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txschutte
03-28-2009, 11:31 AM
I have been cooking on the large reverse flow for a while. Even some on the drum for catering/vending. The reverse flow is getting to be a PIA when I have so much going on. It's more of a "kick back and relax" sort of cooker.
I noticed many use the Southern Pride smokers, but every place I have been to, the food is marginal at best. I need to go a larger, more efficient smoker. But I WON'T sacrifice quality while doing so.

What would you do in my situation?

smokinit
03-28-2009, 11:50 AM
I use Backwoods for all my catering long burn times and turns out a great product. There are many different sizes as you business grows. Add a guru and life is just that much easier. They also have auto gas options to add more versatility.

blues_n_cues
03-28-2009, 11:55 AM
I use Backwoods for all my catering long burn times and turns out a great product. There are many different sizes as you business grows. Add a guru and life is just that much easier.
that was my suggestion too.

HoDeDo
03-28-2009, 04:12 PM
FEC-300/500

They are pellet fired, and produce killer food. Ultimate in ease of use/volume.... but produces great BBQ to boot.

armor
03-28-2009, 09:20 PM
Look at the Spicewine by Spicewine Ironworks

getyourrubonbbq
03-28-2009, 09:41 PM
I know it will vary, but how much meat are you cooking at one time usually?

FlCracker
03-29-2009, 08:53 AM
I use a spicwine.A fiend of mine has a large spicewine and converted it to gas ,works great.He can still use carcoal by sliding the burner out and puutting the charcoal tray back in.

FatBoyz
03-29-2009, 10:03 AM
I have been cooking on the large reverse flow for a while. Even some on the drum for catering/vending. The reverse flow is getting to be a PIA when I have so much going on. It's more of a "kick back and relax" sort of cooker.
I noticed many use the Southern Pride smokers, but every place I have been to, the food is marginal at best. I need to go a larger, more efficient smoker. But I WON'T sacrifice quality while doing so.

What would you do in my situation?
ok so quality we know your not doing brisket lol all i know is my consistency is there with the pellet pooper.

barbefunkoramaque
03-29-2009, 10:42 AM
I, for one, don't think there is a wrong or right smoker. This is a dangerous question from Shane. I hope we don't get into a fight. We need to be careful as that is not what this forum is all about, its about loving relations with our brethren. We should all reach around to get along with each other.

I mean smokers are irrelevant in Texas where he have BOTH liquid smoke for a marinade for brisket and Big Red Soda for the smoke ring. Throw it in a crock pot and its so tender. Then all you need is to pour Hunts Original BBQ sauce all over it and send it through the Food processor and it will spread on, provided there's enough sauce added, a nice ritz cracker like liverwurst.

Rightstuff
03-29-2009, 11:21 AM
I mean smokers are irrelevant in Texas.

Yeah! They rub two sticks together to start their fires and slow cook the meat for 12 days holding over the fire with their bare fingers and don't sleep the entire 12 days. :-D:-D:-D

smokinit
03-29-2009, 11:25 AM
I think what he is trying to figure out as I did when I first started my catering business is what will produce a good product and allow me time to run and increase my business with out constant pit watching. I started out with a Lang 84 and quickly found it didn't fit what I wanted to do. There are many pits that will fit his application he just needs to find what will work best and grow with him.

barbefunkoramaque
03-29-2009, 11:36 AM
Yeah! They rub two sticks together to start their fires and slow cook the meat for 12 days holding over the fire with their bare fingers and don't sleep the entire 12 days. :-D:-D:-D

:icon_shy

barbefunkoramaque
03-29-2009, 11:37 AM
Shane... the more square or rectangular your pit is, the happier you will be.

Rightstuff
03-29-2009, 11:45 AM
I think what he is trying to figure out as I did when I first started my catering business is what will produce a good product and allow me time to run and increase my business with out constant pit watching. I started out with a Lang 84 and quickly found it didn't fit what I wanted to do. There are many pits that will fit his application he just needs to find what will work best and grow with him.

BBQ Joint in Atlanta had 2 Langs and did a booming business. Business increassed so much the Langs just wouldn't handle the load. They purchased 2 Ole Hickory Smokers and still put out the best BBQ in Atlanta. Give them a call. Its Fox Brothers BBQ in Atlanta and ask for Jonathon.

AlabamaGrillBillies
03-29-2009, 01:15 PM
If I had the need, and had the money I think I would go either with a fec 300/500 or a large spicewine. Lots of folks on the site use one or the other of these and i've never read a bad word about them. The FEC would be the ultimate in set it and forget it, but the spicewine might be cheaper (not sure). The Spicewine would feel more traditional to me if that matters at all to you (might not).

For a pure business related purchase looking to get no personal bbq therapy from the smoker I can't see a better cooker than the FEC line.

smokinit
03-29-2009, 01:40 PM
The Fec built into a custom trailer will probably also be my final purchase in a few years. Great product once I need that capacity.

