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bobaftt
09-05-2011, 04:50 PM
I am vending for my first festival in October and after talking with the health inspector I know all food needs to prepped on site. The question I have is how do you manage to cook low and slow on site and still have food to serve day 1?

CivilWarBBQ
09-05-2011, 06:19 PM
The question I have is how do you manage to cook low and slow on site and still have food to serve day 1?

You don't.

You pre-cook and reheat, just like every other BBQ vendor on the planet.

chad
09-05-2011, 07:08 PM
You don't.

You pre-cook and reheat, just like every other BBQ vendor on the planet.

+1. Vending is BUSINESS!!

bobaftt
09-06-2011, 12:10 PM
so how do you get around the on site prep thing? Is it cooked on site "Wink and nod"?

Bbq Bubba
09-06-2011, 08:09 PM
so how do you get around the on site prep thing? Is it cooked on site "Wink and nod"?

Your learning. :thumb:

Bbq Bubba
09-06-2011, 08:14 PM
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114821&page=2


As recently discussed.

chad
09-07-2011, 07:57 AM
Technically, reheating on-site is "prepping" on-site. Vending is a whole different world than competition. Stop thinking like a competitor or best friend having a block party. Prepare good food, sell at competitive prices, go home happy!

Like someone else said, if you are doing pulled pork or brisket - things that take hours to cook - do them ahead, safely chill or freeze, and reheat. If you do chicken, ribs, sausuage, etc. - stuff that can be turned around in 3 or 4 hours AND you have enough cooker/grill space to do the volume - then by all means arrive early and cook from scratch.

Dr_KY
09-07-2011, 12:35 PM
Agreed!!

kurtsara
09-11-2011, 05:07 PM
we cook over nite on site, load the smoker, lock it and go home and sleep

PorkQPine
09-11-2011, 07:16 PM
I thinkl you need to have a long hard conversation with your local HD. Some are real hard cases, especially if you are vending. I have seen some inspectors want to see receipts for everything you 'prepped' on-site to check date purchased and ask where and how you kept it under refrigeration. Starting the cook off-site and finishing (reheating) can be problems in other places. If you are operating as a chef for hire at a private party you are clear most times, but if you want to be open to the public you really need to be a licensed caterer with a commissary to be clean with the HD.

dcooper
10-05-2011, 03:15 PM
My wife and I operated a stand for 4 years and I miss it very much. When we started we had the same question. Quickly learned the hard way that if you selling BBQ at a high volume show you cook ahead or you will be in serious trouble. We had a few counties where the HD wanted to do the inspection before cooking and all of them expected everything to be cooked 100% on site. Yeah Right! Sorry but it's not hardly possible .....the first day anyhow. We learned to cook a day or two before, freeze it and keep it cold and out of sight. We would show the HD some fresh meat in the fridge or coolers and they were happy. When they left the pre cooked went on the grill for heat and smoke along with fresh on a different part of the grill of course. This is key in a one day show. If your there for two or more days your just always cooking ahead. And the trick is reading the business and staying ahead without over doing it. You will experience many highs and lows but always talk to your people and have fun.

HandsomeSwede
10-05-2011, 06:35 PM
There seem to be a few folks here who suggest you figure out how to put on a good show to snooker the HD inspector and then, once his back is turned, rock and roll serving food that wasn't prepared in an HD certified kitchen.

Good luck with that, hope you have a lot of liability insurance and an LLC to protect your personal assets. Oh wait, they probably wouldn't bother with that either.

Re-heating on location is not "prepping" and cooking on location. If you cook somewhere other than where you will serve the food, that place must be HD certified; a mobile food trailer, commisary, etc.

If you want to do this, do it right per the laws and requirements of your state and county. You will find yourself much more successful in the long run. I just finished my first full year doing it legally ... IT CAN BE DONE.

dcooper
10-05-2011, 07:53 PM
Yea right. I'm not suggesting we trick anyone or serve dangerously prepared food. The HD's know whats going on but what they want to see is a clean trailer and safe practices. We always received great inspections. I'm telling you straight up if you try to set up and cook everything the first day to serve by 11:00 AM your gonna be up all night and often times the festival staff wont let you set up until a certain time. Lets see, cook about 10 to 20 butts, 12 briskets, 20 chicken halves, a pile of wings, get all your sides ready, ice your pop and water, prep your paper goods and serving area all before 10:30 or 11:00. Man your better than I am. Forgot to mention I cook on all wood so I cant set the temp and walk away.

kurtsara
10-05-2011, 07:55 PM
There seem to be a few folks here who suggest you figure out how to put on a good show to snooker the HD inspector and then, once his back is turned, rock and roll serving food that wasn't prepared in an HD certified kitchen.

