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NRG Center hosting “World’s Largest BBQ Pit” to serve volunteers and evacuees

bbq pit

As Houston slowly starts to dig out of the mess caused by hurricane Harvey, there are many people looking for a good, hot meal. In typical Texas fashion, there will be a barbecue to serve 50,000 volunteers, first responders, and evacuees.

This Texas-sized food gathering centers around the pit itself; a 75-foot long pit weighing 80,000 pounds and has 24 doors. At one time they can cook 8,000 pounds of meat.

“We’re still working out minor logistics and a host of other moving parts, but it has been amazing coordinating this effort and truly one of the most satisfying things I have ever done for our community,” said Mac DeLaup of John Eagle Honda. “We expect to serve as many as 50,000 meals from this BBQ pit to the evacuees, first responders and volunteers of Hurricane Harvey.”

Supplies are needed, and included at the end of the press release below. Now, pass me a plate!

View Press Release

HOUSTON (September 1, 2017) – Hurricane Harvey evacuees, first responders and volunteers can expect the welcoming site of a 75-foot BBQ pit arriving tonight at NRG Center to prepare hot, fresh meals throughout the week.

“We’re still working out minor logistics and a host of other moving parts, but it has been amazing coordinating this effort and truly one of the most satisfying things I have ever done for our community,” said Mac DeLaup of John Eagle Honda. “We expect to serve as many as 50,000 meals from this BBQ pit to the evacuees, first responders and volunteers of Hurricane Harvey.”

Weighing 80,000 pounds and with 24 doors, the BBQ pit can cook about 8,000 pounds of meat at one time. Refrigerated semi-trucks will arrive today with enough food for the first week of meals. So far, food is donated by Sysco foods of Central Florida, Gibson’s Restaurants, Halperns’ Steak and Seafood, Joyce Farms, Harvest Meat Company and Harvill’s Produce, all from Florida. Other suppliers from across the nation have also agreed to replenish food as needed but there will be a continued need of supplies and food. (Full list of needs below press release.)

Owners, Kimberly King and Terry Folsom of Brenham, TX, are delivering the ‘world’s largest BBQ pit’ and plan to cook on it, along with four other full time chefs travelling from Florida and Chicago. Orlando residents, Chef Bob Getchell of Gibsons Restaurants, John “Boodreaux” Baumann, and Benjamin Getchell, will lead the cook team along with volunteers including, Mac DeLaup, Jessica Rose, Lisa Rainoshek and other associates of John Eagle Honda.

Gibsons Restaurant Group, Steve Lombardo and Bob Kanzler of Chicago, ensured trucks with thousands of pounds of food and supplies were in route to NRG earlier this week. Baumann and Getchell met in New Orleans and made an 11 hour drive through the night to get to Houston to begin serving food tomorrow as early as lunch.

The trailer was built in Louisiana and “BBQ Pits by Klose” built the cooker in Cypress, TX. To build a BBQ pit like this today would cost more than $1 million.

Additional immediate needs to provide an inclusive meal include:

  • Aprons
  • BBQ sauce
  • BBQ sauce mops
  • Cole slaw
  • Cold salads
  • Cutting boards
  • Desserts – cakes, cookies
  • Dice tomatoes, onions, peppers
  • Hot sauce
  • Jalapenos
  • Knives
  • Lettuce (pre-shredded)
  • Rice
  • Salsa
  • Spatulas
  • Taco sauce
  • Taco spice
  • Tongs
  • Tortillas
  • Trash bags
  • Watermelons

Initial sponsors supporting the logistics, food, operations and manpower for the ‘world’s largest BBQ pit’ include:

  • Bob Getchell, The BOATHOUSE Orlando at Disney Springs
  • Gibsons Restaurant Group
  • Terry Folsom and Kimberly King, Owners of the WORLD’S LARGEST BBQ PIT
  • Mac DeLaup, John Eagle Honda of Houston
  • Fishing Florida Radio, John Boodreaux Baumann
  • Duane Kyrish, Kyrish Truck Centers: Houston
  • Wyatt Wainwright, Houston Automobile Dealers Association
  • Bobby Archer, Archer RV Houston – for chef’s living quarters
  • Idealease of Houston
  • Southwest International Trucks: Dallas, TX
  • Idealease of Orlando and Maudlin International Trucks: Orlando, FL
  • Peak Trailer Group: San Antonio, TX
  • Arens Services
  • John Mounts
  • S-S Welders
  • Klose BBQ Pits, David Klose
  • Dade Paper Company, Sam Pagan
  • Cabellero Handyman Services
  • Smallwares and cold foods – Bobby Anderson Sysco of Central Florida
  • Firewood – Big John’s Wood Products Fort Worth Texas
  • Meats – Harris Heckelman Halperns’ Steak and Seafood
  • Chicken–  Joyce Farms
  • Beef – Creekstone Farm
  • Pork – Harvest Meat Company
  • Produce – Rick Harvill Harvill’s Produce

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Written by Chad Kirchner

Chad Kirchner is the Editor-in-Chief of Future Motoring, along with the main host and producer of the Future Motoring podcast. In addition to his work here, he's a freelance automotive journalist for outlets around the world.

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