Divemaster
03-30-2009, 10:14 AM
So you are getting Wyatt a new smoker??? (duck and cover mod)

I guess I would have to lean toward a pooper, beyond that, I don't have a recommendation.

big brother smoke
03-30-2009, 12:38 PM
Shane, make sure you understand your customer base before purchasing anything. Are they wanting a show or not? (stickburners are part of the show, pellet poopers or cabinet smokers may be disappointing to your client base). In my neck of the woods, we do not get a lot of request for brisket; tri-tip is the mainstay here for beef.

Divemaster
03-30-2009, 01:04 PM
Shane, make sure you understand your customer base before purchasing anything. Are they wanting a show or not? (stickburners are part of the show, pellet poopers or cabinet smokers may be disappointing to your client base). In my neck of the woods, we do not get a lot of request for brisket; tri-tip is the mainstay here for beef.
I must admit for some reason my customers do like watching me toss more wood in the box....

smokinit
03-30-2009, 02:40 PM
Shane, make sure you understand your customer base before purchasing anything. Are they wanting a show or not? (stickburners are part of the show, pellet poopers or cabinet smokers may be disappointing to your client base). In my neck of the woods, we do not get a lot of request for brisket; tri-tip is the mainstay here for beef.

Never had a client complain about the service because of the lack of a show. The smell has done it for all of them. It doesn't seem practical to buy something that costs more to run and takes more time to use especial as you business grows. Just my thoughts.

Bbq Bubba
03-30-2009, 03:00 PM
Never had a client complain about the service because of the lack of a show. The smell has done it for all of them. It doesn't seem practical to buy something that costs more to run and takes more time to use especial as you business grows. Just my thoughts.

I agree, people stand around to smell the smoke.

Your biggest decision to make is do you want to tend a fire or run your catering business?

Jeff Hughes
03-30-2009, 05:55 PM
I love my Klose for catering. The dog and pony show is something customers really do like. It alone will not get you jobs, but it does add to the ambiance of a party in a way that standing around a cabinet does not. I did a party last year where they took a section of fence out so my Klose could be placed in the backyard. I think another brethren caterer has had the same request. As Phil says in another thread, it's the "BBQ Show"...

That said, I think you need both. I am buying a Backwoods to mount on my Klose. There are too many times(like always) that you need the flexibility of multiple temp zones that no one cooker can provide. Also, the more you cater, the more you are going to need a set it and forget it type cooker. there are just times it is not a good use of time and energy dicking with your stick burner...

I don't think it probably matters which one you start out with...

FatBoyz
03-30-2009, 06:38 PM
my pellet pooper does a great show! i find people are amazed how easy it is. thay think its cool... and i have time to talk to them i know my temp will be there.

Jeff Hughes
03-30-2009, 06:49 PM
my pellet pooper does a great show! i find people are amazed how easy it is. thay think its cool... and i have time to talk to them i know my temp will be there.


That's the thing about a good stick burner, it will hold temps well, and as long as your food backs it up, it will say you are a "BBQ Man" in a way that cabinets never will...

smokinit
03-30-2009, 08:03 PM
That's the thing about a good stick burner, it will hold temps well, and as long as your food backs it up, it will say you are a "BBQ Man" in a way that cabinets never will...


I learned on a stick burner and it's not a feasible choice with constant volume cooking in a vending and catering situation. I can switch back and forth between the two with ease but to say you are more of a BBQ man because you can use a stick burner seems a bit far fetched.

Countryhb
03-30-2009, 08:21 PM
I love my Backwoods for the capacity, the flavor it produces, the ease of moving it, and lots of other reasons, but I have to agree with the stick burners here.
I've catered several times using Big Brother Smoke's rig (I'm still waiting for my "Pit Master" shirt) and a few times with my Backwoods. I can tell you that the stick burner requires more attention, but also elicits a "better" response.
People are very interested in the Backwoods and I'll answer the questions that arise, but that's about it. The stick burner, however...well, that's a whole different world. There is pure envy that arises. Men (mostly) see this cooker and they start dreaming about what they could do with it. They all see this big, beautiful rig with the "show" going on...logs being fed into the firebox, smoke wafting from the big chrome stack, me cursing 'cause my toe still hurts from moving Mista's Spicebox...OK, maybe not the last part, but you get the picture. People are salivating over the show and the smell of the oak logs burning. Customers know the food is good before they ever get to taste it.
A guy sees a box cooker like a new vacuum; let me check it out and see how it works, but I don't really need to have one. A stick burner brings out the Neanderthal in all of us; fire good...meat cooked over fire even better!
Obviously this is solely a comparison for the "Wow" factor, and it is only my opinion, but trying to add food for thought...

HoDeDo
03-30-2009, 08:25 PM
Another good pit that is high capacity for the $$ is a Kingfisher. Those are good catering rigs. They require more tending than an FEC/Spicepit/etc but will hold a ton of food, and tend to cook it evenly....

