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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 02-16-2021, 12:31 PM   #16
SmoothBoarBBQ
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I remember those days in the Marines. 2010-2015. As long As I am doing what I love I won't mind it. There are a couple local guys I am meeting up with in the coming weeks to get some more information about NJ in general with HD rules how they started etc. This might just turn into not being my thing but I love doing it, and being as there isn't too many great bbq places in NJ it would be nice to spread the love haha.
Semper Fi Brother (2nd Tanks, 2000-2009) If there's anything I can do for you feel free to shoot me a message. Lots of the particulars of this business varies dramatically by state, county, and city. But in the larger "grand scheme" of things I've got at least a bit of knowledge on the mobile BBQ game.

Good luck with the Health Department and I hope things work out with whatever you choose to do in the future. Making your hobby a job is great, but it can be a bit of a doubled edged sword.
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Old 02-16-2021, 03:41 PM   #17
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Semper Fi Brother (2nd Tanks, 2000-2009) If there's anything I can do for you feel free to shoot me a message. Lots of the particulars of this business varies dramatically by state, county, and city. But in the larger "grand scheme" of things I've got at least a bit of knowledge on the mobile BBQ game.

Good luck with the Health Department and I hope things work out with whatever you choose to do in the future. Making your hobby a job is great, but it can be a bit of a doubled edged sword.
Home of the IRON HORSE. RIP Was my first unit in communications! I will probably shoot you a private message in the coming weeks after talking with some locals first about how they've dealt with the department and using their smokers. etc etc.

That is where I am conflicted, if I start it on the side, since my current job would allow me to do it and it worked out for me I may jump all in one day. We will see.
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Old 02-24-2021, 07:30 AM   #18
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Home of the IRON HORSE. RIP Was my first unit in communications! I will probably shoot you a private message in the coming weeks after talking with some locals first about how they've dealt with the department and using their smokers. etc etc.

That is where I am conflicted, if I start it on the side, since my current job would allow me to do it and it worked out for me I may jump all in one day. We will see.
Wow, that is awesome. Yeah, it's tough to see tanks leave the Marine Corps, but I do understand the logistics of it. Everything we do is "joint force" anyways, and the Army actually has modern Abrams tanks. The tanks we had were 1960's technology which had been updated over and over again. Eventually you can't just keep upgrading old technology.

Anyways, I hope things work out for you. North Carolina is actually one of the most strict states in the country when it comes to the food code. It's right up there with NY, CA, and MN. They want NSF smokers, but Carolina BBQ is built around cinderblock pits. There are restaurants here (even newer restaurants) where people are still cooking in non-NSF pits, but they get a pass from the health department. It was a massive frustration for me and that's why I just work on Camp Lejeune...the base does its own inspections and they looked at my smoker and said something like "Yeah, it's clean enough and it works."

The command staff from 2nd Tanks comes by pretty often for lunch and that's pretty cool. All the tanks are gone and they are really just getting ready to deactivate in May or June (not sure as it keeps changing).
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Old 02-24-2021, 06:55 PM   #19
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Minnesota don't need NSF smokers anymore.
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Old 02-24-2021, 08:19 PM   #20
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Wow, that is awesome. Yeah, it's tough to see tanks leave the Marine Corps, but I do understand the logistics of it. Everything we do is "joint force" anyways, and the Army actually has modern Abrams tanks. The tanks we had were 1960's technology which had been updated over and over again. Eventually you can't just keep upgrading old technology.

Anyways, I hope things work out for you. North Carolina is actually one of the most strict states in the country when it comes to the food code. It's right up there with NY, CA, and MN. They want NSF smokers, but Carolina BBQ is built around cinderblock pits. There are restaurants here (even newer restaurants) where people are still cooking in non-NSF pits, but they get a pass from the health department. It was a massive frustration for me and that's why I just work on Camp Lejeune...the base does its own inspections and they looked at my smoker and said something like "Yeah, it's clean enough and it works."

