My family and I are blessed to be part of a growing, thriving church. Christ Church in Fairview Heights, IL has grown beyond the capacity of it’s real estate and has begun to sprout new churches in the Metro East area of St. Louis. Our satellite campus in Millstadt, IL recently held a church picnic and I was honored to be able to prepare the BBQ for the event.
They expected 80 for luch, I planned for 100, and we probably had closer to 70. Not to worry, I always travel with zip lock bags so folks can leave with a doggy bag. Heck, I even got to bring some home and feed my own family.
In any event, I fired up the big cooker on Saturday night for pork butts, chuck roasts, and my pit beans. After an all night cook, I had eveything ready around 9:00am. I even fired up the charcoal grill and roasted some hot dogs since I figured some of the kids might prefer that (I was right).
I had everything setup at the park when church let out shortly after 11:00. Folks seemed to enjoy the food, and I felt blessed by their compliments and for the opportunity to cook for my church family.
I’ve written before about holding hot food for significant periods of time before serving. You don’t have to purchase special equipment to acomplish this, while ensuring that your product is safe to serve.
However, there are products targeted at the catering and food service business that make this simple and they’ve beome quite popular among competition BBQ teams. Now I don’t compete, nor do I cater. But I do find myself cooking large quantities for a variety of charitable functions.
It was this activity (and my insatiable need to acquire new gear) that led me to acquire a couple of Cambro Food Carriers . I’d priced these through a variety of restaurant supply websites and stores, but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money for a new one. Enter, Craigslist. I kept a eye out for awhile and finally my patience was rewarded. I was able to acquire 2 slightly used Cambro’s for the the cost of one new one.
The cool thing about these warming cabinets is that they have rails along the sides that will support food pans. The disposable aluminum pans that I typiclally use fit just fine also, although the lip of the disposable pans won’t support much weight if you overload them. The cabinets are polythylene (that’s a fancy word for plastic) and insulated to keep heat loss to just a couple of degrees/hr. The doors are gasketed and the latches ensure a tight seal.
I’ve been very happy with these and use them quite often. I’ve held pork butt for 4+ hours, and transported BBQ all over the midwest. So, if you’re looking for a way to hold and transport hot food you can’t go wrong with a Cambro Food Carriers