Hello all

Author
StickyBBQ
Junior Burger
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2014/04/30 18:13:09 (permalink)

Hello all

I am in the process of building (having it built)  a 20ft concession trailer and wanted to get your advice on the equipment I selected to support the menu. My menu will consist of - smoked brisket, pulled pork, ribs/tips, smoked chicken (shredded or sliced), and sausage.
 
Sides will include: kettle chips, coleslaw,  BBQ beans, and mac -n- cheese (cateing only) .  I will not offer all of the menu items at once, it will depend on the event. I also hoped to do catering jobs along the way and eventually add a truck just to serve out of for daily routes and cook out of the trailer until local events roll around.   I know this is hard work for the money and latley I am questioning my sanity for diving into the concesion business.
 
My equipment:
Cookshack SM250
24" 4 burner stove with oven ( or should I go with a half convection oven and two burner hotplate)
24"  gas Char Broiler ( I thought about adding fryers inteaad but didnt want to mess with the grease on the road)
22 cu. ft Fridge
11 cu. ft. single door glass cooler
Holding / proofing cabinet
4 well steam table
 
Items I've been thinking of lately:
Microwave oven
Salmander / cheese melter
Half convection oven 
 
Any feedback would be helpful
ThX Sticky
 
#1

11 Replies Related Threads

    Lost Nation
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/04/30 18:37:05 (permalink)
    I would stay away from an electric smoker
    #2
    StickyBBQ
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/04/30 18:40:57 (permalink)
    The HD would only approve the NSF smoker - either electric or gas, but I dont know if Ole Hickery or Southern Pride has a smaller gas version.
    #3
    RodBangkok
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/04/30 19:13:19 (permalink)
    You can use an electric smoker with no problems and do very good Q, you always need to balance what will work versus what you may want.  
    It looks like you've got a lot of electrical appliances, if so, then you need to consider power sources.
    Calculate your electrical usage and be sure you have sufficient space and a large enough generator, keep in mind venting, and sound isolation. 
    If your relying on shore power, then your mobility will be limited, in some cases severely.  
    Don't forget the other bothersome things that are required, space for and gas tanks, overhead vent system....is fire suppression required in your area, could be a real big ticket item. Air con and power for it, also power for vent system, hot water heater, water pump, etc.  All this adds up on the power side real quick, so make sure you've got this down pat.
    Calculate your holding capacity carefully, as your menu is full of long cook time items that also take a lot of space for holding.  Holding will be a big part of what you'll do, so make sure you've got that end covered very well.  The quality of what your going to hold will suffer greatly if you do not have the proper equipment, such as CVAP type cabinets.
    #4
    StickyBBQ
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/04/30 20:17:17 (permalink)
    Thank you RodBangkok,
     
    Your input was helpful, I hadn't thought about the CVAP cabinets, I'm going to try and price them out.  There will be a 10,000 watt gen with 8000 surge watts. I was thinking of putting on one of those RV mufflers that vent above the trailer. 
     
     
    #5
    RodBangkok
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/04/30 21:55:02 (permalink)
    Take a look at using table top appliances, rethink the 4 burner with over floor unit.  By using a low table top that holds applicances, you can be more universal in your setups rather than installing floor units.  You might for example want a half cvap to fit under your burners, which are table top, or you may want an oven there instead, or just storage.  For the low table you can then switch between 4 burners, two and a table top fryer, etc.  But once you have a floor unit your stuck, no flexibility.
    #6
    StickyBBQ
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/04/30 22:39:33 (permalink)
    Nice point, I was thinking of going with a 2 burner hot plate, with a half convection oven, and table top gas char broiler, along with the smoker. I started looking for a used Alto Shaam for holding instead of the full non-insulated one that comes with the trailer. Thanks for your advice
    #7
    JayL
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    Re:Hello all 2014/04/30 23:29:08 (permalink)
    Southern Pride has both gas and electric cabinet style smokers. 
     
    Ole Hickory has the CTO...which an awesome piece of equipment. 
     
    My only experience between the options above is the CTO.  It has four racks that will hold six butts each.   For pork alone, that's 250-300 6oz portions.  I could smoke pork and/or briskets overnight, take them off in the morning, and cook chicken and/or ribs in time for lunch.  Chicken/ribs can be cooked several times during the day if needed.  Following that routine it's no problem to cook for 400-500 or more, per day, with a single CTO.  It doesn't use that much gas & the wood use isn't much either.  I've cooked a single butt on it & I've cooked with it half full...never had the need to fill it up. 
     
    If the CTO is too big (it shouldn't be), Ole Hickory also makes the Ultra Que...basically a smaller version of the CTO.
     
    As for holding, determine exactly how you'll do it.  I always wrapped my product or kept it in pans.  Since it was covered & already in a closed environment a CVAP would have been a waste of money.  I used a standard holding cabinet and saved alot of money.  If you just have your product laid out on a pan and open to the elements, then a CVAP is preferred.  I've used both & both work well.  I would never be in the barbecue business without a holding cabinet of some type.
    #8
    Lost Nation
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/05/01 07:04:51 (permalink)
    Sorry for the earlier short post, I hit post instead of preview. Everyone I know that has a commercial electric smoker hates them, poor depth of flavor and they use a ton of electric power. They are better suited for B&M places that aren't BBQ to use more as an oven with a little smoke flavor. I have a FEC-100 from Cookshack  That is NSF, doesn't use much power (once lit but can be lit with a torch) and has a descent smoke flavor, not the depth of flavor of an offset but it can pump out some great food.
    I'm opening my roadside BBQ stand today, it will be my forth season. My menu is very simple I cook and run out of food everyday and the stand gets me weekend catering jobs.
    #9
    StickyBBQ
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/05/02 01:34:50 (permalink)
    Thanks for your advice, the CVAPs are expensive I think wrapping in foil and holding in a regular cabinet would work.  I'm looking into the Southern P's and Ole Hickories as well
    #10
    StickyBBQ
    Junior Burger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/05/02 01:45:30 (permalink)
    Hey Lost Nation, 
     
    What do you offer on your menu? what equipment do you use in your set-up.  I used to own a Treagar pellet but was not happy flavor smoke at first, but I did get use to it after a while.  I know a lot people who swear by them but I've never had the opp to smoke off on one.  
     
    I have a Stump smoker but not able to use on the trailer but have thought about smoking over night from home (brisket and ribs) and then loading it on the trailer and cook the ribs and chicken on the trailer but didn't want to run the risk of getting caught by the HD messing up my name.
     
    Thanks
    Sticky
     
     
     
    #11
    Lost Nation
    Cheeseburger
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    Re:Hello all 2014/05/02 04:52:49 (permalink)
    Morning, my menu is pork, ribs, chicken and hot dogs. I often have a special that I offer like pastrami, brisket, pulled beef (chuck) or anything else I can think of. My sides are beans, slaw and chips.
     
    I'm a 100% single person operation, I purchase, cook, serve and clean up everything but also keep all the money. I'm open from 11-3:30 Tuesday to Friday. I'm a lunch business,I have a lot of businesses locally that I also sell Q that they pick up. My first year I stayed open till 6 but didn't sell much after 3. My menu was larger but mu current menu is what my customers want, you'll figure it out. Time to put the ribs on.
    #12
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