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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 01-18-2010, 12:48 PM   #1
Tweedle
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Default Commercial Smokers

Im working on a business plan for a small takeout joint and am trying to gather info. Those of you with indoor comercial smokers what kinds do you use? does anyone know aprox pricing? Thanks a bunch guys.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 01:15 PM   #2
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I use a FEC 750, maybe a little too big for your take out, but you can get a 500 or 300 in the 12k area. They put out a much better product then any of the other gas or electric smokers. You can search for a used one, but they are very hard to come by. If you have anymore questions, give me a call. Thanks
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Unread 01-18-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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Well you have Ole Hickory Southern Pride and FEC these I believe are the top three there are a few others. when I was considering it I was leaning towards the FEC you have one fuel source instead of two with the others which need wood and propane. There is a Brethren who is a FEC dealer who can hook you up if you decide that way just pm me.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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I'm running a Southern Pride 300. Perfect for a carry out joint!
Set it and forget it and u control the wood flavor.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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I don't have a BBQ jooint, but, just about every morning I am talking with my buddy who does. We spoke often when he was starting up, he chose a Southern Pride for two reasons. First was the ease of regulation, he did not need the extensive scrubber and exhaust requirements for his 'oven' as it was not going to be putting out a lot of smoke. Second, it used very small amount of wood to get the cooking done, and he can take it out for catering, which an electric unit was going to be more problematic here in CA. He has since noted that he really appreciates the ability to set it and forget it, although he pays a pitmaster, so it is not like he ever did the cooking.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 02:49 PM   #6
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Any chance you can put the smoker out back? If so, your choices will be unlimited.

Backwoods can be used inside, so long as you get the butterfly valve and run the chimney to the outside using some ducts.

Lastly, some folks build their own pits.

Rest assured, the commercial smokers are pretty pricey...several to $10's of thousands of dollars.

There's a used SOUTHERN PRIDE BMJ-1000 on Ebay for about $10,000 and a trailer mounted one for about $7K
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Unread 01-18-2010, 03:24 PM   #7
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I asked about putting my Backwoods inside no go but it can be used outside under cover and then it would allow you do bring it catering also.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 05:31 PM   #8
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If you want to survive in this business AND have a life, get a used Friedrich smoker oven off ebay....Anyone that thinks the FEC cranks out better que than an electric smoker, just hasn't tried a friedrich.....how's self cleaning sound ? how's set it and forget it sound ? true convection rather than one fan blowing around air ?

Here in Buffalo we have several bbq restaurants and caterers that have either borrowed mine or bought one from me and that's after they've owned southern prides.....you don't see them around much nor do you hear a lot about them in the bbq world because the units were made as a one time contract with Winn Dixie grocery stores back in the late eighties and nineties.....other than a few bbq shows and restaurant shows that I've done with them in the last five years, they are not actively marketed due to their core business being for large smokehouses for the meat packing industry. Ask anyone that owns one, they are the best for providing absolutely foolproof consistent results as well as the juiciest bbq out there.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:04 PM   #9
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Ok we are looking at the SPK-500 Souther Pride or a FEC-500 and a Ole Hickory Model SSL. ANy one use these pros/cons?
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:19 PM   #10
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Are you going to be installing the smoker inside or on a trailer to stay mobile?
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Unread 01-18-2010, 06:20 PM   #11
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I've been a stick burner/backwoods primarily, I've got an FEC 100 on the way I'm goin g to try out. If I' like the results then I'm going to put it and more than likely the FEC 300 in my trailer. I do like the thought of not have the expense of wood and charcoal VS just a few pounds of pellets, not to mention less ash to clean out.

I can't speak for eveyone, but the majority of those I've spoke with are running their SP & OH on gas as well. They all need electricity to rotate, but gas is their main source and the wood is for flavor.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:36 PM   #12
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Tweedle,

Whatever you settle on be sure and check Craigslist to get a good price. There is a Southern Pride for sale on the Buffalo Craigslist under the business section just in case you want to check out that one.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getyourrubonbbq View Post
I've been a stick burner/backwoods primarily, I've got an FEC 100 on the way I'm goin g to try out. If I' like the results then I'm going to put it and more than likely the FEC 300 in my trailer. I do like the thought of not have the expense of wood and charcoal VS just a few pounds of pellets, not to mention less ash to clean out.

I can't speak for eveyone, but the majority of those I've spoke with are running their SP & OH on gas as well. They all need electricity to rotate, but gas is their main source and the wood is for flavor.
Drop by my new rig at Mobile or Little Roxk or Hammond. Apps going in tomorrow as I have a firm delivery date of 2/19. I'll show you just what you can do with FE's. Will even have one not in use for comp ir you just want to cook something.

I'd suggest the 500 over the 300 for the price difference. Not sure how well all that weight will fit on a back porch. Maybe want a side ramp trailer instead. Even know where you can see one
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:45 PM   #14
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Make sure if you buy used it still has that NSF and UL sticker on it and make sure you get the documentation for it. The HD Loves it. I'll bet the HD's in NH are big on documentation. Also I've seen a lot of commercial pits on the back porch because of the cost of smoke extraction. You need to ask lots of questions before buying to make sure your plan will work. Not good to have all the equipment and can't get a permit from HD or FD to open.
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Unread 01-18-2010, 08:49 PM   #15
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In my quest for the ultimate commercial smoker it is Southern Pride by a mile.
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