PDA

View Full Version : Cambro - 300 v 400


eggzlot
12-27-2012, 03:58 PM
Other than the size (more on that in a minute) any major differences between the 300 MPC and the UPC 400 models? Features? Build quality? They are in different "lines" so was not sure.

Re: size - there are times where I only want to rest 2 butts, or a brisket, so I would think the 300 would be fine. But sometimes we have parties, and it would be great to be able to heat up appetizers or some main dishes (non BBQ) and hold those too while prepping other dishes. Those parties - a few times a year - makes me think I should give the 400 a whirl, but I am afraid that it will not be super efficient when just wanting to hold a butt or two, or just a brisket, after a "simple" cook.

Thoughts?

Untraceable
12-27-2012, 04:04 PM
They do make a divider to cut down on the thoeretical size. might even beable to do a cold side and hot side with the divider in? or atleast a hot side and not so hot side

Untraceable
12-27-2012, 04:07 PM
correction, its a moveable "ThermoBarrier". I think that makes the 400 a better sell. Though it looks like the 300 has nice handle for liftinging the things if you can deal with less space

eggzlot
12-27-2012, 04:14 PM
Yeah for another $35 or so, that does make the 400 rather appealing.

Since you seem to know your stuff, any idea on the UPC400 vs UPCS400?

http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=21
http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=22

"S" Model is about $20 cheaper at the Webstaurantstore so I wonder. The write ups seem identical. "S" model seems to have a menu clip and maybe 1 other thing, but anything major? Just go for the cheaper one?

jaestar
12-27-2012, 04:48 PM
Restaurant Depot has the 400 on sale this month for $245 and the 300 for $179.

cpw
12-27-2012, 05:07 PM
We have the 400 with the divider. Works like a champ when only holding smaller loads.

Untraceable
12-27-2012, 05:19 PM
Yeah for another $35 or so, that does make the 400 rather appealing.

Since you seem to know your stuff, any idea on the UPC400 vs UPCS400?

http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=21
http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=22

"S" Model is about $20 cheaper at the Webstaurantstore so I wonder. The write ups seem identical. "S" model seems to have a menu clip and maybe 1 other thing, but anything major? Just go for the cheaper one?

what your looking at is that one of them has a gasket seal the other doesnt. maybe someone else can elaborate

Pig Daddy
12-27-2012, 05:36 PM
Just curious, and please excuse my ignorace, but what is the advantage of a cambro vs just placing your butt/brisket or whatever it in a cooler wrapped in towels? Is it a metter of convenience? Easier to handle? Thanks!

eggzlot
12-27-2012, 05:47 PM
I've been doing the cooler thing for the last 2+ years that I have been BBQ'ing. But when I have parties, like Xmas when 20+ people were over, aside from BBQ we are making making trays of Italian food, hot appetizers, etc and with only 1 stove, it can be a logistical nightmare. Just for this past Christmas alone there were 2 hot veggie dishes, chicken, ham and rice - those were main courses. Plus 2-3 hot appetizers. So would be nice to have a cambro to slide in pans on hot food and hold them hot to free up the oven for other foods.

I also like to cook BBQ in pans sometimes, and though I have some big coolers, pans never fit in well.

Just curious to see the difference in the UPCS and UPC - the website shows both have a gasket. One has a built in seal vs the other with a removable gasket. Wonder if one is better than the other?

Uncle Buds BBQ
12-27-2012, 07:24 PM
Other than the size (more on that in a minute) any major differences between the 300 MPC and the UPC 400 models? Features? Build quality? They are in different "lines" so was not sure.

Re: size - there are times where I only want to rest 2 butts, or a brisket, so I would think the 300 would be fine. But sometimes we have parties, and it would be great to be able to heat up appetizers or some main dishes (non BBQ) and hold those too while prepping other dishes. Those parties - a few times a year - makes me think I should give the 400 a whirl, but I am afraid that it will not be super efficient when just wanting to hold a butt or two, or just a brisket, after a "simple" cook.

Thoughts?
I own both and have used them for competing and catering. I see no difference in the hot holding time between them. I use the 300 for comps just because it is a lot lighter than the 400.

BBQ_MAFIA
12-27-2012, 07:40 PM
You can always use mine when ever you want.

Funtimebbq
12-27-2012, 07:53 PM
I upgraded from the MPC300 to the UPCS400. The UPCS 400 does not have a removable gasket. It has a self-sealing door. Also, one can purchase a set of casters (two swivel w/brakes) for around $80 vs the platform type cart that the UPC400 requires at around $150.
Good luck with you decision.
Benny

eggzlot
12-27-2012, 09:05 PM
Phil - may take you up on the offer, thanks as always!

