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View Full Version : Which smoker for a restaurant?


cpw
01-14-2014, 08:02 PM
Awhile back, I asked people's opinions on what kind of smoker to buy for a potential restaurant. The restaurant is finally starting to come together, and my involvement is to help with a menu and choose a smoker. So, based on the following limitations:
-Historic Building with no outside smoker space
-Existing kitchen with not much room
-No large doors to load smoker through
-existing hood is VERY low to the ground (like 5'6)

I've been looking at a few options:
-2 Ole Hickory CTO gas fired
-2 FEC 120's pellet fed
-1 used southern pride electric http://www.gatorchef.com/USED-Southern-Pride-SC-600Sm-Smoker-Roasting-Oven-p/n01105-sc600sm.htm (which has a huge capacity)
-other electric

So, any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I've attached a couple pics of the kitchen, the plan is to move the 3 bay sink on the far wall and put the smoker(s) there because there's through the wall access to the outside. There's probably 8-10' of wall space along that wall, with the main panels on the left hand side.

C Rocke
01-14-2014, 09:45 PM
Awhile back, I asked people's opinions on what kind of smoker to buy for a potential restaurant. The restaurant is finally starting to come together, and my involvement is to help with a menu and choose a smoker. So, based on the following limitations:
-Historic Building with no outside smoker space
-Existing kitchen with not much room
-No large doors to load smoker through
-existing hood is VERY low to the ground (like 5'6)

I've been looking at a few options:
-2 Ole Hickory CTO gas fired
-2 FEC 120's pellet fed
-1 used southern pride electric http://www.gatorchef.com/USED-Southern-Pride-SC-600Sm-Smoker-Roasting-Oven-p/n01105-sc600sm.htm (which has a huge capacity)
-other electric

So, any help and suggestions are greatly appreciated. I've attached a couple pics of the kitchen, the plan is to move the 3 bay sink on the far wall and put the smoker(s) there because there's through the wall access to the outside. There's probably 8-10' of wall space along that wall, with the main panels on the left hand side.

Pellet fed adds cost over and above your electricity, and pellets aren't cheap either for a production environment... Are you not going to vent the smoker thru the hood? The 600 is about 35 inches wide an should fit thru your door with a little persuasion, that's the way I'd go. Here in CA, if the unit is electric, it does not have to be placed under the hood, just the smoke vented thru the hood - May solve the problem. I would (Insert groan here) contact your HD and see what they say. Keep us posted on the progress!

landarc
01-14-2014, 10:23 PM
Electric will solve many problems in terms of being in an old building and having access.

cpw
01-15-2014, 06:44 AM
Definitely need to talk to the health department to see what we can do.

early mornin' smokin'
01-15-2014, 08:02 AM
I would go with the fed-120.

boogiesnap
01-15-2014, 08:57 AM
i'm no restaurantuer by any stretch, but from what i've read just being around the oyler pit is THE go to commercial pit.

i don't know why or how, just what i've read. clearly that model wouldn't fit in your kitchen, but JR MFG also makes a little red smokehouse. maybe similar in quality?

something to look at if you hadn't already.

cpw
01-15-2014, 09:24 AM
i'm no restaurantuer by any stretch, but from what i've read just being around the oyler pit is THE go to commercial pit.

i don't know why or how, just what i've read. clearly that model wouldn't fit in your kitchen, but JR MFG also makes a little red smokehouse. maybe similar in quality?

something to look at if you hadn't already.

Forgot about that one. I'll check into it, have to see if it's in the budget.

boogiesnap
01-15-2014, 09:34 AM
there's also AN bewley. the pits on their site look quite large, but they may have smaller.

bewley and oyler worked together back when they building the original oylers. oyler was killed by a train and the design was sold to jr mfg. a few years later bewley opened his own fab shop.

cpw
01-15-2014, 12:55 PM
i'm no restaurantuer by any stretch, but from what i've read just being around the oyler pit is THE go to commercial pit.

i don't know why or how, just what i've read. clearly that model wouldn't fit in your kitchen, but JR MFG also makes a little red smokehouse. maybe similar in quality?

something to look at if you hadn't already.