Bigmista
03-30-2009, 08:31 PM
I use a Spicewine and "I" am the show.

smokinit
03-30-2009, 08:31 PM
I love my Backwoods for the capacity, the flavor it produces, the ease of moving it, and lots of other reasons, but I have to agree with the stick burners here.
I've catered several times using Big Brother Smoke's rig (I'm still waiting for my "Pit Master" shirt) and a few times with my Backwoods. I can tell you that the stick burner requires more attention, but also elicits a "better" response.
People are very interested in the Backwoods and I'll answer the questions that arise, but that's about it. The stick burner, however...well, that's a whole different world. There is pure envy that arises. Men (mostly) see this cooker and they start dreaming about what they could do with it. They all see this big, beautiful rig with the "show" going on...logs being fed into the firebox, smoke wafting from the big chrome stack, me cursing 'cause my toe still hurts from moving Mista's Spicebox...OK, maybe not the last part, but you get the picture. People are salivating over the show and the smell of the oak logs burning. Customers know the food is good before they ever get to taste it.
A guy sees a box cooker like a new vacuum; let me check it out and see how it works, but I don't really need to have one. A stick burner brings out the Neanderthal in all of us; fire good...meat cooked over fire even better!
Obviously this is solely a comparison for the "Wow" factor, and it is only my opinion, but trying to add food for thought...

I totally get your point but from a business stand point when you have something that will produce the same quality food for half the effort and allows you to increase you business that is a no brianer. I will not loose a single job or get fewer referrals because I no longer have one.To each his own:rolleyes:

smokinit
03-30-2009, 08:33 PM
I use a Spicewine and "I" am the show.


Nicely said:mrgreen:

Countryhb
03-30-2009, 09:15 PM
I totally get your point but from a business stand point when you have something that will produce the same quality food for half the effort and allows you to increase you business that is a no brianer.

With a quality pit, or even one you are very familiar with, the only additional effort is adding a log every 45 minutes or so. Is there something that goes on in other pits that I don't know about? For an overnight cook, go with a Spice/Backwoods/etc. but how long are you actually at a customer's site cooking...maybe 4-5 hours? That's less than 10 times you need to add wood. Besides, aren't you working around the cooker doing other things? It's not as if you are going out of your way to add wood.

I will not loose a single job or get fewer referrals because I no longer have one.To each his own:rolleyes:

I won't debate this, as I don't know you, or your customers, or your volume. You are correct, though. To each his own :biggrin:

Countryhb
03-30-2009, 09:18 PM
I use a Spicewine and "I" am the show.
Yes, you are definitely some kind of show :mrgreen: Neil is one of those rare exceptions. He could be cooking on a shopping cart and people are excited about it. Some are just born with the gift of gab.

Jeff Hughes
03-31-2009, 06:28 AM
but to say you are more of a BBQ man because you can use a stick burner seems a bit far fetched.

Actually tongue in cheek...

Pork Chop
04-04-2009, 12:18 PM
Great thread....thanks

tony76248
04-06-2009, 12:00 PM
If you recall I was asking about this same subject a few weeks back. I currently have eggs and a stumps gf223. Of course the eggs are useless as far as volume goes and the stumps is probably one of the best smokers on the market for producing moderate amounts of bbq. That said, I do cater and this past weekend I did three jobs of about 30 folks each.... let me tell you that was a pain in the arse...therefore I agree with you on that point. Here is what I have come up with.... I think the thing to decide is what type of catering you are gonna do.... therefore what types of meats will you most likely cook and what kind of volume will you do?

Also... when you are cooking for profit, you need to know that time is your profit. Therefore you need a set it and forget it type cooker or at least one where you can attend to other aspects of the job instead of tending to the fire.

Here is where I am.... I mainly use the stumps with a stoker therefore I have set it and forget it.... BUT.... When that cooker is loaded down as in every rack full, it cooks all kinds of crazy therefore it requires attention. Therefore it is holding me back on the big jobs. One way I get around that is to smoke the meats for about 3-4 hours (gives them the color and the smoke flavor) then wrap them in foil and finish via other means such as in the oven. This is something to consider when cooking various types of meats at various temps.

While I love the vertical style cookers such as the stumps, when loaded down the airflow is stymied and there are all kinds of hot spots and chances or flare-ups which could cost quite a few $ plus the time to have to recook....that wouldn't be good. I have also seen flare-ups in the backwoods and the spicewines. Again the attention required to insure that this doesn't happen isn't worth the hassle.

I have looked and thought this out and decided the way to go to get the capability for volume and not having to worry about flare ups when the cooker is loaded is probably...... the kingfisher rotisserie. If need be you can cook a whole mess of meats at one time and not have to worry about hot spots which can be a real pain when cooking volume....

Can anyone tell me why this wouldn't be the way to go?

smokinit
04-06-2009, 02:56 PM
I load my BWS Profesional and Competitor with convection to the gills weekly with no issues ever. The rotisserie cookers do have and advantage with very large volumes and I will be switching to them in the near future.{FEC 500} but at his stage I think it's not a necessaty just an option.

