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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 08-13-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
42BBQ
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Default Vending question: smoker type

Hey gents, here's the question: cabinet style like a Spicewine large with four or five racks, that I have to load/unload from a utility trailer? Or an offset, Meadowcreek TS 250 with third rack that is on its own trailer already? I would be doing a local farmers market, I would have a self contained/sufficient four bay sink as well. If I got the Spicewine that would also be loaded/unloaded from a utility trailer vs. sitting right on the same trailer on the TS 250 here are some links to visualize:

http://meadowcreekbbq.com/sinks/index.php.


http://lancaster.craigslist.org/grd/3163988296.html Utility trailer: ride with a large Spicewine, the 4 bay sink push around from the first link, and possibly a small offset.

Offset pros: offset means all wood cooking and oak, cherry, and apple are plentiful and reasonably priced ($100 to $150 a cord or free if I can find it and cut it myself). All wood cooking is going to equal a better overall product and customer experience. Cheaper to heat. Wow factor of large offset. Option of 200 lb whole hog for catering on the side. Easier setup/tear down. Easier to park and store. Built in holding cabinet above firebox providing constant heat source.

Offset cons: more expensive per cooking square inch. More time and attention paid to cooker and dialing in temp. Less efficient in cold weather/more susceptible to temp changes due to weather. Larger footprint at point of sale could mean increased site costs. Heavier pull for my van (could rule it out entirely).

Spicewine pros: cheaper per square inch. More compact foot print. Insulated and efficient. Less fussing around with temp management. More cooking space (up to 4,250 sq inches if using five racks for ribs only). Could store in my garage out of weather. Proven winner (Bigmista anyone?) Could set up in a smaller site. Possibly easier to pull on a utility trailer.

Spicewine cons: no whole hog option. Charcoal as primary heat source (increased cooking costs). More work to load/unload/setup. Nice looking cooker, but not the "wow" factor of an offset. No built in area for holding meats that are done cooking, out of danger zone.

The basic plan for now is starting small at one farmers market, one day a week seasonally. If I get the offset I can also do whole hog. Would be selling untrimmed spares, pulled pork by the pound and in Sammie's, and brisket by the pound and in Sammie's. Sides would be chips, coleslaw, and cans of soda. Would butcher paper wrap or styrofoam takeout boxes. To go the above route would mean out of pocket expenses of a few large plus a $10,000 small business loan. Goal would be to be debt free in two years.

I know I can cook. I know I can make profit. I know there is a local market for this food. I would not sacrifice margins for quality. I'm full time in as steady a job as can be had with ability to work around my full time schedule. No one else is putting out que like I can. I've already priced out cert. costs and should have an insurance quote tomorrow. With gear I'm planning on buying I'll make nice with my HD guy. Sorry for such a long post, input on cookers and anything else is appreciated.

Thanks.
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Unread 08-13-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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Just looked into towing capacity of my 2000 Toyota Sienna, Trailer would come in well under capacity with Meadow Creek cooker and sink setup on one trailer so that ? has been answered.
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Unread 08-13-2012, 04:28 PM   #3
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Can you use a non NSF smoker where you live?
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Unread 08-13-2012, 06:53 PM   #4
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NSF smoker?
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Unread 08-13-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
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I believe so, also already found out that the 4 bay sink made by Meadowcreek does not come with an NSF sticker but HD guys around here will pass them. I think the same would apply to cookers. You can get an NSF certified 4 bay sink from them for an extra $1,200. Sounds like a dang racket to me on the part of the state.
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Unread 08-13-2012, 09:53 PM   #6
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what does nsf mean
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Unread 08-13-2012, 10:19 PM   #7
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Ok, so I just learned this: NSF stands for the National Science Foundation, an independent, federally funded organization. Essentially if it meets their STRICT guidelines then it will pass virtually any state or local guidelines for food service. Not essential but can't hurt. However, if a stupid sticker makes a four bay sink cost $1200 more, it sounds like a racket.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 04:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42BBQ View Post
Ok, so I just learned this: NSF stands for the National Science Foundation, an independent, federally funded organization. Essentially if it meets their STRICT guidelines then it will pass virtually any state or local guidelines for food service. Not essential but can't hurt. However, if a stupid sticker makes a four bay sink cost $1200 more, it sounds like a racket.
Not science, it is the National Sanitation Foundation

The NSF mark on food service equipment means that everything from the product design to materials used to create the product have been tested and conform to food equipment safety and sanitization standards. In order to achieve the mark, products undergo a rigorous inspection in three key areas:

Product Design. The product is physically evaluated to assure that it meets proposed specifications.
Material Review. Toxicologists inspect the manufacturing materials to assure that they are safe for use in commercial kitchens. Materials used must also be corrosion resistant.
Cleaning Ease. The product is tested to assure that it is easy to clean and sanitize.


