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Catering, Food Handling and Awareness *OnTopic* Forum to educate us on safe food handling. Not specifically for Catering or competition but overall health and keeping our families safe too.


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Unread 06-04-2014, 07:36 PM   #1
BasedSS
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Default New business...Need help with smoker selection

So, me and a few buddies are going to start doing some roadside Q on the weekends. I have been cooking for many years on a cheap off-set and a couple of WSM's.

So I'm buying a new smoker or two and I'm looking for some advice on selecting. I would like to go with an insulated vertical (Lonestar) but I'm thinking I will not get the "allure" because I won't have a giant off-set out there, and starting new with no following I'm not sure what to do.

My question is for a new roadside do you think it's a better idea to go with what I want which is the Lonestar or go with my second choice which is a lang?

I have all permits and licenses taken care of, and I know there is a huge difference between the two cookers I just want some advice on a first grill set up.

THANK YOU ALL!
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Unread 06-04-2014, 08:30 PM   #2
Pyle's BBQ
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Is this going to be a year round venture? If it is go with the vertical smoker. Easier to control temps in the winter. The Lang will look great and do just as good a job if you are going to only be warm season cooking. Which one will give you a better product? How much time will you have to tend the fire on a Lang? Just a couple of things to consider.
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Unread 06-04-2014, 09:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BasedSS View Post
my second choice which is a lang?
It will do everything you need for roadside and or catering for a start up barbecue business, and it will take you right about 4 years to get burnt out staying up all night feeding it wood several nights a week and you'll be ready for an automated cooker. Ask me how I know.


Seriously though, I'd go with a Lang 84
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Unread 06-05-2014, 08:13 PM   #4
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I have a Lang 60. I used it for about 6 months road side then bought a Backwoods. Sleep is not over rated.
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Unread 06-05-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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Are you doing true roadside selling? Then there is nothing as good for advertising as a Stickburner. If you and your buddies are up for the long hours. Me, I would get an insulated cooker with a temp controller.

Easier, more sleep, less and cheaper fuel
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Unread 06-05-2014, 09:32 PM   #6
BasedSS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Are you doing true roadside selling? Then there is nothing as good for advertising as a Stickburner. If you and your buddies are up for the long hours. Me, I would get an insulated cooker with a temp controller.

Easier, more sleep, less and cheaper fuel
I think im going to go with the Lonestar and try to find a ol POS giant stickburner clean it up and just burn wood or use it for heating, really it will just be used for show and the cooking will be done on the Lonestar
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Unread 06-05-2014, 09:33 PM   #7
BasedSS
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Quote:
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I have a Lang 60. I used it for about 6 months road side then bought a Backwoods. Sleep is not over rated.
Sleep is very important to me haha, thank you for sharing your experience.
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Unread 06-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #8
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I have a Lang 60 and an Onyx, I cater & do some events & farmers markets. Although I love my Lang, it takes about an hour to get it warmed up and going. I find myself cooking more in the Onyx, because keeping the temp up & feeding wood in the Lang is tough while trying to sell, & everything else involved. The smoke, the looks, does draw people, but the older I get, I want to work smarter, not harder. I may keep the lang, but get an upright pellet smoker to do the majority of the work. Also for what you want, you have to consider what you want to cook, and the time it takes to cook it. I do my pork butts in advance. On site I cook chicken, ribs & tri tp. But I can only do the chicken & ribs 1 time, there is no time to cook more considering the time it takes to cook.
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Unread 06-08-2014, 04:34 PM   #9
DonInGlenAllenVa
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Question for you BasedSS: I'm in Henrico County (on the outskirts of Richmond). Our local Health Department told me that if wanted to do any type of catering, I would need a commercial kitchen to use as a base kitchen. I would not be allowed to run it out of my home. I see that you mentioned you have all the permits but I was curious if they gave you any hassles such as this? It seems there's no way to start small and grow this type of business in Henrico. It's either go all in or not at all.

Best of luck with things though. Thumbs up!
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Unread 06-08-2014, 09:23 PM   #10
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I'm going to agree with everyone else and say keep sleep and ease of use in mind.

We have both an FEC120 and an ABS judge. For our bigger vending events we have to use the judge, which turns out excellent product but requires tending at least every 4 hours. Working a 12+ hour festival on less than 4 hours of sleep is pretty tough. On the opposite side of the spectrum on our FEC I can fill it with meat and come back 12 hours later to finished BBQ (or even later using the hold feature).

Right now we are only cooking on the judge a few times a month but if we were doing big cooks daily we would have to switch to something more automated.
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Unread 06-12-2014, 06:53 AM   #11
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Unread 06-14-2014, 05:38 AM   #12
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I love the idea of a big insulated cooker and finding/making a big junk offset and making a fire in it to attract attention. Heck, it could be a warming box or a finishing grill, but from the road, people are going to know what's up!
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Unread 06-14-2014, 08:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I love the idea of a big insulated cooker and finding/making a big junk offset and making a fire in it to attract attention. Heck, it could be a warming box or a finishing grill, but from the road, people are going to know what's up!
^^^^^^If I were in your shoes, this is what I would do also^^^^^^^
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Unread 06-14-2014, 02:57 PM   #14
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I like the idea of one to cook with and one for show. Nothing like seeing rising out of an offset to stop a hungry traveler. After that, they don't care which machine the food comes out of.
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Unread 06-17-2014, 10:21 PM   #15
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I used a stickburner for a year and a half and just got a southern pride sp750 a month ago and I wouldn't trade it for nothing. You get as much smoke as you want and it is simple, I got the hold feature and the smoke evac feature. Just program it go home and go to bed if you are late getting to the restaurant it don't matter it will be at hold temp when you get there and no more smoke in your eyes!
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