Funtime - you do not have any problem with the non-removable gasket? It seals ok? It also does not the traditional vent, right?

I'll check RD for any sales, but last time people mentioned a RD/Cambro sale, my local RDs were not having the same sale.

dmprantz
12-27-2012, 09:50 PM
what is the advantage of a cambro vs just placing your butt/brisket or whatever it in a cooler wrapped in towels?

Four distinct differences:

First, the gasket and locking mechanism of a Cambro provides better insulation than a standard cooler. You should compare a Cambro to a Yeti for similar insulating properties.

Second, the Cambros are designed to fit food pans exactly. This includes foil and steel. You can throw all your food in cooler, but the cambro allows you to keep them on seperate racks and pull out exactly what you need for each turn in (This is the comp forum, right?). This also allows you to add approved heat sources to the bottom rack without moving anything on top. Check with your sanctioning body to see what is and isn't allowed there, but it almost never includes electric/chemical heating elements.

Third, the door being on the side instead of the top means that when you open it, you don't lose as much heat as a top door cooler.

Fourth, Cambros tend to have moisture venting systems that allow you to vent out steam without greatly affecting your heat.

All that said, I have a cambro and have still been known to use my cooler. Some times the cambro is just too much hassle, but that may be due to my particular setup. Both work fine if you know what you are doing.

Back to the OP, it's important to know what you are doing. A strong poster here who teaches classes once mentioned that his time line was so specific to his amount of meant and/or model of Cambro, that when some one else changed it up, meat was coming out not done correctly. I use a 400 and am happy with it. I'm sure I could use a 300 (or two) but I'd have to adjust my process accordingly. Make sure you know what youa re doing. Just my $0.02.

dmp

Funtimebbq
12-27-2012, 10:14 PM
There has been no issues with the "built-in" gasket which is actually a different type of door that is not flat like the MPC300 or UPC400. It is cut with bevels to fit the box tightly. The meats have stayed hot for several hours at comps. I had one problem as mentioned by Daniel (above) when I did not let my brisket vent long enough before putting it into the Cambro to hold.
I haven't ever used the vent in my MPC300 as I understand it is used mostly to prevent breads or pastas from getting soggy.
Benny

cmohr74
12-28-2012, 07:21 AM
Someone just had posted that the 300 & 400 is on sale at Restaurant Depot this month. I checked it out and the price is 300-$179 & 400-$245. Are these good prices for these or not much of a deal?

billm
12-28-2012, 07:46 AM
Someone just had posted that the 300 & 400 is on sale at Restaurant Depot this month. I checked it out and the price is 300-$179 & 400-$245. Are these good prices for these or not much of a deal?
not that bad for new IMO

Scottie
12-28-2012, 08:20 AM
Watch Craig's List, Dan. I found 4 of them for $120 a month ago...

cmohr74
12-28-2012, 08:23 AM
Well here is a question. I don't see the original price. I go to Amazon.com and they have the 400 @ $349. The outside dimensions are the same, but the serial # is different...is this comparing apples to apples?

eggzlot
12-28-2012, 11:17 AM
The one on Amazon is the UPC400, not the UPCS400, which was part of my first question on this post. Seems like the "S" model has no gasket or vent cap, but some built in venting system. The UPC (without the S) has a gasket and vent cap, but I think its an older model but I could be wrong on that.

I went to my local RD (Hackensack, NJ) to check it out - they have the UPCS400 in stock for $266, no sale. I asked the manager, he said RD are split into many regions across the US, all regions have their own pricing, their own sales, promos, etc.

The UPCS400 was gasketless, but right next to the MPC300 with the gasket (but 25% smaller). I will say it seemed to seal just fine without the gasket (and one less piece to clean/break/fix, etc) and the extra capacity was nice.

swamprb
12-28-2012, 06:54 PM
$179 is like the everyday price for the 300 at Cash&Carry in the Seattle area.

My teammate has the H series he uses for catering large gigs, and as spendy as they were he got an energy credit rebate from the PUD which did bring the price down a lot. He also has two UPC400's but prefers the Carlisle's that are the same size as the 300's.

