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Cook Talk

Cooking for 125 people
Ramona Ruiz
Hello, I will be catering an event for 125 people. 75 people would like beef roast and 50 people would like to have pork roast. Can I cook these meats the day before, and re-heat on a chafing dish adding gravy before serving, or would the meat be dried out? Thank you. Ramona Ruiz
You can't reheat anything in a chafing dish, they don't get safely hot enough to reheat. You have to reheat in the oven or on the stove top, then transfer to the preheated chafer. Remember that it takes about 40 minutes for a standard Sterno-type chafing dish to heat up unless you start with boiling water in the under pan and that the regular Sternos only last about 2 hours. You may need refills, and you need heavy tongs to remove the cans with as they are burning hot.

If the roast beef is pot roast style in gravy it can be made ahead, sliced and reheated. If it is a standing rib roast or top round, it does not reheat very well, and remeber these large roasts need to stand 20-30 minutes after cooking to slice well and be juicy- sliced right away, they are drier and shred more easily. The pork is similar, large roasts don't reheat well.

More info on beef roasting on the beef roasting page in the Big Pots section.

People will take more meat if they serve themselves, be sure you allow at least 1/2 pound boneless raw per person if it is self serve. Also, make at least 80 servings of beef and 55 of pork, people change their minds when they see it.

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