Checked out the Little Red Smokehouse, it would definitely work. The price may be a little out of budget though, at $22k.

early mornin' smokin'
01-15-2014, 01:36 PM
oylers don't have to be mounted under an exhaust hood, they can be solely vented thru a 6 inch class A stack. However, they do leak smoke, so some sort of evac fan would be handy. we're in the process of getting 2 smokemaster 250rfs for our bbq restaurant. Someone local on long island has a bunch and he's getting rid of them for the right price. Figured 2 is better than one for our space, and we'll never run out of cooking capacity

cpw
01-15-2014, 02:57 PM
oylers don't have to be mounted under an exhaust hood, they can be solely vented thru a 6 inch class A stack. However, they do leak smoke, so some sort of evac fan would be handy. we're in the process of getting 2 smokemaster 250rfs for our bbq restaurant. Someone local on long island has a bunch and he's getting rid of them for the right price. Figured 2 is better than one for our space, and we'll never run out of cooking capacity

Unfortunately, that 250rfs is a little big for the space. Otherwise I'd ask you for contact info.

cpw
01-27-2014, 09:54 AM
Quick update...we spoke to the HD, and the general rule is that unless the smoker has it's own UL listed smoke evacuation system, it has to be under a hood. Which now means we have to put in a new hood because the existing one is way too low to fit a smoker under. We have a mechanical engineer looking into tying into the existing exhaust duct/vent so we don't have to run a whole new exhaust vent up 3 stories to the roof.

BigBellyBBQ
01-27-2014, 10:47 AM
I did not think the health dept has jurisdication, it is the building code enforcement in my county, and some places they have a fire marshall,.But my SP had it, the only thing the code enforcement made me do was to be hard wire in with conduit. They looked at the ul tags and the installation book....made them look importan=t..
chec ebay, one is in your area..

cpw
01-27-2014, 11:06 AM
I did not think the health dept has jurisdication, it is the building code enforcement in my county, and some places they have a fire marshall,.But my SP had it, the only thing the code enforcement made me do was to be hard wire in with conduit. They looked at the ul tags and the installation book....made them look importan=t..
chec ebay, one is in your area..

It may have been code enforcement that the engineer spoke to. I'll take a look on ebay to see what's available. Thanks!

early mornin' smokin'
01-27-2014, 02:27 PM
well, the 250rfs's sold out from underneath me, turns out they're also too large for my place. We just put the order in with cookshack, 2 fec-120's. Spoke with Dave and he said that they do not produce grease laden smoke so they can be placed under a hood without grease filters, your local ordinances may vary

early mornin' smokin'
01-27-2014, 02:28 PM
at 5'6" i'm pretty sure the fecs would go right underneath that hood

cpw
01-27-2014, 02:57 PM
at 5'6" i'm pretty sure the fecs would go right underneath that hood

That wouldn't leave any room for the griddle/stove or the fryers, unfortunately.

TailGateJoecom
01-27-2014, 04:50 PM
well, the 250rfs's sold out from underneath me, turns out they're also too large for my place. We just put the order in with cookshack, 2 fec-120's. Spoke with Dave and he said that they do not produce grease laden smoke so they can be placed under a hood without grease filters, your local ordinances may vary

Yeah, they don't, I assume it is because the separate furnace away from the cook chamber so there is no drippings into the fire, and that pellets burn pretty clean. I love my fec120.

early mornin' smokin'
01-27-2014, 05:21 PM
joe, what's your average cooking time/temp for pork shoulders?

TailGateJoecom
01-27-2014, 06:31 PM
joe, what's your average cooking time/temp for pork shoulders?

I haven't done full shoulders, just butts. For catering I load up the smoker with butts, set it at 250, and don't open the smoker for 12 hours, when I pull them and dump right into a cambro where I have held before pulling for up to 6-7 hours.

I have cooked up to 16 butts at a time, big 9lb avg ibp butts. I load the middle 3 racks with 4 per, then 2 each on top and bottom. The back of the top shelf seems to be the hottest spot, so I just place the butts on top at the front of the rack.

BigBellyBBQ
01-28-2014, 01:33 AM
Guys, I have heard some cities requireing smoke eaters on the stacks..hopefully it stays away!!!

cpw
01-28-2014, 06:48 AM
Another update. Apparently the existing hood/vent was put in without a permit, and the code inspector is well aware of that fact. He told our engineer that if we even think about touching the existing hood, we'd have to bring the whole thing into compliance, which means running duct 3 stories up to the roof.
Also, because southern Pride doesn't make that big electric smoker anymore, they wouldn't give the engineer any specs on it. Which leads me to believe they'll be a hassle about getting replacement parts for it as well.

chaostheory
01-28-2014, 07:42 AM
CPW Do you still have the fatboy for sale. IM me when you get this.