Good luck with that, hope you have a lot of liability insurance and an LLC to protect your personal assets. Oh wait, they probably wouldn't bother with that either.

Re-heating on location is not "prepping" and cooking on location. If you cook somewhere other than where you will serve the food, that place must be HD certified; a mobile food trailer, commisary, etc.

If you want to do this, do it right per the laws and requirements of your state and county. You will find yourself much more successful in the long run. I just finished my first full year doing it legally ... IT CAN BE DONE.


:clap2::clap2:I agree

bmarley5780
10-06-2011, 05:49 AM
Talk to HD, and festival committee. Purpose to the fest. comm. that it is a GREAT idea to have the food vendors setup the night before, and have them get inspected that same night.

That's how we got around this situation.

chambersuac
10-06-2011, 07:20 AM
Know exactly what the HD means by cooking on site. I would guess it is like here...it must be COOKED on site. It's different if you have a Class 1 license, but for temp vending, they are picky. I have had success cooking ribs, butts, and brisket hot and fast on site. Serving time starts around 11 AM, put them on at 4 or 5, make breakfast, enjoy the early morning quiet, prep other stuff, and be legal.

cynfulsmokersbbq
10-14-2011, 10:34 AM
Onsite cookers; approximately how big of a crowd are you cooking for when you cook onsite?

bobaftt
10-25-2011, 09:09 PM
well we cooked on site "wink wink nudge nudge" I would call it a mild success. we each took home 800 bucks. we got a 97 on our health score. Just didn't have thermometers hanging in the fridge. We are cooking again for the block party to clear out our uncooked inventory. Should be a great way to clear out our remaining inventory and maximize our profit.

Jacked UP BBQ
11-20-2011, 10:01 PM
Dont be a scab. I vend for a living and I do it all right, if you are going to cook store and do everything against the rules, please dont become a vendor. There are enough people out there trying to beat the system. There are a lot of expenses involved with vending. There are many ways to do it correctly. There are USDA certified smoke houses that you can have custom cook your meat and bring it boxed to the festival, its legal to reheat meat that was cooked in an approved plant. Or get a legal commisary and do it right. You cannot cook brisket and butts on site the night before you are inspected anyway. They want to see raw product if you are not certified to have cooked product. Do your homework and make sure you do it right, the last thing you want is the inspector dumping bleach on 400lbs of pork you worked your ass off to cook!

The Cosmic Pig
11-21-2011, 06:13 AM
The fact of the matter is, you can be "legal" and still serve nasty food. It all depends on the individual(s) doing the cooking and serving. There are safe ways to cook off-site and reheat on-site. If someone is taking the necessary precautions to keep their food safe and their equipment sanitary, I say more power to them - by the "rules" or not. I don't think people set out to "beat the system," necessarily. People try to earn a little extra money to make ends meet in a tough economy by the only means they know how, or is available to them. It doesn't make them bad people, or criminals. And I'm not defending myself here, because I don't vend. But I've read the regs many, many times, and some are ridiculous given the very nature and technique of cooking BBQ - especially.

cynfulsmokersbbq
12-08-2011, 03:48 PM
They want to see raw product if you are not certified to have cooked product. Do your homework and make sure you do it right, the last thing you want is the inspector dumping bleach on 400lbs of pork you worked your ass off to cook!


This Won't work, I served a festival this year, served over 300 people, the Festival ended at 3:00 P.M. The Inspector showed up at 2:30, Inspected us and guess what, I was out of food. In fact at all ten inspections food was being served before the inspector arrived. They work very hard with you to get you right if you aren't. Our Inspector has to come 2 hours from his home over 120 miles away to inspect us, he does not expect you to show him raw meat before you begin your cook.

I've never seen an Iowa inspector dump bleach on anything. I've seen him/her shut down the people around us, but no food was destroyed or confiscated.

My trailer was inspected over ten times July and August and I got a 100% each time. All inspectors that I have met, are there to help as much as possible.

PorkQPine
12-19-2011, 10:53 AM
HD rules are really state and county dependent. I have found that the closer you get to a big city the more onerous the inspection. I am in California so what I read about Iowa and other states sounds like a dream for us here in CA where I have had inspectors want to see the receipts for the product to check the date bought and want to know how it was stored between purchase (only allowed to purchas the day of the event) and cook. We are not a business friendly environment. A friend of mine was almost shut down because he had some open cold cuts in a separate cooler for his own lunch. OMG, what we have to put up with.