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Cook Talk

Ham for 150 (no oven?)
We are going to be catering an event for 150 people and for one of the main dishes they have selected ham. We don't have the oven space to cook these and we'd like to use electric roasters. Our thought was to slice the "precooked" ham and heat it in a broth , in the electric roaster. We have been successful with this before, but this last time the texture of the ham was tough, it was more chewy then before. So we are wondering if this is the best way. We could oven bake them in advance, slice and refrigerate and then reheat in broth.... any suggestions on the best way to prepare this?
Usually tough means too high a heat or too long a hold; occasionally a bad ham. Assuming about 30 pounds ready to serve, use 2 roasters (remember about circuits blowing if 2 are on the same circuit).

How long did you reheat at what temp?

frances money
I will be serving 110 people at a wedding. Do you think 30 pounds of boneless fully cooked spiral ham and 30 pounds of sliced beef would be enough? Now my next thing is how to heat things up with toaster ovens and roaster ovens. Since the hall does not have anything so I can heat food up. I thought i could heat ham in the toaster ovens, covered in heavy-duty foil with some water, pineapple juice, and brown sugar at 350 for 10 minutes per pound. Do you think this would work? Now for the well done cooked sliced beef, I thought I could heat it up in the roast ovens with beef wrapped in heavy-duty foil with broth or juice from the beef on 350 but do not know how many minutes per pound of beef? After the ham and beef are hot It will be transferred to 8- quart chafers, 2 chafers per each meat. Do you think this would work and if a total of 4 chafers will be enough? I have 3 burners to cook 30 lbs of canned corn, 30 lbs of can green beans, and boxed mashed potatoes which is a half cup per person, with 15 dozen rolls and butter. Now for Appetizers, I will have 720 one ounce meatballs in grape jelly and chili sauce. I know the recipe should be half an half of each. I can not figure out how many jars of grape jelly and chili sauce I will need for each chafer of meatballs, or how many 8 quart chafers I will need for this amount of meatball. Same thing with 720 bites of sweet Italian rope sausage with peppers and onions. I was thinking i would need 21 pounds of sausage but can not figure out how much of peppers and onions I will need or the amount of 8-quart chafers I will need. Do you have a recipe for sausage that is easy and I can make ahead and heat? I will also have 15 pounds of 3 assorted kinds of cubed cheese mild cheddar, swiss, and pepper jack. Do you think my food quantities are ok for the 110 guest?
frances money
how many 1 oz. meatballs will fit in chafer
my stainless steel chafer is 8 quarts with a 2 1/2 deep food pan. Length is 24 inches and With 14 1/8. How many will I need for 720- 1oz. meatballs with grape jelly and chili sauce. Not sure how much sauce I should add to each pan.
Loose slices, a pound of sliced meat takes up about 3 cups of space and your 8 quart chafer only holds about 6 quarts really= 24 cups=about 8 pounds.

Your quantities are high for 110 guests, which is costly for meats. This is a lot of meat dishes which makes an expensive menu and is more difficult to estimate accurately with this small of a group- larger groups are actually easier to estimate. 8-9 ounces meats total per person, total about 60 pounds, is better. Your menu of 720- 1oz. meatballs is 45 pounds, plus 21 pounds sausage plus 30 pounds ham and 30 pounds beef is 126 pounds.

I would plan no more than 25 pounds beef, 15 pounds ham, about 300 meatballs and 10-12 pounds sausage, in bite size pieces. In fact, with your oven troubles, I would suggest some kind of meatless cocktail bites that can be served room temp, such as a Mediterranean platter with stuffed grape leaves, olives and cherry peppers and feta cheese cubes, or hummus platters with veggies and pita chips in place of either the meatballs or the sausage. Or a beautiful fruit tray!

Sausage and peppers, you want equal weight veggies and sausage, with about /3 pepper strips and 1/3 onion.

Meatballs require about 1 quart sauce per 5 pounds of meatballs.

10-12 pounds of cheeses including some cream cheese rolls/balls/logs is sufficient for 100. 6 pounds crackers.

Also the dinner menu offers NO options for non-meat eaters, and there will be some with 110 people- even the appetizers are heavy meat. Try to get the hosts to add more fruits and vegetables as that will reduce the amount of meats needed.

30 lbs of canned corn, do 24
30 lbs of can green beans, do 24. Consider add ins, maybe almonds or Greek style onions tomatoes and a pinch of cinnamon
Look at the holiday vegetables for 100 for inspiration and quantities:

boxed mashed potatoes which is a half cup per person, must add gravy. too many burners. Consider using a roaster to make a baked rice pilaf with mixed veg. Prettier, tastier, and easier.

15 dozen rolls and butter. You need 15 pounds plus 4 pounds of butter. Get good ones, it is a feast.

One crock pot of vegetarian meatballs or sausages would be wise- label it ! I like Field Roast brand

Now about reheating the meats.
Consider large crock pots, at least for the ham. Unlike the big roasters, they will not blow your circuits or dry out your meats.

The beef, will work as you plan. Make the packages no more than 1 inch thick, preheat the roasters at 425 covered, turn to 300 or so when you add the meat, allow at least an hour, more if very full or refrigerated. This much beef, 2 roasters. You can star hours ahead and turn to 180 to hold.

Remember you MUST plug roasters in on separate circuits or the fuse/circuit blows, which usually means in different rooms. When catering I always take the grounded circuit bar extension cords with the lighted switch and reset, one for each roaster, so I can tell at a glance that the circuit is on and heating.

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