Jacked UP BBQ
04-06-2009, 03:30 PM
I have been cooking everynight for the last month on my med spice for upcoming vending. I start it with two starters of charcoal at 7pm, throw one more at midnight, and when I wake up, 10-12 butts ready to pull. I wish I had the money now for a huge spice it works great for me.

bbqstudent
08-03-2009, 07:29 PM
Good info. I'm wondering if others experience the same fluctuations with their Stump's when it's fully loaded up. I've heard you can get by with about 15 butts without disturbing airflow too much. Would you say that's about right or what has your experience been?

sampson
08-07-2009, 10:51 PM
I use a Spicewine and "I" am the show.

I totally agree with this statement! And whether it's a Spicewine, an FEC or even some WSM's, you will have time to be the show... Let the guys be envious not of my cooker but cuz all their women are visiting with me:wink::wink::wink:

stillsmokintn
08-07-2009, 11:20 PM
from a business standpoint i have a set it and forget it southern pride.a guy down the road has a stick burnerall he does is fiddle with it and turn out crap Q my sp sits out back load and forget it i could not imagine not having it.trying to run a business takes up 25 hours a day i just dont have time for stick burner.... and my q comes out the same time after time and this keeps my cust. happy.

C Rocke
08-07-2009, 11:29 PM
Use both a Spicewine Large, and a 7 foot stick burner. Both have merits for different reasons.

Stick burner is messy, a bit time consuming (I can get a consistent 225* burn for 5.5 hours), but good for a "prop" or putting on a show when I have some help. It is EZ to get in and out, and regularly makes visits to the Tommy Trojan statue area for SC home game tailgates. It is our "tailgater" of choice, but the trailer is such that it allows for little to no hauling/storage. It is a big attention getter.

The Spicewine sits on an 18 ft trailer with 2 ramps we can fold down for a big "footprint". Trailer carries our 3 comp sink, coolers, tables, 2 burner stove, Santa Maria rig, EZ ups, and generators with out missing a beat. We can turn out lots of quality product, but the trailer needs a lot more room and planning. Lots of black, red and chrome attracts attention, but it's the smoke in the end that everyone notices, and not as many questions asked.

Ultimate goal is either a double Spice or large rotisserie smoker trailer in the 20-25 foot range with a Kitchen and vending window(s) - But no time soon, for sure.

BubbaBones
08-14-2009, 08:24 PM
This is a very good thread and is giving me a lot of valuable opinions.

I am looking at getting into the catering business here in Canada as the high tech industry where I work and work in had pretty much died and leaving town (thank you Nortel).

I am thinking very seriously about a Spicewine as it has a good added feature of the double wall construction that will increase my season as the temperature starts to drop. Also I think they will be more economical in the colder seasons. Also the spice is nice from a visual aspect as it will draw looks. I would like to buy Spices model that he has up for sale but I need to have a grill option as true BBQ is still in its infancy up here and I think a good model is to take the grill jobs but have the smoker there to slowly transfer the customers over to the good stuff

As a secondary choice I have looked at the American Barbecue Systems Judge model. I like this as it is rotisserie as well can be converted to hold flat racks. The ABS also has a grilling feature which is nice.

Does anyone have any experience or opinions on the ABS.

big brother smoke
08-15-2009, 11:45 AM
I still say stickburners rule! I/or one of my cooks have to add a log every 45 minutes not a lot of hassle at all. If you are turning out volume you should not be doing it "Han Solo" anyway. YMMV:biggrin:

jpouchman
08-15-2009, 06:43 PM
Guys can you please snd some pic's of the stickburners. I am hooked on my Fatboy & Eggs, but always looking to get a new addition to the family!

tony76248
08-19-2009, 07:40 AM
I know that we are all passionate about our cookers but sometimes that clouds our ability to make sound judgement when purchasing a cooker for efficient catering.

Would I buy a Lang to do catering? No, if you notice that all of those Lang fire boxes are rusted you realize that the fire needs to be blazing, that is how they get rusted. Would I use a Lang to compete? I wouldn't but many folks do. I just hate the thought of feeding a whole tree into a smoker for one brisket, a couple racks of ribs and a but. I am not trying to badmouth the Lang, I just hate to see folks make the mistake of buying one to cater only to realize that they have made a mistake later because they were trying to be cheap.

I use a Stumps now, would I buy a Stumps to cater? NO, the capacity is limited plus you have to rotate the racks when you do fill it up which equals work. I have been doing this for the last year and a half and it can be a job. With small amounts of meat where you just utilize the top three racks this thing is wonderful. Would I use a Stumps to compete, hell yeah! for smaller amounts of meat I wouldn't own anything else, I know of no other cooker that can cook two days of the Royal on one bag of charcoal and maintain temperatures of 225 degrees plus or minus a half degree.

Earlier in this post, someone stated that you could do 15 pork butts in the stumps, well you better have plenty of layers of foil in there and swap them often, because there will be a boat load of grease flowing and you will need to get it out of that smoker of you risk the chance of a flare-up. Will this happen everytime, maybe not, but it will happen 99.99% of the time. I think the bigger problem than the flare-up will be the airflow though. I have done this many times and know from experience. Again, Stumps equal great comp cooking but are limited on capacity.

