Barbecue Club prepares homeless shelter meals
For those who were out and about the Green on Sunday, April 10, a couple of people at a time were out managing a smoker throughout the day. The newly created Bethel Barbecue Club recently partnered with the Community for Justice and Peace (CJP) to put together a meal for the homeless shelter.
“This project got started when CJP reached out to us asking if we would be willing to make the food for the homeless shelter if we were provided the funds to cover the cost of food. After agreeing that CJP would cover the cost of the food itself, we agreed to do all of the cooking of both the meat and the sides. As far as getting contacted by the homeless shelter I believe that was all done entirely through CJP,” club organizer Sebastian Formento, junior from Texas, said.
The process of cooking the meat itself is extensive and required a trial before the actual event, so that the team would be as prepared as possible for the real deal.
“We have an amazing group of people that are a part of the Bethel Barbecue Club and we actually got started with prepping this event on Saturday night in order to prepare the food before we would cook it on Sunday. After doing so we were able to get the cooking started around 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning... This looked like getting the smoker fired up and keeping a close eye on both the temperature of the smoker as well as the internal temperature of the meat itself,” Formento said.
Both the temperature of the smoker and of the meat were key to the success of the project, as members of the club have learned through previous research and some experience.
“The most important step that we have throughout this whole process though is making sure that, once the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit that we then take the meat off of the smoker and wrap it in aluminum foil and dowse it with our special blend of apple cider vinegar and water then get the meat back onto the smoker until it is finished cooking,” Formento said.
Those working with the meat spent about a day preparing and keeping track of temperatures; these hours were entirely voluntary.
“The cooking process took place over the span of around 13 hours beginning at 7:00 AM and finishing around 8:30 PM,” Formento said.
The meal itself was received well and both the Bethel Barbecue Club and CJF received positive feedback for their work.
“In my opinion, this project was a massive success! Not only were we able to give back to the community and provide some good food for the residents of the homeless shelter but we were also told that the food was thoroughly enjoyed by them as well! The process for this looked a lot like what you could experience in a family cookout!” Formento said.
For other questions about the Bethel Barbecue Club, Formento has extended the invitation to reach out to himself, Sam Wilson, senior from Minneapolis, Minn., or to Isaiah Bartel, sophomore from Wichita—the group continues to invite new members to the organization to make events like this possible.