View Full Version : Vending for the first time with a pop-up BBQ joint?

03-11-2013, 01:13 PM

I'm thinking of vending some Q with a pop-up BBQ joint. We've got this event around six times of year where people start pop-up restaurants in our cities.

As I have no experience in catering or vending, I have some questions about timetables and whatnot.

There is no way I could Q all my stuff in the pop-up location, so I've decided to prepare most meats beforehand. I'm probably serving pulled pork and maybe ribs.

I thought of keeping the butts in coolers until served, but that wouldn't work since I need to do multiple batches with my smallish UDS.

Should I smoke them, cool them rapidly and then reheat in the pop-up location? Previously I've done this with my pork pulled in vacuum packs in boiling water, but the results have never been satisfactory to me. It just tastes nothing like fresh pulled pork.

Has anyone tried reheating meat with Sous Vide machine? I'll have mine completed this week and I've thought that would be perfect for reheating and keeping meat at safe serving temps for almost indefinitely. Using boiling water one could overcook the meat, no?

How about the ribs, could they be reheated in the same manner? I could probably smoke the ribs on the location and serve fresh, since they don't take that much time.

Also, I'd like to buy the butts in several batches for the event, but I'm not sure if freezing them beforehand would impact the taste too much?

Ideally I'd buy them from various sales, freeze all of them immediately, thaw, smoke, cool rapidly, keep at safe temp, and then reheat at the pop-up location.

Triple T BBQ
04-16-2013, 06:52 PM
Health regs for Finland?

04-16-2013, 06:58 PM
Don't take this the wrong way please: based on your questions I don't think you are ready to tackle vending. Get some practice cooks replicating the vending environment under your belt.

Pyle's BBQ
04-16-2013, 08:23 PM
How long is the event? One day or more? What utilities are available at the event? I would smoke as you get the butts and then freeze. Ribs the same way. I would cook some at the event as you are vending for the show. Like the two previous post, there are some real questions you have to ask yourself. I would probably agree with Teamfour, you need to practice.

04-17-2013, 01:20 PM
I agree with the brethren. I would also ask about the FIRE regs in Finland.

To quote Mr. Miyagi: First crawl, then walk, then fly.
Load your UDS with meat and time everything, including drive time to and set up of event.

Then think about getting a 55 gal UDS (or two). Use the first to cook the meat to be reheated, and use the second on site, in conjunction with the first IF you think the BBQ will be a hit.

Jacked UP BBQ
04-17-2013, 01:58 PM
boiling water only gets to 212 so overcooking pork in a cryovac bag shouldnt be an issue. Heating up sous vide will not be fast enough or I assume large enough to keep up with demands if you want to be profitable. If you are really looking to make money, you have to invest in the proper tools. Warming cabinet, convection oven, larger smoker. It will make life much easier and more profitable because you wont have to turn customers away. My thoughts are.....be ready to make money or you wont make money!

Jeff Therrell
04-17-2013, 06:17 PM
I smoke my meat at night and put it in 1/2 size foil pans with lids and refridgerate until needed and warm it on a flat top grille and then into my Hatco warmer. I never freeze.
Thanks, Jeff
Sweetfire BBQ

04-17-2013, 07:25 PM
I can see no way a sous vide machine works for you. You really need some form of holding oven or chamber, that will hold the meats at 175F or so, that will allow you to keep pans of meat covered in foil for service. In terms of your cooker, it is too small for any level of vending BBQ. I hate to be a negative on this, but, it will be miserable to vend if you do not have the right equipment.

Bbq Bubba
04-21-2013, 05:59 AM
I smoke my meat at night and put it in 1/2 size foil pans with lids and refridgerate until needed and warm it on a flat top grille and then into my Hatco warmer. I never freeze.
Thanks, Jeff
Sweetfire BBQ

Your reheating BBQ on a flat top???

04-21-2013, 06:48 AM
Flat top warming ....seen it done many times. Eaten it too. Ok , I admit it...ive done it myself.

05-12-2013, 05:26 PM
Well, plans changed a bit ;)

I now have three drums and will be hauling them to the site the night before, and cooking everything on-site. We'll hold the pork 'till serving and keep it whole as long as possible before pulling.

Finland has extremely strict health regulations, but as this is a guerilla event held by private citizens, they are not governed as such (but the event is supported by the government). Checked the fire regulations, we are good to go unless we'd have an open pit :-o

I'll be buying around 75 lbs of pork neck for pulled pork and one whole beef neck for pulled beef as well. Let's see how it goes, generally people are not really trying to make money on this day. Many use it as training wheels before eventually going commercial, but I have no plans to do so. Perfectly satisfied to Q as a hobby :grin:

Pyle's BBQ
05-12-2013, 11:57 PM
Good to see that this will pan out for you. I have done an event like the one you are doing. One thing people will still notice, is how clean your area is. They will assume your set up is a reflection of how you cook. Make it look as professional as possible.