Where I wouldn't use the Lang, I would definitely use an offset that had an insulated fire box. I know folks who can get extended cooks with very little wood, we see them at every comp. I didn't mean to offend anybody that owns a Lang, but we all know that those folks always upgrade.

I am still leaning towards the rotisserie and will probably pick one up next month when my catering picks up. I have been dodging jobs due to the summer heat. I talked to the ABS folks and they stated that I can do an all night cook on about 5 bags of charcoal with a few sticks of wood mixed in. Does that sound about right?

Spydermike72
08-19-2009, 11:22 AM
Tony, I might disagree with you on a few points. I own a Lang for catering and my firebox is not rusty and I do not have a blazing fire going in it either to keep it going. It is all in fire managment and upkeep. If you treat your Lang like a cast iron skillet it will be beautiful for years to come (I have an older model, so I cant speak on the newer model). While we will be using the 84 for comps this year, I agree, that is a bit of overkill for a comp. I myself prefer a Backwoods for Comps, but that is my preference.

As for catering, I guess it is all up to the pitmaster and what they are comfortable with. We have to add a log about every 1-1.5 hours or so, that is not too much for me....

BubbaBones
08-19-2009, 09:00 PM
I talked to the ABS folks and they stated that I can do an all night cook on about 5 bags of charcoal with a few sticks of wood mixed in. Does that sound about right?

I am looking at an ABS myself when I start up and 5 bags seems to be a bit on a overnight cook. Currently I am a pellet head and have limited experience with charcoal cookers so I may be way off but read a post of a guy using 40 pounds of coal in a Spicewine and it lasted 50 hours at 225.

Dr_KY
08-20-2009, 05:22 AM
I have been cooking on the large reverse flow for a while. Even some on the drum for catering/vending.

What would you do in my situation?

In all fairness I never owned a cabinet smoker or an offset but I am very happy with 250 Meat Beast I built. It works much like the UDS as you don't need to tend to it very often. I can ramp up the heat and use it as a grill plus it has a hot holding chamber that also triples as firebox or more of an offset if you will.

Money is a huge factor for us at the moment and this build has been the best thing I could have created to do catering. Now to get some seriously deep smoke you would have to use more smoke wood but again over here on the island smoke/BBQ is relatively new so it takes less to get the job done.


Put on a show/ grab attenion? Yup
Stevenson's rocket anyone?
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/72/157126778_b37eba585a.jpg

http://i29.tinypic.com/358e0rd.jpg



We have had three people working out of it at one time on ocassions with great sucess...

http://i26.tinypic.com/ivzjgk.jpg

Sawdustguy
08-20-2009, 06:11 AM
I use a spicwine.A fiend of mine has a large spicewine and converted it to gas

That is pure and unadulterated blasphemy.

tony76248
08-20-2009, 08:37 AM
I am looking at an ABS myself when I start up and 5 bags seems to be a bit on a overnight cook. Currently I am a pellet head and have limited experience with charcoal cookers so I may be way off but read a post of a guy using 40 pounds of coal in a Spicewine and it lasted 50 hours at 225.

You have to remember that the Spicewine is insulated and the ABS isn't. Like anything you need to see it for yourself to believe it on the 50 hour cook. I cook with a guy that has a spicewice and I will ask him all bs aside what he can expect as far as cooktimes go.

tony76248
08-20-2009, 08:58 AM
Tony, I might disagree with you on a few points. I own a Lang for catering and my firebox is not rusty and I do not have a blazing fire going in it either to keep it going. It is all in fire managment and upkeep. If you treat your Lang like a cast iron skillet it will be beautiful for years to come (I have an older model, so I cant speak on the newer model). While we will be using the 84 for comps this year, I agree, that is a bit of overkill for a comp. I myself prefer a Backwoods for Comps, but that is my preference.

As for catering, I guess it is all up to the pitmaster and what they are comfortable with. We have to add a log about every 1-1.5 hours or so, that is not too much for me....

As I said, we are all passionate about our smokers, I was just sharing what I know, the Lang is a bargain reverse flow offset smoker. I can think of better but definitely not cheaper offset smokers that I would prefer to use in the catering business. How much wood do you use for one competition?

I never said they wouldn't work in the catering business. But ask yourself, what offset smoker would you rather have if cost was not an option (staying under $8k-$10k) and the Lang probably would not be at the top of your list, possibly not even on the first page. Tell you what, give me your top 10 offset smoker list.

The pitmaster is definitely part of the equation, I just know that if I don't have to dicker with the pit I can put my full concentration into the customer service. That is the part of the job that brings in the additional jobs.

big brother smoke
08-20-2009, 09:09 AM
Tony, I might disagree with you on a few points. I own a Lang for catering and my firebox is not rusty and I do not have a blazing fire going in it either to keep it going. It is all in fire managment and upkeep. If you treat your Lang like a cast iron skillet it will be beautiful for years to come (I have an older model, so I cant speak on the newer model). While we will be using the 84 for comps this year, I agree, that is a bit of overkill for a comp. I myself prefer a Backwoods for Comps, but that is my preference.

