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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:15 PM   #31
Countryhb
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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

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
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Unread 03-30-2009, 09:18 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
I use a Spicewine and "I" am the show.
Yes, you are definitely some kind of show 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.
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Unread 03-31-2009, 06:28 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinit View Post
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...
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Unread 04-04-2009, 12:18 PM   #34
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Great thread....thanks
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Unread 04-06-2009, 12:00 PM   #35
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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?
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Unread 04-06-2009, 02:56 PM   #36
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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.
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Unread 04-06-2009, 03:30 PM   #37
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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.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 07:29 PM   #38
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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?
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Unread 08-07-2009, 10:51 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
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
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Unread 08-07-2009, 11:20 PM   #40
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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.
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Unread 08-07-2009, 11:29 PM   #41
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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.
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Unread 08-14-2009, 08:24 PM   #42
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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.
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Unread 08-15-2009, 11:45 AM   #43
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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
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Unread 08-15-2009, 06:43 PM   #44
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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!
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Unread 08-19-2009, 07:40 AM   #45
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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?
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There's plenty of room for all of God's creatures.
Right next to the mashed potatoes.

Brinkmann Model 6668 Gasser
Hibachi Grill
Stumps GF223 w/ Stoker assist
ECB that wins the $
Weber One-Touch Gold 22-1/2"
#3 Komono
Large BGE w/ Stoker assist
55 gallon Drum Smoker
Wood Crate Cold smoker w/ smoke injector
No need for certification, I already know good BBQ!
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