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20 person bar-b-que

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We're having a bar-b-que in a couple weeks and I want to make things as simple as I can for myself, the bar-b-que chef, as the event is more about the beer, comaradarie, wine, friendship, beer, getting together, wine, and beer. My wife will be making her famous baked beans and potato salad, other friends will be bringing cole slaw and other salads and I've got the tongs. So I'm just planning on simple burgers and hot dogs, but I'd like good ones. Are the best ready-made patties at Costco? For hot dogs, I always liked Hebrew National, but I haven't bought any in years. Is there a better choice? Also, are there mass-produce buns that are a step above? FWIW, I live in Southern California.

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  1. If there's a King Ranch Market near you, I can recommend their home-made sausages. Several different styles, but we like the Argentinian style best. There's one in Monrovia and one in Pasadena - I'm not sure where else.

    1. For hot dogs, there are two basic choice parameters:

      1. Flavor: Kosher or Kosher-style all-beef vs milder/blander pork/beef-pork.

      2. Natural casing vs skinless. Because intestinal casings are not kosher without extraordinary effort, you can't get kosher (Hebrew National) with natural casing, but you can get kosher-style (Sabrett's, Nathan's, and many others) with natural casing, which would be my strong preference.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S

        If you are near LA - Jeff's Gourmet Kosher Sausage are amazing - all with natural casing - http://www.jeffsgourmet.com/ - puts hebrew national and best kosher to shame!

      2. My fav hot dogs are hebrew national. I did try Kayem the other day, and they were pretty good.

        Hamburgers...yuck to premade patties...sorry. I prefer to buy my own ground sirloin, add some diced onion, worcestershire sauce, pepper, parsley, and sometimes bbq sauce.

        Can't answer the buns question.

        Oh, and cut up a watermelon. It's easy and always a big hit.

        1. I prefer Nathans hot dogs over Hebrew National, (upstate NY Pricechoppers has a 24 pack for $10 or so), but I think almost any 'premium' all-beef will be quite a step over your run-of-the-mill.
          I usually don't fret over which hot-dog buns to get.
          For a 20 person BBQ, I like to use frozen patties myself. Pop the box in the fridge a day or two in advance to defrost. I usually get 6 oz 'seasoned' patties and add montreal steak spice while grilling. I usually try to get sesame seed buns.

          1. I just want to make a suggestion to serve beer can chicken also. It's perfect for a crowd because you can make it the morning of or day before. Plant as many as will fit on your grill, and they take about an hour to cook. I then cut them up and keep them in the fridge. That way, when your guests arrive, you just warm up the pieces on the grill and add bbq sauce if you want. No worrying about whether the chicken is fully cooked.

            1. Gosh, I've never found the premade burgers from Costco to be anything close to edible. I'd make my own.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jencounter

                Definitely make your own burgers--you can do it in the morning or the night before. I'd vote for Nathan's for the dogs, but that's mainly because I prefer their snappiness to Hebrew Nationals. For more substantial dogs like that, I'd try to get crusty hero or sub buns, not the run-of-the-mill hot dog ones. And I agree with the watermelon suggestion, and you might even consider throwing together a fruit salad--I dress mine with equal parts of honey and dry white wine and a little mint, and people always love it.