As for catering, I guess it is all up to the pitmaster and what they are comfortable with. We have to add a log about every 1-1.5 hours or so, that is not too much for me....

I support this statement!

People "upgrade" when they start doing jobs of 300+ on a consistent basis. Moreover, BBQ catering does not mean overnight cooks day in and day out! Fire management in a stickburner is critical and as I said earlier. If you are consistently catering to the masses, you are paying someone to add a log to the fire anyway. This is my fourth season of catering with my fabricated stickburner. My only regret is that I did not shell out the extra
bucks for a Klose. 50% of catering is grilling more or less YMMV! For exapmle, this is a sweet "stick burning" catering rig.
http://www.bbqpits.com/unique_bbq_smokers/Bling_Bling_1.jpg

Dr_KY
08-20-2009, 09:31 AM
50% of catering is grilling more or less


I agree and that's why I love my rig. Last weekend we brought along a small gasser to quickly do burgers and warm tortillas so now I'm thinking of adding one to the tongue of the Meat Beast.

TomTheGrillGuy
08-20-2009, 11:52 AM
This is a great thread! Thanks for all of the advice and opinions.

Tom the Grill Guy

BubbaBones
08-21-2009, 07:21 AM
50% of catering is grilling more or less

This is very valuable information and good to know before I start up. I think here is Canada where true BBQ is still new to most people a drill is important until until you get taste buds trained.

Do others agree about how much a grill is used?

blues_n_cues
08-21-2009, 07:35 AM
i agree. it's 50/50 for me too.

C Rocke
08-21-2009, 09:49 AM
Depending on the job/event, we carry a Santa Maria grill, and sometimes our big gasser grill. We use the Spicewine because it is so flexible for what we do - BBQ, oven, hot box - And have a system that works. That's really what it's about, a system that works for your situation, with some flexibility to handle the jobs you want to take.

BubbaBones
08-21-2009, 01:35 PM
We use the Spicewine because it is so flexible for what we do - BBQ, oven, hot box

What is the temperature range that you can get a large Spicewine up to?

Countryhb
08-21-2009, 01:52 PM
What is the temperature range that you can get a large Spicewine up to?
Go ask BigMista that question :icon_pissed:biggrin:

big brother smoke
08-21-2009, 02:01 PM
Go ask BigMista that question :icon_pissed:biggrin:


You went there :twisted:

NotleyQue
08-21-2009, 02:42 PM
Go ask BigMista that question :icon_pissed:biggrin:


Now that is funny.

Dr_KY
08-21-2009, 02:55 PM
Bob should have some data on Spicewine temps too.

big brother smoke
08-21-2009, 03:26 PM
Bob should have some data on Spicewine temps too.

You too went there!

I think Poobah has some data also:twisted:

C Rocke
08-21-2009, 04:22 PM
Open flame does not count...

BubbaBones
08-21-2009, 04:32 PM
Now that is funny.

I appear to have stumbled into and inside joke that I am not aware of.

Neil
08-21-2009, 06:42 PM
Yes, you are definitely some kind of show :mrgreen: Neil is one of those rare exceptions. He could be cooking on a shopping cart and people are excited about it. Some are just born with the gift of gab.

I think it has more to do with name!:oops:

mikeTRON
10-18-2010, 01:24 PM
I know this is an old thread but does anyone have any further comments?

Dr_KY
10-18-2010, 02:19 PM
I know this is an old thread but does anyone have any further comments?

Ya, :cop: if you own a Spicewine do not leave the door unlatched while sleeping through an overnight cook. :fear:

Buster Dog BBQ
10-18-2010, 06:39 PM
One thing about catering with an FEC...you may have to provide your own power. We just dropped off a catering this week at a park with no power. The same people we did this for last year asked to have it done on site. I would have had to take the generators with me this time. Just one more thing. But having said that I love my FEC.

TheMidnightSmoker
10-29-2010, 07:00 PM
Perfect timing reading this thread. I have been doing small drop off catering gigs using just my Jumbo BDS but next season I want to step it up and do medium to large size on-site gigs. I have kicked around all kinds of cookers from the Spicewine trailer to the Lang 84. I have likes and dislikes about each one. I need a cooker I can keep in my garage so it will be safe and sound. My issue with the Lang is that Wood is not as available here in Northern California as it is in most of your areas. Clean-up might be a bit of a hassle also. My issue with the Spicewine is that I am a traditionalist and I can’t get past the thought that it looks more like an oven then a smoker. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I like about each of these cookers and I would be happy with either one I’m sure.
So let me throw another cooker into the mix. I am seriously looking at the Meadow Creek Pig Roaster trailer. It burns charcoal that is laid flat cross the bottom so the heat should be pretty well balanced. With the second rack the capacity is very good, and it cooks all meats, not just whole hogs. It has a full length drip pan that directs the dripping out of the cooker and it looks more traditional then the cabinet cookers. I have read reviews stating it easy to keep a steady temp and the burn time is long. With the upgraded extra doors and smoke stacks I think it would help with the “Show” aspect of the event. Any opinions?