In Minnesota I have no choice anything the food is prepped or cooked/smoked on has to be NSF unless you do less than four events, so you can't get anyone sick if you only do three events.

My sinks do not have to be NSF in the trailer though.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 06:46 AM   #9
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I stand corrected lol, thanks for the info. On a side note: question remains. Offset or cabinet style cooker for vending?
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Unread 08-14-2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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I used to vend roadside with a southern yankee cabin trailer w/ 6ft rotis then changed smoker to a spicewine med(got it from Smokin Cracker).Woodburner worked great good product,had to watch alot.Spicewine,no babysetting,good broduct,low charcoal consumption(lower with Jimmy's maze),you can cook the night before then use it as a holding cabinet.I have cooked on many diferent types of cookers,from a open grill to a soutern pride,they all can produce good product,but, you need something that is easy to tend while busy vending.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 09:33 AM   #11
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You could also mount the sink,spicewine maybe a water tank w/pump on a small trailer = no unloading
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Unread 08-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #12
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This past weekend at our town's Summerfest, we sold 200lbs of pulled pork cooked on four UDS's. We were set up next to a concession trailer which was an approved facility by the HD to use for handwashing and sanitation. All went well!
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Unread 08-14-2012, 04:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtsara View Post

In Minnesota I have no choice anything the food is prepped or cooked/smoked on has to be NSF unless you do less than four events, so you can't get anyone sick if you only do three events.

My sinks do not have to be NSF in the trailer though.
Kurt can you point me to the info for MN on the NSF requirement for cookers? I spoke with my local health person this weekend at the Med City and she didn't indicate that it would be an issue. I am really interested in locating the regs on this for vending.
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Unread 08-14-2012, 05:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple T BBQ View Post
Kurt can you point me to the info for MN on the NSF requirement for cookers? I spoke with my local health person this weekend at the Med City and she didn't indicate that it would be an issue. I am really interested in locating the regs on this for vending.
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/e...e/prconreq.pdf

page 6

"Equipment specifications sheets for all equipment.
(All food service equipment shall be National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF) or equivalent -
Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
as meeting applicable NSF International standards for sanitation.) "

page 12

"A. General Information

1. Food and beverage equipment shall meet the applicable standards for one of the following:
a. National Sanitation Foundation (NSF).
b. Edison Testing Laboratories (ETL) to NSF Standards.
c. Underwriters Laboratory (UL) to NSF standards.
d. Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to NSF Standards.
2. Used equipment may be approved if it meets NSF standards when it was manufactured has been
properly maintained and not modified. Used equipment must be approved by the Regulatory Authority
prior to installation.
3. Primary food contact surfaces shall be of stainless steel construction in compliance with NSF Standard
No. 2 or equivalent.
4. Plastic laminate surfaces are not acceptable for food contact and food preparation surfaces.
5. Table-mounted equipment that is not easily movable shall be sealed to the table or elevated on four (4)
inch NSF legs.
6. All floor mounted equipment shall be elevated on six (6) inch NSF legs or casters. Display cases may be
less than six inches if a removable panel for cleaning the floor is part of the equipment.
7. Enough equipment for cooking, heating and hot holding shall be provided. Equipment should be
sufficient in number and capacity to meet the needs of the establishment as determined by the
Regulatory Authority.
8. All custom fabricated equipment shall meet NSF International or equivalent standards and bear the name
of the manufacturer and an NSF sticker indicating which standard the equipment meets.
9. Wood is prohibited in food, beverage, utensil washing and storage areas. Including, wood doors or
frames, wood shelving, wood cabinets and wood windows. "
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Unread 08-14-2012, 07:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlCracker View Post
You could also mount the sink,spicewine maybe a water tank w/pump on a small trailer = no unloading
Sink system has 11 gallon fresh, 15 gray, and pump system all enclosed in the unit. I like the idea of permanently mounting a spicewine on the trailer though.
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