The command staff from 2nd Tanks comes by pretty often for lunch and that's pretty cool. All the tanks are gone and they are really just getting ready to deactivate in May or June (not sure as it keeps changing).
You need to talk to someone else about writing a variance for your pit. Seriously...I used a WSM at my place for a little smoking. That isn't saying they wouldn't want you to build a pit room for it...it's hard to find someone with common sense these days.

Crazy lady came out one day (because the restaurant across the street thought they were tattling on me), and tried to tell me I couldn't use my smoker because the rules said that my food needed to be covered at all times. I explained that I carry the prepped food out in a covered pan, put it on the pit, put the cover on the pit, and remove the cooked food into another covered pan. She literally said that when I opened the pit to remove the food IT WAS, AT THAT POINT, UNCOVERED & that I was in violation. I laughed at her. LoL
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:20 PM   #21
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You need to talk to someone else about writing a variance for your pit. Seriously...I used a WSM at my place for a little smoking. That isn't saying they wouldn't want you to build a pit room for it...it's hard to find someone with common sense these days.

Crazy lady came out one day (because the restaurant across the street thought they were tattling on me), and tried to tell me I couldn't use my smoker because the rules said that my food needed to be covered at all times. I explained that I carry the prepped food out in a covered pan, put it on the pit, put the cover on the pit, and remove the cooked food into another covered pan. She literally said that when I opened the pit to remove the food IT WAS, AT THAT POINT, UNCOVERED & that I was in violation. I laughed at her. LoL
If there is nothing over the smoker isn't she correct?
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:31 PM   #22
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If there is nothing over the smoker isn't she correct?
LoL...she is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT...when you lift the lid on a grill to take your meat off, it is uncovered while you pass it from the grill to your covered container. Yep...she was right.

LMFAO!!!!
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Old 02-26-2021, 01:34 PM   #23
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If there is nothing over the smoker isn't she correct?
What you don't understand is that the regulations allow this...they just say that the food has to be covered (during transport from the prep area to the grill & back), and that the grill has to have a lid & remain covered during cooking. It's a common sense thing...of course you have to lift the lid to remove the food. She was using that to try and make me stop...I didn't.

I did however stop when they forced me to "attend the smoker at all times"...well, you can't stand there looking at it for 10 hours. LoL
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Old 02-27-2021, 03:47 PM   #24
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Whatever you’re cooking on has to be covered here so birds don’t **** on it, that’s what I’m told.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:25 PM   #25
Cook
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Whatever you’re cooking on has to be covered here so birds don’t **** on it, that’s what I’m told.
The issue wasn't that it had to be covered...of course it has to be covered.
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Old 02-28-2021, 10:16 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Cook View Post
You need to talk to someone else about writing a variance for your pit. Seriously...I used a WSM at my place for a little smoking. That isn't saying they wouldn't want you to build a pit room for it...it's hard to find someone with common sense these days.

Crazy lady came out one day (because the restaurant across the street thought they were tattling on me), and tried to tell me I couldn't use my smoker because the rules said that my food needed to be covered at all times. I explained that I carry the prepped food out in a covered pan, put it on the pit, put the cover on the pit, and remove the cooked food into another covered pan. She literally said that when I opened the pit to remove the food IT WAS, AT THAT POINT, UNCOVERED & that I was in violation. I laughed at her. LoL
I tried going the variance route when I was smoking on my Johnson Smokers offset. They refused to even come out and look at it because they weren't approving any mobile units at that time (Onslow County). This whole mess was about 3 years ago, and just last month the city of Jacksonville and Onslow County have FINALLY decided they want mobile food trucks to be able to operate within the city limits. It used to be a $200 fee for inspection and in the same bill where they allowed mobile trucks they increased it to $500...government vultures. The bill also states that your mobile food business has to have a commissary (we have none in town or even in the county), and it can't setup within 1000 feet of any "brick and mortar" food establishment. So in terms of foot traffic that severely limits the potential to actually make any money. We had a bunch of food trucks flood the city for about two weeks, and they're pretty much all gone now.

Truth be told serving on Camp Lejeune makes the most sense. At any given time there's roughly 30,000 people on that base and the majority are concentrated where I serve lunch.
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