Capn Kev
10-29-2010, 08:46 PM
I am currently using an FEC-100 for catering, and will be buying another in the Spring. They are called a "smoker oven" and they work exactly as they are titled. I can cook pizzas, do a prime rib, cook lasagna, etc. I love 'em. It's like having a wood fired oven that runs within 5 degrees of the digital temp setting you program in. ...plus, I can cook all night and get valuable sleep knowing that it's going to do what it is supposed to. FECs all the way. :thumb:

big brother smoke
10-29-2010, 09:30 PM
Ya, :cop: if you own a Spicewine do not leave the door unlatched while sleeping through an overnight cook. :fear:


:becky::becky::becky:

Stickburners, nothing has changed :cool:

However, if I was doing briskies and pulled pork on most gigs, I may consider an oven type smoker. I am doing these meats 10% of the time. Tri-tip and chicken rule in my zone of the earth and helps get the bills paid. I like to smoke my tri-tips and grill my chicken.

With respect to customer service, we deliver every time, despite burning sticks; get a crew :thumb:

Dr_KY
10-30-2010, 07:08 AM
I still gotta go with a rig that smokes, grills and has a hot holding area.

First thing on site is my cooker, she get's fired up and the smoking begins. We then start setting everything up for the event and chill. After the smoking is done it get's placed in the hot holding where the beans are cooking then the grilling begins. The heat get's ramped up and the second drum of charcoal is lit. Now we begin to slice the joints and either return to the hot holding of chafing dishes. the beans are set out next then everything that was grilling hits the table and service begins.

PorkQPine
10-30-2010, 09:27 PM
Perfect timing reading this thread. I have been doing small drop off catering gigs using just my Jumbo BDS but next season I want to step it up and do medium to large size on-site gigs. I have kicked around all kinds of cookers from the Spicewine trailer to the Lang 84. I have likes and dislikes about each one. I need a cooker I can keep in my garage so it will be safe and sound. My issue with the Lang is that Wood is not as available here in Northern California as it is in most of your areas. Clean-up might be a bit of a hassle also. My issue with the Spicewine is that I am a traditionalist and I can’t get past the thought that it looks more like an oven then a smoker. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I like about each of these cookers and I would be happy with either one I’m sure.
So let me throw another cooker into the mix. I am seriously looking at the Meadow Creek Pig Roaster trailer. It burns charcoal that is laid flat cross the bottom so the heat should be pretty well balanced. With the second rack the capacity is very good, and it cooks all meats, not just whole hogs. It has a full length drip pan that directs the dripping out of the cooker and it looks more traditional then the cabinet cookers. I have read reviews stating it easy to keep a steady temp and the burn time is long. With the upgraded extra doors and smoke stacks I think it would help with the “Show” aspect of the event. Any opinions?


http://tonysfirewoodinc.com/ The have wood all year and plenty of it, I have been using them for years. Oak, Cherry, Almond, Pear. They always have oak and almond in stock. The other woods come and go so I always call once a month and check what they have coming in.

Tinybud
10-31-2010, 12:47 AM
Perfect timing reading this thread. I have been doing small drop off catering gigs using just my Jumbo BDS but next season I want to step it up and do medium to large size on-site gigs. I have kicked around all kinds of cookers from the Spicewine trailer to the Lang 84. I have likes and dislikes about each one. I need a cooker I can keep in my garage so it will be safe and sound. My issue with the Lang is that Wood is not as available here in Northern California as it is in most of your areas. Clean-up might be a bit of a hassle also. My issue with the Spicewine is that I am a traditionalist and I can’t get past the thought that it looks more like an oven then a smoker. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I like about each of these cookers and I would be happy with either one I’m sure.
So let me throw another cooker into the mix. I am seriously looking at the Meadow Creek Pig Roaster trailer. It burns charcoal that is laid flat cross the bottom so the heat should be pretty well balanced. With the second rack the capacity is very good, and it cooks all meats, not just whole hogs. It has a full length drip pan that directs the dripping out of the cooker and it looks more traditional then the cabinet cookers. I have read reviews stating it easy to keep a steady temp and the burn time is long. With the upgraded extra doors and smoke stacks I think it would help with the “Show” aspect of the event. Any opinions?
My main cooker for catering is my meadow creek caterer's delight, it is their pr-60 and bbq 42, the PR is the gas unit, with a custom made offset firebox that runs the full lenght of the pig roaster, allow me to use gas for my heat, and then burning wood in the firebox for the smoke, with the second tier grate, custom made griddle for the bbq 42, we do everything from traditional bbq, to full breakfast, grilled chicken, baked goods, you name it, we can pretty much cook it on this one rig, I've done parties up to 300 ppl with just this one rig. just my two cents.

