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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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Old 04-08-2019, 06:46 AM   #1
BoofheadBBQ
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Default Whats best for a restaurant - Southern Pride, Vs Ol Hickory Vs Cookshack 750

I am looking to understand the pro's and con's regarding commercial grade smokers for a restaurant. We are looking for smoker capacity to support approx 1K meals per weekend and also support catering / events for up to 500 folks. I have also believed Southern Pride was best and have used them at OBR events. We are looking for what is best in terms on consistentcy, solid smoke flavor and easy of maintenance and cleaning. Would appreciate any input from the brothern on thoughts and if anyone knows of any newly / used equipment near Chicago / Milwaukee.

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Old 04-08-2019, 05:59 PM   #2
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I sent the Mods a request to move this to a thread where you will get more replies.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:53 AM   #3
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I don' t know much about either of the cookers, but the one advantage that I've heard about ole hickory pits is that the replacement parts are off the shelf parts that you could pick up at a Granger supply, vs southern pride's proprietary parts that you have to order direct.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpw View Post
I don' t know much about either of the cookers, but the one advantage that I've heard about ole hickory pits is that the replacement parts are off the shelf parts that you could pick up at a Granger supply, vs southern pride's proprietary parts that you have to order direct.
This is a huge consideration, I have owned and operated both brands plus some of the Cookshack pellet units and you need to stock common service parts on the shelf at your commissary kitchen if you don't have an approved back up cooker you can put into service immediately.

As an example, OH uses common fan motors in the $40-$60.00 range that can be had off the shelf.

That same motor for a SP is going to set you back about $450.00 direct from them. You can source less costly replacements but the onus is on you to reverse engineer it for fit, shaft length, rpm, amp draw etc.

Plus no one in the service business has a clue how to service these things so it's on you as the principal owner to be able to troubleshoot and repair and Ole Hickory has amazing tech support.

Cookshack parts are downright ridiculous in price, and the cost of pellets for commercial use is confiscatory.

Were lucky enough to still be able to make use of stick burners with stainless prep shelves that alleviate the need for NSF cert. labeled cookers but if it ever comes back to it I'd bring OH pits back in as my first choice.
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:35 PM   #5
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When I've researched the Southern Pride vs Ole Hickory it seemed that the Pride cost more but used less fuel paying the difference in cost back over time. Now if you factor in InThePitBBQ said I'd be leaning toward the Ole Hickory. I too have a Cookshack for catering (FEC120) Running pellets on a 500 plus cooker would not be what I would want to deal with. They are expensive for their parts too. I had a part failure and they charged me $200 for the part I later found the part through the manufacturer of that part for $35.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:34 AM   #6
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I like the Mixon H20 as an alternative for a fixed based operator, I wouldn't want to deal with the waste water for a mobile operation but I know a couple brick and mortar owner's using them with great results and the insulated cabinet design really cuts down on wood consumption.

You can get those in a certified model to if that's a requirement.
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