TailGateJoecom
01-28-2014, 07:38 PM
Another update. Apparently the existing hood/vent was put in without a permit, and the code inspector is well aware of that fact. He told our engineer that if we even think about touching the existing hood, we'd have to bring the whole thing into compliance, which means running duct 3 stories up to the roof.
Also, because southern Pride doesn't make that big electric smoker anymore, they wouldn't give the engineer any specs on it. Which leads me to believe they'll be a hassle about getting replacement parts for it as well.

That's a total scumbag move on southern pride, way to support their product. I can't imagine cookshack giving you that hassle. If the fec120 is a no go, they do have electric smokers as well.

Pyle's BBQ
01-28-2014, 10:48 PM
Sorry to hear about the problems. Hope you can find something that will fit in the space. Are you still looking at putting the smoker where the sink currently is? If that is the plan, do you have to run your exhaust up 3 stories?

cpw
01-29-2014, 09:11 AM
Sorry to hear about the problems. Hope you can find something that will fit in the space. Are you still looking at putting the smoker where the sink currently is? If that is the plan, do you have to run your exhaust up 3 stories?

Basically to be to code, the exhaust can't vent within 10' of the property line, which means up 3 stories and back over the roof 10'. If we don't touch the existing vent, it can be out of code, but there's not enough existing hood space to have a smoker, fryer, and grill under it. We're going to find out the cost to have a new hood put in over where the sink currently is, and maybe raise the existing hood at the same time since it's so low (4'11").

cpw
01-30-2014, 08:42 AM
That's a total scumbag move on southern pride, way to support their product. I can't imagine cookshack giving you that hassle. If the fec120 is a no go, they do have electric smokers as well.

I spoke with someone in the service department yesterday, and he was incredibly helpful. I asked why they don't make that unit anymore (it's basically 3 times the capacity of their smaller electric units) and he said that it was so big, that the recovery time was extremely long. His example was that if you loaded it up with cold chicken, by the time it finally got up to temp (325) the chicken would be done. He also said they have a brand new unit coming out that is a fixed rack gas burner, roughly the same size but a little smaller capacity. I'm supposed to find out pricing and specs on that shortly.

TailGateJoecom
01-30-2014, 11:27 AM
I spoke with someone in the service department yesterday, and he was incredibly helpful. I asked why they don't make that unit anymore (it's basically 3 times the capacity of their smaller electric units) and he said that it was so big, that the recovery time was extremely long. His example was that if you loaded it up with cold chicken, by the time it finally got up to temp (325) the chicken would be done. He also said they have a brand new unit coming out that is a fixed rack gas burner, roughly the same size but a little smaller capacity. I'm supposed to find out pricing and specs on that shortly.

Yeah but it's still one of their products and in my mind not providing the specs for it to help you install it is a big red flag on how they serve existing customers.

There is an owners forum on the cookshack site, maybe you could get some real world info and owner experience info on their electric smokers there.

BigBellyBBQ
01-30-2014, 12:06 PM
I do not have electric Southern Prides, however the service Is TOP NOTCH! I was vendiing and the gen sets supplied were not set up and shot 408 volts through my cooker. cSouthern Pride, Doug, worked with me on the phone for an hour and he bypassed the controller by using a doorbell transformer and a togle switch. I had to turn propane burner and fans on off manually, however was able to get rotissier and up and cookiung.. and on Saturday morn fed ex brought my parts and Doug called me to see if I was up and running....Southern Pride Service has been awesome everytime I have called..I am sure if you called and ask for Doug, he could rustle up some info for you.. Go with a Southern Pride, you will kiss your lucky stars!!!

cpw
01-30-2014, 12:51 PM
I do not have electric Southern Prides, however the service Is TOP NOTCH! I was vendiing and the gen sets supplied were not set up and shot 408 volts through my cooker. cSouthern Pride, Doug, worked with me on the phone for an hour and he bypassed the controller by using a doorbell transformer and a togle switch. I had to turn propane burner and fans on off manually, however was able to get rotissier and up and cookiung.. and on Saturday morn fed ex brought my parts and Doug called me to see if I was up and running....Southern Pride Service has been awesome everytime I have called..I am sure if you called and ask for Doug, he could rustle up some info for you.. Go with a Southern Pride, you will kiss your lucky stars!!!

Well, whoever I spoke with in the support area was super helpful.

GrillsGoneWild
02-19-2014, 02:49 PM
Well, whoever I spoke with in the support area was super helpful.

Sounds like maybe your contractor got some miscommunication problems or didn't as the right person. Never have heard of a bad experience with SP.