per rack and extend the math. With both steak and ribs I'd go about 9-12 ounces total raw weight per person (to account for the weight of the bones). It is dependent on how much you think they're going to eat (if it's all men, and they're big, go heavy), and what side dishes you'll be serving. If you give me a little more information, I can help you with the math.
     
  3. jenni belle

    jenni belle

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    Thanks Dan! You helped me earlier with the picnic ideas! I appreciate it. Well, this menu is going to be for that very picnic. My company decided to hire me to do the meat only. All of the sides are going to be potluck from the other employees of the company. We're planning for 350 people, however, I expect the total number of people to be around 300. Now, probably about 50-75 of those people are going to be kids. I'm just doing hot dogs for them, but you never know, the kids may want steaks & ribs as well. Anyhow, I'm planning on about 100 hot dogs, give or take.

    I can't say too much about the sides because it's potluck. They're aren't a whole lot of 'bigger men' so you say, so I don't think I'll have to account for that too much. Plus with the potluck, there's always soooooo many sides to choose from to help fill you up. I'll most likely bake the ribs the night before and then toss them on the grill that day to warm them up and make them nice & 'grill crusty'! 3 ribs per person sounds like a good equation to me. I'm still not positive about the beef though.

    What other information can I give you to help me out? Thanks so much for all you've given so far! It's helping a lot!!!!! :)
     
  4. danbrown

    danbrown

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    If I was doing a catering of your event,m I would have 330 adult portions available to cover the 10% overage. If you're using 5 ounce thick (almost cube shabed) sirloin steaks (slightly fatter than what's called a "cowboy cut" by the meat puyverors here in Colorado). That's 330 people x 5 oz each or 104# or finished steaks.

    I would strongly encourage you to take more than a 1 day head start on the ribs, especially if you will be working alone. Cooking that many ribs is a substantial job, as you'll need about the same amount (104#) if you use three bones per person on pork babyback ribs. St. Louis cut will yield about the same. If you use a different cut with different sized ribs you'll need to alter that quantity to make up for the increase in bone mass and reduction in edible portion. So if you were to use beef ribs (for example) you'd need to nearly double the amount to purchase.

    I would cook them ahead and refrigerate, but I don't know what capacity you have for food storage, that information would help.
     
  5. jenni belle

    jenni belle

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    Awesome! Thanks for the help Dan! Greatly appreciated!
     
  6. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I would be a little concerned about the potluck aspect of this event. With trying to feed 300+ people it could spell disaster. Either 300 pounds of potato salad and nothing else or too many people thinking that everyone else will bring something. I really would consider a sign up list, with everyone telling you what they are bringing. That way you can make calls asking people for certain things, such as desserts if it starts to look a little one-dementional.
     
  7. jenni belle

    jenni belle

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    Thanks for your concern! Actually, what I've done in the past with church potlucks is to ask people with their last names beginning A-G bring a salad, H-P bring a side and Q-Z bring dessert or whatever. It works out quite well. There is always enough of something for everyone. Thanks for the concern though!
     
  8. johnyo

    johnyo

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    This has worked for me

    Boil the ribs in Pineapple juice(Canned any brand) and add ginger fresh grated or powdered OK, med high heat or a good rolling boil for about 15 minutes, remove meat and continue with the next batch until completed, cool meat and stash in the fridge until ready to BBQ . keep that pineapple juice you had been cooking the ribs in, skim off the foam and fat strain and reduce to desired thickness, makes a good BBQ sauce base.

    JohnyO
     
  9. pgram

    pgram

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    Don't ever say that around anyone who takes BBQ seriously or competes. They'll likely shoot ya'. :eek:
     
  10. beefcheeks

    beefcheeks

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    I'd say 200 lbs total of both meats would be sufficient with the potluck items factoring in. Probably a bit more if you are preparing it (ribs) the traditional barbeque style (long slow method in a smokestyle barbeque grill or commercial smoker). If not, I prefer to boil the ribs (babybacks) in salted water w/ a few garlic cloves for about an hour, or until the desired tenderness is achieved. Then, I would apply a dry spice rub of your choice and refrigerate for the next day. Grill as you had planned, basting with mops and sauces at the end. I"d suggest using babybacks as they are more consistent than the st. louis spare ribs. The spare ribs have a tendency to burn at the small end, and also requires extra work cutting them to appropriate sizes (some of them are actually brontosaurus ribs) :) .

    Well, I hope this helps you out somewhat. I worked in a Texas style barbeque restaurant for a couple years, where their specialty was the slow cooked brisket and babyback ribs. For a true Texan affair, be sure to have enough BBQ sauce for each table....and don't forget the pickles and onions. :lips:
     
  11. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    I just had a BBQ for 56 adults, baby backs and chicken with potato salad, slaw, PICKLES.....grilled bread and pie for dessert.

    3 guests per slab and 1/4 chicken pp......way enough food.....
    handy wipes/paper towels are a necessity.
    I did not precook, did rub the ribs with a spice rub and then grilled....chicken was salted and grilled.....put in a cambro straight from the grill//sauced after cooked then threw on the grill at the last minute for the crispies....having staff to cut the ribs/chicken was important.
    It was a HIT!!! :p
     
  12. pgram

    pgram

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    Good BBQ is ALWAYS a hit! But then you know that, you didn't boil the ribs first. ;)
     
  13. britt

    britt

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    Just a thought.
    Try a rib. Either a 109 or western cut. Have it frozen. If you have bandsaw, great. If not make arangements with a butcher to cut it into 1/4", the day before the party. Season and place in a marinade(I like an inexpensive A-1 clone and oil). Just to coat right before grilling. They are very easy to keep up on.
    I like this because a green label or no-roll works great. Unless food cost isn't an issue.
    Where are you at in Devner. I did my "formative" years downtown in the theater district.
    britt
     
  14. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    no boiling, no marinade, just a dry rub and at the end BBQ sauce.
     
  15. britt

    britt

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    You must have an incredible amount of grill area if you can cook ribs for that many people from the raw state. I'd think the timing would be a nightmare.
    I have no idea what sort of equipment you have access to(either for prep or service). If I had a broiler available for prep, here's what I'd try.
    Dry rub the ribs and and brown them on the grill. When cool: I'd tightly wrap in plastic and then foil. Place on sheet trays and bake in a medium oven, 325-350) for 1 and 3/4 to 2 1/2 hrs., depending on the type of ribs you choose. Cut into serving potions. At the event, sauce them as they grill. Thy will be on and off in 10 minutes as opposed to God knows how long.
    Nothing worse than telling hungry people that the foods not ready.
    britt