Author Topic: Cooking For a Group  (Read 10015 times)

Offline DeShawn

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Cooking For a Group
« on: July 02, 2011, 11:37:38 pm »
On Tuesday evening, I'm going to be cooking desserts for 35-ish people, and then on Wednesday morning, I'm going to be cooking breakfast for the same group.  I'm not worried about having enough pots to cook in...  I'll be take two twelve-inch ovens, a twelve-inch deep oven, and a fourteen-inch oven.

What I'm more worried about is getting enough charcoal going and keeping all of the ovens going at once.  I love Eggman's propane charcoal lighter, but I don't see myself getting one in the near future since I just bout a new vehicle and that blows the budget for a good long time.

How do you go about lighting more than a chimney or two full of charcoal at a time?  How do you budget time when you are cooking for a larger group?

Offline IdBlackPotPat

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Re: Cooking For a Group
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2011, 06:28:13 am »
On Tuesday evening, I'm going to be cooking desserts for 35-ish people, and then on Wednesday morning, I'm going to be cooking breakfast for the same group.  I'm not worried about having enough pots to cook in...  I'll be take two twelve-inch ovens, a twelve-inch deep oven, and a fourteen-inch oven.

What I'm more worried about is getting enough charcoal going and keeping all of the ovens going at once.  I love Eggman's propane charcoal lighter, but I don't see myself getting one in the near future since I just bout a new vehicle and that blows the budget for a good long time.

How do you go about lighting more than a chimney or two full of charcoal at a time?  How do you budget time when you are cooking for a larger group?

A couple of chimneys with a couple of propane stove burners will fire up a lot of coals quick.  For a really big group, I like the weed burner method - no that is quick and easy.

What are you cooking up? What ever it is, I'm sure they will appreciate you even more after the meal.

Offline DeShawn

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Re: Cooking For a Group
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2011, 06:34:09 am »
Desserts:  I'm making a large peach-blueberry cobbler, a Mississippi Mud Cake, and a Fudge Cake.

Breakfast: I'm making a whole lot of Mountain Man Breakfast

What's the weed burner method?

Offline IdBlackPotPat

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Re: Cooking For a Group
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2011, 10:09:35 am »
Quote
What's the weed burner method?

Its the quickest method I know of for starting coals.  Set what coals you need in a fireproof container - anything metal will do - and take a weed burner to them. You can start as many (dump a 20lb bag in an old burn barrel) or few (5-10 briquettes in your chimney)at a time as you need. Takes only a couple of minutes to start them up.  Weed burners start out at about $25 or $30. You simply hook it up to a propane tank and light it.

Offline Darren

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Re: Cooking For a Group
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 11:59:50 am »
DeShawn, I hope that the propane stove works well enough for you! You should have borrowed my chimney as well, except then I wouldn't have been able to use it yesterday to light some coals for a good old fashioned burger/hotdog grill...

I haven't tested it yet, but it's not too technologically advanced - I would expect it to work rather well.

-Darren
There are two rules of Dutch Oven Cooking:
1) If you cook too much food, share.
2) Cook too much food.

Offline DeShawn

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Re: Cooking For a Group
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 08:08:16 pm »
The cook went well for the most part.  Other than a couple of little glitches...

Tuesday evening, the peach blueberry cobbler was the largest cobbler I have made to date.  It was seriously delicious.  It contained a 105-ounce can of peaches, drained, and two pounds of frozen blueberries.  The mississippi mud cake and fudge cake both turned out perfectly.  Dessert was fantastic.

I had done a ton of prep work for breakfast on Monday.  I peeled and sliced and chopped and minced and diced everything that was going into the mountain man breakfast.  We browned the bacon in a couple of 12-inch pots, and yes, Darren, the stove worked perfectly...after adjusting the air intake on the burners. 

After assembling everything in the four pots and getting them on the coals, everything seemed to be working as normal.  However, the fourteen inch and the twelve deep were both giving me problems.  I'm not quite used to those yet and it was taking longer than the others.

In the end, I ended up serving out of the two standard twelves first while I finished the other two over low flame on the stove.

And ended up not using either.  Seriously.  I guess the deserts from the night before were still sitting in some stomachs.  So we have an awful lot of leftovers that I have been taking to friends in the neighborhood.

But everyone enjoyed everything and it's better to have way way too much than to be short by a bit.  At least until I get better at figuring out how much people really eat.  :)

Oh, and I have two chimneys... I kept the first one I bought as a backup and between the two, I was able to churn out all the charcoal I needed.

I'm beat tonight though.  Good food, good times, but to tell you how tired I am, I don't think I could go for cooking in a Dutch oven again for at least a day or two. ;)

Offline Darren

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Re: Cooking For a Group
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 07:37:21 am »
Glad that things worked out! Um...I know I'm not in the neighborhood, but if you happen to be returning a two-burner stove, I think we could probably knock off some of the extra mountain man breakfast...  ;D

Didn't know the stove had air intakes. Hehehe...

And the good news is that after your couple of days off, your black pots will be waiting for you...

-Darren
There are two rules of Dutch Oven Cooking:
1) If you cook too much food, share.
2) Cook too much food.

Offline DeShawn

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Re: Cooking For a Group
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 06:39:06 am »
I'm ready to cook again, but I'm not going to be around.  I wonder what they would think of cast iron in a carry-on on an airplane...  ;D