#11  
Old 05-26-2010, 11:27 PM
Raffy's Avatar
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

Hey Keith,

Forum members have given very good advice on how to prepare for a large party. My only take on a big party is: mis en place. Preparation is key. Marinate, cut, slice, prepare everything the night before. Have all your ingredients in one area ready for cooking. Place all the ingredients in containers (tupperware or what have you) that will conveniently fit your workspace. Have a cooler handy for ingredients that need refrigeration and since you are using containers, you can stack them in there very conveniently. Clear containers are preferable so you can see the contents immediately but if none are available label them clearly

Second, I agree with Jay (texassourdough). You must have adequate work space that is close to your oven. Preparing the pizza and cooking them requires you to be at one station all the time. No need to do more than one pizza at a time. Work at your own pace so there are no unintended calzones. Remember... everything (material, tools & ingredients) have to be at one station for you to be an efficient one man team. No rushing in to get something. Like a soldier you never leave your post. Everything you need must be there before you start cooking.

I've included a pic of a temporary work area I put in for the party I threw recently. Its just a table frame with a granite slab to serve as my counter top.

Good luck on your party. I'm sure its gonna be a blast!

Raffy
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  #12  
Old 05-27-2010, 04:31 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottz View Post
... So I guess about ther 380 C mark (for us Aussies I think that is close to 700????, not too sure) ...
716F


Temperature conversion online.
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  #13  
Old 05-27-2010, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

I have a tiled prep area to the left of my oven, and I put all the pizza making stuff there. I have an area to the right side where I set up a folding table (one of the ones that fold in half- about 6 feet by 3) with a plastic table cloth. On that I had several of the thin plastic cutting mats- I would put a pizza down on one of those and get it sliced, and yell "pizza's out" and it would disappear. At one point I had my husband helping and we had two pizzas going at once in the oven- that worked well, but I found that I need to teach him fire management before I turn him loose again.....
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:42 AM
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Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

Before the counter next to the oven was finished, I had to run back and forth to the kitchen. :-( I have fewer problems with the pizzas since the counter went in. The time the pizza sits with sauce is now minimumized and the pizza is better.

I'm going to have to get a bus tray to hold the dough, I want to see if it's better for me than using individual containers for each ball.

Chris
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  #15  
Old 05-27-2010, 09:35 AM
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Location: San Antonio
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

Hi Chris!

I use food trays for dough when I am doing lots of pizzas. I bought mine at Ace Mart for about ten dollars each including lids as I recall. They hold around eight pizza balls each. With wet doughs you want to use plenty of flour so they don't totally glue themselves together. I use a dough cutter to separate and remove the balls. That works pretty well for me. Some find the sticking too big a problem. I like them because I can store a lot of dough in the fridge in an organized manner and it is easy to remove one every half hour or so to stage the "ripening" to match demand.

Good Luck!
Jay
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  #16  
Old 05-27-2010, 09:43 AM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
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Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

That's about what I'm looking for. I have a restaurant supply place that's open to the public on my way home so I have a bit of selection available. One downside to this is the selection of everything from plastic dough scrapers to hobart 60Q mixers to high end knifes.. If I were only a rich man... Oh the toys!!

Chris

PS So many toys so little time..
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  #17  
Old 05-27-2010, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

I am having the same conversation with myself. I planned plenty of counter space next to the oven, then like an idiot stuck a grill right in the middle of it, so I am not going to have enough counter space for full-on production pizza. I am trying to decide if I should build a permanent island or a rolling one. Probably a rolling one, and I will use that for building the pizzas from the dough up. I plan on polishing an area of the concrete in the corner of the counter for dough prep.

For ingredients, I will just make a gallon of sauce in advance. I have not worked out how to prep the dough balls yet, although I have a full size fridge I can use to store them on trays (maybe 6 trays of 6 balls). I plan on having just pepperoni, onions, black olives, Italian sausage, and tomatoes and basil for toppings.

I can cook three at a time with another on the entry, so production shouldn't be a problem. The biggest problem I anticipate is keeping people away from the front of the oven so I can work.

Here is a diagram of the layout (can you tell that I am stuck in the office today?):

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  #18  
Old 05-27-2010, 10:35 AM
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Location: So. Orange County, CA. USA
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

Can you, from time to time, use the grill area? I mean, cover it with a removable worksurface. I use a dolled up sheet of 3/4" Birch faced plywood over my dining table inside when I need to feed a crew inside or have a bunch of space for??? A little clear 1 by ripped down and cleaned up as a border and some Watco and wax and "Volia!" you now have work space or room for X people more..

Chris
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  #19  
Old 05-27-2010, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

I plan on making a butcherblock cover for when not in use. Because of the way it is built, the surface of the grill is 2" lower than the surface of the countertop, so the cover will have "wings" to hold it off the surface of the grill.
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  #20  
Old 05-27-2010, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Thinking about my first big party

But for a party the grill be in full use.
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