I have two UPC400's and a ThermoBarrier would be nice, but I cut a few sheets of 1/4" Lexan dividers to support foil pans and such. Also have an 180MPC top loader

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/IMG_1696.jpg

http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/IMG_1694.jpg
http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t310/swamprb/IMG_1693.jpg

I use it a lot at home for a couple butts or a brisket and when I do a work cook or a one pan drop off, but its really not practical for much else. Its molded so a full pan seats and you can't stack thinner full pans in it, but for $35 wth.

Gotta watch out for some of the used institutional Cambro/Carlisle stuff, I've seen some that were good looking from the outside, but the interiors have been overheated and distorted or cracked on the interiors, doors that won't seal etc. Replacement parts for them are not cheap either.

BasicPatrick
12-28-2012, 11:00 PM
I bought a used UPC400 form craigslist for $75. The outside was a bit scratched up but the gasket and interior were perfect.

Pre cook at comps the 400 is great as I just put a pan of ice on the bottom and can hold two butts, two brskets, four racks of ribs and 12-14 chicken thighs in various stages of prep all at once. It is so easy to put two butts in one pan after injectingn then later when its time rub the butts and back into cambro etc. Easy to slide in and out and not piled on top of each other or just left out at comps with flies etc is nice.

Post cook the same in and out with ease is just a great benefit when there are interruptions in processing etc. The only concern is watching to not have toooooooo much heat and carry over cooking but that is just a matter of figuring out your own system.

No way I could hold my butts, briskets and ribs in the 300.

The extra bennys as stated are great especially when having a party or large family dinners. Having all that room for holding main dishes/sides while dealing with appetizers makes the process so much less stressful.

Frankbbq
12-29-2012, 06:24 AM
I have the 400 and it works great. The 300 is a little small for comps. The 400 makes holding and transporting a lot easier.

chickenchoker
12-29-2012, 08:34 AM
a great thread which I have been bouncing around myself.... Patrick, I have the craigslist app on my phone and have about a dozen "keywords" on constant rotation. They just are not available around here for cheap and if they do go online, its hours before they are bought.

SCSmoke
12-29-2012, 09:38 AM
Watch Craig's List, Dan. I found 4 of them for $120 a month ago...

I tried to grab those but you beat me to the punch. A crazy deal. ..

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

Hawg Father of Seoul
12-29-2012, 09:51 AM
I would rather have two smaller cambros than 1 large one.

Weight gets crazy if you have to move them full. I have a rubbermaid half size and it weights a ton unloaded.

Untraceable
12-31-2012, 12:49 PM
Got a 400 last week after taking 4 weeks to get here. get it out of the box, ogling it for a bit and notice its cracked on the exterior lower left corner FML and time to begin the try to return process.

tyotrain
12-31-2012, 10:45 PM
I just got a UPC 400 and love it. Here is a diagram of space. 74008


Have fun and happy smoking
BBQ UP

cmohr74
01-01-2013, 09:04 AM
On saturaday, the family and I passed restaurant Depot and I asked if I could quickly grab a pack of Butts to cook for New Years Eve. I had to take one last look at the Cambros because the sale was ending Yesterday. I'm a big guy so weight isn't an issue, the 400 was so much nicer than the 300...I caved. I took advantage of the sale and bought the 400 at Restaurant Depot. I have to correct that, my wicked awesome wife told me to put the Cambo on the cart.

smokeyw
01-01-2013, 09:59 AM
I have a 300 and have to admit I could use more room sometimes.

JD McGee
01-01-2013, 11:11 AM
We have the 400...more than enough room for our needs! :cool: Each comp we cook two 12-14lb packer briskets, two 8-10lb butts, 6 racks of ribs, and a dozen chicken thighs...never had an issue holding any and or all meats at one time if need be. :thumb:

eggzlot
01-02-2013, 08:19 AM
Thanks all for the input. I am now a proud owner of a 400. Can't wait to break it in. I have the thermobarrier coming soon as well to help with smaller loads.

billm
01-03-2013, 08:10 PM
On saturaday, the family and I passed restaurant Depot and I asked if I could quickly grab a pack of Butts to cook for New Years Eve. I had to take one last look at the Cambros because the sale was ending Yesterday. I'm a big guy so weight isn't an issue, the 400 was so much nicer than the 300...I caved. I took advantage of the sale and bought the 400 at Restaurant Depot. I have to correct that, my wicked awesome wife told me to put the Cambo on the cart.

good choice

Scottie
01-03-2013, 11:03 PM
I tried to grab those but you beat me to the punch. A crazy deal. ..

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2



You dont want to know about the Hobart Slicer he had then...