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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 09-05-2011, 04:50 PM   #1
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Default dumb question about festival vending

I am vending for my first festival in October and after talking with the health inspector I know all food needs to prepped on site. The question I have is how do you manage to cook low and slow on site and still have food to serve day 1?
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Unread 09-05-2011, 06:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobaftt View Post
The question I have is how do you manage to cook low and slow on site and still have food to serve day 1?
You don't.

You pre-cook and reheat, just like every other BBQ vendor on the planet.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 07:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
You don't.

You pre-cook and reheat, just like every other BBQ vendor on the planet.
+1. Vending is BUSINESS!!
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Unread 09-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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so how do you get around the on site prep thing? Is it cooked on site "Wink and nod"?
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Unread 09-06-2011, 08:09 PM   #5
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so how do you get around the on site prep thing? Is it cooked on site "Wink and nod"?
Your learning.
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Unread 09-06-2011, 08:14 PM   #6
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http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...=114821&page=2


As recently discussed.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 07:57 AM   #7
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Technically, reheating on-site is "prepping" on-site. Vending is a whole different world than competition. Stop thinking like a competitor or best friend having a block party. Prepare good food, sell at competitive prices, go home happy!

Like someone else said, if you are doing pulled pork or brisket - things that take hours to cook - do them ahead, safely chill or freeze, and reheat. If you do chicken, ribs, sausuage, etc. - stuff that can be turned around in 3 or 4 hours AND you have enough cooker/grill space to do the volume - then by all means arrive early and cook from scratch.
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Unread 09-07-2011, 12:35 PM   #8
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Agreed!!
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Unread 09-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #9
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we cook over nite on site, load the smoker, lock it and go home and sleep
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Unread 09-11-2011, 07:16 PM   #10
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I thinkl you need to have a long hard conversation with your local HD. Some are real hard cases, especially if you are vending. I have seen some inspectors want to see receipts for everything you 'prepped' on-site to check date purchased and ask where and how you kept it under refrigeration. Starting the cook off-site and finishing (reheating) can be problems in other places. If you are operating as a chef for hire at a private party you are clear most times, but if you want to be open to the public you really need to be a licensed caterer with a commissary to be clean with the HD.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 03:15 PM   #11
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My wife and I operated a stand for 4 years and I miss it very much. When we started we had the same question. Quickly learned the hard way that if you selling BBQ at a high volume show you cook ahead or you will be in serious trouble. We had a few counties where the HD wanted to do the inspection before cooking and all of them expected everything to be cooked 100% on site. Yeah Right! Sorry but it's not hardly possible .....the first day anyhow. We learned to cook a day or two before, freeze it and keep it cold and out of sight. We would show the HD some fresh meat in the fridge or coolers and they were happy. When they left the pre cooked went on the grill for heat and smoke along with fresh on a different part of the grill of course. This is key in a one day show. If your there for two or more days your just always cooking ahead. And the trick is reading the business and staying ahead without over doing it. You will experience many highs and lows but always talk to your people and have fun.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 06:35 PM   #12
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There seem to be a few folks here who suggest you figure out how to put on a good show to snooker the HD inspector and then, once his back is turned, rock and roll serving food that wasn't prepared in an HD certified kitchen.

Good luck with that, hope you have a lot of liability insurance and an LLC to protect your personal assets. Oh wait, they probably wouldn't bother with that either.

Re-heating on location is not "prepping" and cooking on location. If you cook somewhere other than where you will serve the food, that place must be HD certified; a mobile food trailer, commisary, etc.

If you want to do this, do it right per the laws and requirements of your state and county. You will find yourself much more successful in the long run. I just finished my first full year doing it legally ... IT CAN BE DONE.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:53 PM   #13
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Yea right. I'm not suggesting we trick anyone or serve dangerously prepared food. The HD's know whats going on but what they want to see is a clean trailer and safe practices. We always received great inspections. I'm telling you straight up if you try to set up and cook everything the first day to serve by 11:00 AM your gonna be up all night and often times the festival staff wont let you set up until a certain time. Lets see, cook about 10 to 20 butts, 12 briskets, 20 chicken halves, a pile of wings, get all your sides ready, ice your pop and water, prep your paper goods and serving area all before 10:30 or 11:00. Man your better than I am. Forgot to mention I cook on all wood so I cant set the temp and walk away.

Last edited by dcooper; 10-05-2011 at 07:55 PM.. Reason: Forgot one point.
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Unread 10-05-2011, 07:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsomeSwede View Post
There seem to be a few folks here who suggest you figure out how to put on a good show to snooker the HD inspector and then, once his back is turned, rock and roll serving food that wasn't prepared in an HD certified kitchen.

Good luck with that, hope you have a lot of liability insurance and an LLC to protect your personal assets. Oh wait, they probably wouldn't bother with that either.

Re-heating on location is not "prepping" and cooking on location. If you cook somewhere other than where you will serve the food, that place must be HD certified; a mobile food trailer, commisary, etc.

If you want to do this, do it right per the laws and requirements of your state and county. You will find yourself much more successful in the long run. I just finished my first full year doing it legally ... IT CAN BE DONE.

I agree
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Unread 10-06-2011, 05:49 AM   #15
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Talk to HD, and festival committee. Purpose to the fest. comm. that it is a GREAT idea to have the food vendors setup the night before, and have them get inspected that same night.

That's how we got around this situation.
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