42BBQ
10-31-2010, 02:22 PM
Perfect timing reading this thread. I have been doing small drop off catering gigs using just my Jumbo BDS but next season I want to step it up and do medium to large size on-site gigs. I have kicked around all kinds of cookers from the Spicewine trailer to the Lang 84. I have likes and dislikes about each one. I need a cooker I can keep in my garage so it will be safe and sound. My issue with the Lang is that Wood is not as available here in Northern California as it is in most of your areas. Clean-up might be a bit of a hassle also. My issue with the Spicewine is that I am a traditionalist and I can’t get past the thought that it looks more like an oven then a smoker. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things I like about each of these cookers and I would be happy with either one I’m sure.
So let me throw another cooker into the mix. I am seriously looking at the Meadow Creek Pig Roaster trailer. It burns charcoal that is laid flat cross the bottom so the heat should be pretty well balanced. With the second rack the capacity is very good, and it cooks all meats, not just whole hogs. It has a full length drip pan that directs the dripping out of the cooker and it looks more traditional then the cabinet cookers. I have read reviews stating it easy to keep a steady temp and the burn time is long. With the upgraded extra doors and smoke stacks I think it would help with the “Show” aspect of the event. Any opinions?

Speaking of timing, first off eventually going to get into catering just not yet. I JUST TALKED to a local guy here in Lancaster City, PA who runs a small, urban, Que joint and also caters. Heck of a nice guy, Dan the Man BBQ. Cooks EVERYTHING on a Meadowcreek PR72 that will run on propane or charcoal due a conversion pan. Has a second tier rack, stopped by the other night while working and he was showing me his pit. He uses a combo of charcoal and wood and absolutely loves the pit. He said once you use a Meadowcreek you won't want to use anything else. I'm sure he would be willing to talk to you, check phone listings for Dan the Man BBQ in Lancaster, PA. Good luck.

JD McGee
10-31-2010, 02:37 PM
I've been struggling with the same question for a few months now. I have decided to go with the new "Extreme Smoker" from James Stephens (Extreme BBQ Trailers)...having met James recently at the Jack and given the opportunity to view some plans and build pics I am very impressed with what I have seen so far. One or two of his smokers and a Santa Maria Grill on a trailer is how I plan to roll for catering gigs.

Hey James...is it done yet? :twisted:

fireman_pete
10-31-2010, 06:07 PM
Our every day smoker for catering is an FEC100.

Recently picked up a Meadowcreek PR60, and really like it too.

I got the Meadowcreek for larger jobs where the FEC could not cook all the meat. With the second tier rack, I can get almost 40 butts or 20 briskets on the Meadowcreek.

Take a little getting used to (remember I have been cooking on an FEC100 for the past year) but once I got the hang of it, it cooks great.

Mine loves to cook around 250-275 which is perfect for me!

Pete

42BBQ
10-31-2010, 07:02 PM
I've been struggling with the same question for a few months now. I have decided to go with the new "Extreme Smoker" from James Stephens (Extreme BBQ Trailers)...having met James recently at the Jack and given the opportunity to view some plans and build pics I am very impressed with what I have seen so far. One or two of his smokers and a Santa Maria Grill on a trailer is how I plan to roll for catering gigs.

Hey James...is it done yet? :twisted:

JD,

Happy for you Brother, those trailers are amazing. Would love to see pics and get a ball park cost when you get it. Looking at dropping a considerable sum in a few years to enter the market. Good luck

JD McGee
10-31-2010, 07:54 PM
JD,

Happy for you Brother, those trailers are amazing. Would love to see pics and get a ball park cost when you get it. Looking at dropping a considerable sum in a few years to enter the market. Good luck

I agree...his trailers ARE amazing...I would absoultely love one...but for now I'm just starting off with one his new Extreme Smokers. I plan to use it for catering and perhaps competition next season.

My wife and I would like to ease in to more catering and less day job over the next few years...if all goes well James will be building a custom Extreme Trailer for us in the near future...:thumb:

getyourrubonbbq
11-01-2010, 07:44 PM
JD,

Happy for you Brother, those trailers are amazing. Would love to see pics and get a ball park cost when you get it. Looking at dropping a I can considerable sum in a few years to enter the market. Good luck


42BBQ, I'll send you some photos once we've got the prototype complete and test runs have been done. Right now pricing is $3195. Give me a shout if you have any questions.

jbrink01
11-01-2010, 08:22 PM
No question, FEC 500. I just bought my second one.

bobrbw
11-03-2010, 05:44 PM
i am the manager and cook of a catering and take out place in pittsburgh pa.we use three 6 foot southern yankees and can accomidate 3-4 on sites a day plus drop off service for catering and still cook for takeout.

BRBBQ
11-03-2010, 09:00 PM
I'm surprised Ole Hick CTO's or Southern pride 300 on a trailer hasn't been mentioned, they can handle the greater volume of food.