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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 07-28-2010, 04:23 PM   #1
Jester
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Default Mobile BBQ Food Truck

Fellas,

After doing small catering gigs for some time now, I'm kicking around the idea of getting a food truck built out. My goal is to go mobile and have everything with me. I considered a trailer, but would prefer to go the truck route.

In Houston you can't have propane on the food truck and hit the central business district. My preference is a charcoal based system so I can hit downtown during lunch. Since I won't be frying nor needing a grill/griddle, this frees up more space in the rig. I'm thinking a freezer, refrigerator, prep/steam table, smoker (2 if I could fit them onto the truck), a 3 bay sink, and 1 hand sink. I could use a Cambro for carrying sides from the commissary.

Has anybody here ever done, if so do you have any advice you could share with me?

Hell if I'm completely off my rocker, let me know!
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Unread 07-28-2010, 04:30 PM   #2
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I would want to make dang sure you're properly vented if going with charcoal pits inside the truck. Wouldn't to have an extinguisher or two either
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Unread 07-28-2010, 07:11 PM   #3
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good point James. He'll need a full fire supression system.
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Unread 07-28-2010, 08:15 PM   #4
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I purchased a truck on eBay over the winter and it's working out pretty well. If I need to take the smoker with me, I pull it on a separate trailer. It has a Viking range that's been converted to propane, Charbroil grill, triple sink, hand sink and full size fridge (no freezer) and serving window curbside. In Iowa you don't need the triple sink if you have daily access to a inspected kitchen with the proper sinks. Might check with the HD in TX on the exact requirements since you already have the commissary going. I went the truck route so I did not have to buy a vehicle to pull a trailer. Best of luck to you!
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Unread 07-28-2010, 09:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getyourrubonbbq View Post
I would want to make dang sure you're properly vented if going with charcoal pits inside the truck. Wouldn't to have an extinguisher or two either
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford View Post
good point James. He'll need a full fire supression system.
Thank you both for mentioning this point. I'll be talking with the health department tomorrow and this is something that will be covered.
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Originally Posted by PCDoctor_1979 View Post
I purchased a truck on eBay over the winter and it's working out pretty well. If I need to take the smoker with me, I pull it on a separate trailer. It has a Viking range that's been converted to propane, Charbroil grill, triple sink, hand sink and full size fridge (no freezer) and serving window curbside. In Iowa you don't need the triple sink if you have daily access to a inspected kitchen with the proper sinks. Might check with the HD in TX on the exact requirements since you already have the commissary going. I went the truck route so I did not have to buy a vehicle to pull a trailer. Best of luck to you!
Do you by any chance have pictures of your truck? I would be interested in seeing what it looks like.
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Unread 07-28-2010, 09:16 PM   #6
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if you use a truck and your engine goes out... your ****ed... if you have a trailer and your truck goes out... you can use another truck or even rent one and still make the cake.
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Unread 07-28-2010, 09:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
if you use a truck and your engine goes out... your ****ed... if you have a trailer and your truck goes out... you can use another truck or even rent one and still make the cake.
LOL - I like your logic bro. Dealing with the Houston health department is liking fighting bureaucracy in Washington. Nobody wins but them...

I might go with the food truck and a trailer as well, per your point. Need to get the scoop so I can make decisions.
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Unread 07-28-2010, 10:06 PM   #8
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I remember when I used an old roach coach before and an old frito lay van.... now trucks never break down when you have nowhere to go right? LOL both times, when I had troubles with the towing truck when I owned a trailer I could always borrow a friend's truck and got extra labor for a cut of the proceeds and even rented an enterprise truck for like 24 a day....

I did want a chopped off bus once. It was already shopped at the rear. I was so bummed I did not buy it... it had a hitch so I could tow and extra trailer or smoker if I wanted. Sure it could suffer from the same fate as a truck but what a billbaord it would have been... for both the business and the DOT, LOL
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Unread 07-29-2010, 01:10 AM   #9
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Wouldn't a smoker on board have to be NSF?
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Unread 07-29-2010, 02:39 AM   #10
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Rich, over at Gator Pits in Houston, just built a vending trailer. You might wish to talk to him. First quality stuff at his shop. I have no idea on his prices.

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Unread 07-29-2010, 06:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbefunkoramaque View Post
I remember when I used an old roach coach before and an old frito lay van.... now trucks never break down when you have nowhere to go right? LOL both times, when I had troubles with the towing truck when I owned a trailer I could always borrow a friend's truck and got extra labor for a cut of the proceeds and even rented an enterprise truck for like 24 a day....

I did want a chopped off bus once. It was already shopped at the rear. I was so bummed I did not buy it... it had a hitch so I could tow and extra trailer or smoker if I wanted. Sure it could suffer from the same fate as a truck but what a billbaord it would have been... for both the business and the DOT, LOL
A not for hire and you need not worry about the DOT... and for towing join good sams for rv,s best towing i ever got...
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