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 Truck or Trailer

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BBQ Seeker

  • Total Posts: 15
  • Joined: 1/18/2012
  • Location: Culpeper, VA
Truck or Trailer Wed, 04/25/12 2:57 PM (permalink)
I posed this question to the Dr of BBQ and he suggested a post to get a few more ideas, so here goes...
I noticed on your website that you have a trailer and a trailer mounted smoker. So if you need both on site you make multiple trips? Since I am considering event vending as a starting point which would work better a truck or a trailer? We compete with a couple of Backwoods fatboy smokers, but they probably won't be large enough for any real volume. Your site shows the wood burner, and it appears that volume would not be a problem with a unit of this type. Any recommendations? 
My questions are preliminary in that I am not beginning this project until after the year ends. I have a commissary lined up and have begun discussions with the local HD. I want to have my ducks in a row before I jump into this so this might be the first of a series of questions!
    Buck & Vi's

    • Total Posts: 822
    • Joined: 4/19/2010
    • Location: dodging,snakes,spiders,roaches, armadillos.opposso
    Re:Truck or Trailer Wed, 04/25/12 5:29 PM (permalink)
     a truck pulling a trailer 
      Dr of BBQ

      • Total Posts: 3716
      • Joined: 10/11/2004
      • Location: Springfield, IL
      • Roadfood Insider
      Re:Truck or Trailer Wed, 04/25/12 5:38 PM (permalink)
      Not just a trip for the trailer and another for the smoker, but another for Grill Zilla, and finally one for my ( trailered flat top grill.
      Phew it cost me a ton of time and gas if I'm going anywhere other than here in town. But both the big SS grill and flat top grill lend a party atmosphere to the trailer and seem to be worth it.
      But I'll be glad when I get my truck done that is the way to go.
      Pre Cook Pre Cook anything you can so your only heating food up at events. Then you can pay attention to sales and staff and not worry about anything else.
      I have tried for 6 years  to enter the contest at BBQ & Blues but I just can't pay enough attention to the contest because I'm selling so much food. So no more competing just sales.
      Have the best relationship you can with the HD. There is no getting around or passed the HD. In fact I bust my butt to please them and it pays off in the long run.
      Use your Fat Boy to reheat all your meat, beans anything your selling. Just for the event they become great ovens. And the HD loves to see that temp gauge on the door at any temp above 140 degrees. At events I run my Southern pride at 300 degrees and we re-heat all our meats in it. Even ribs in foil .
        BBQ Seeker

        • Total Posts: 15
        • Joined: 1/18/2012
        • Location: Culpeper, VA
        Re:Truck or Trailer Wed, 04/25/12 7:41 PM (permalink)
        How far ahead are you cooking. Are all of your products prepared before you arrive? The event is all reheat and the smoker for show?
        Buck and Vi
        Why. I know you have a reason! [image]app_themes/Original/image/mIcons/m9.gif[/image]
        I'm looking to draw from your experiences.
        Thanks for the replies.
          Dr of BBQ

          • Total Posts: 3716
          • Joined: 10/11/2004
          • Location: Springfield, IL
          • Roadfood Insider
          Re:Truck or Trailer Wed, 04/25/12 8:37 PM (permalink)
          Vince we start at least one week prior top our biggest event cooking shoulders and briskets. We smoke them, pull them and put them into gallon zip lock bags that we date, and put into the reach in. I cook my ribs the last two days before the event and cut them into half slabs then wrap them in foil meat side down. Then the day before we make slaw, potato salad and BBQ sauce. The day of the event we move the trailer first, then the Cook Shack Smoker, and finally Grill Zilla and if were going to use it the flat top.
          At most events the promoters want you to move in and be open serving food in far less time than you can do it unless your just deep frying food you buy from a distributor.
          If your really cooking or even re-heating food in bulk you need some time to get everything up to temp.  But usually the HD understands and if your not up to temp they will give you some time and come back for inspection. But it goes without saying you can't open until they do their inspection.
          And when you go out of town and have to deal with a different HD they can be strange. I mean really strange in their requirements so sometimes you have to scramble. And always be very polite even though they may ask you to do something that is wrong according to what you have studied when taking the state health code test.
          I went to an event and the HD said you can't serve any pre-cooked foods. Now that would eliminate a ton of food that Sysco sells. That was a rush deal. LOL

            • Total Posts: 9565
            • Joined: 9/1/2006
            • Location: Gilbert, AZ
            Re:Truck or Trailer Thu, 04/26/12 12:24 AM (permalink)
            BBQ SEEKER,
            First, Welcome to Roadfood!
            What are you selling? What's gonna be on the Menu.
            That plays into whether a Truck or Trailer would work best.
            The kind of cooking equipment you're gonna use also plays into it.
            Whatever way you decide to go, design it from the INSIDE OUT.
            Your interior will determine the outside dimensions. 
            Nothing worse than buying a rig and then trying to find equipment that will fit inside it.
            <message edited by Foodbme on Thu, 04/26/12 12:26 AM>
              BBQ Seeker

              • Total Posts: 15
              • Joined: 1/18/2012
              • Location: Culpeper, VA
              Re:Truck or Trailer Thu, 04/26/12 6:38 AM (permalink)
              We competed in three different states last year so I understand the differences between  State requirements and even in state we have had to shift gears to meet the requirements and we were not selling to the public. I agree with the comments about being polite, there's not much future in being ugly to the "governing" body.
              I am a competitive BBQ cook. My brother and I compete in the VA. WV. and MD area. We operate out of a trailer that is set up for comps. The smokers are inside durring transport and rolled out on a rear "porch" when in use. We have hot and cold water on board and a couple of Cambro's but no other equipment.
              Picture is available at:  
              The menu will be BBQ based Ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and chicken. I'm leaning away from smoking the chicken because people see the pink smoke ring in the white meat and think it's raw, so that's an argument I will avoid. The trailer/ truck combo would be versatile in that the truck would be available for other uses, but would most likely involve multiple trips. A food truck that I could pull a pit behind would work great but still has a couple of problems in that space at some of the events is extremely limited and expensive to expand.
              The local HD has been extremely helpful with information. They have sent me requirements for mobil units, resturants, and even what they would look for opperating under a pop up. (The pop up is what we used the last few years and passed HD inspections in all three states ). They are incouraging me to start with the pop ups and expanding from there. Not a bad idea except that some places require "ground cover" and in most localities that reads plastic. I'm not real fond of carrying anything hot over material that turns slicker than a cat's butt when damp! So if anyone has a sugestion for an alternative material, I'm all ears!
              Thanks again for the responses.
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