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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 12-20-2018, 07:10 AM   #16
jordan011
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Join Date: 11-30-18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothBoarBBQ View Post
This is very true. While the storm window does work it offers no protection from the bugs during the warmer months...same goes for the wind. It's always open during service and it's definitely not the best design in the world.
Okay. I’m not sure what the trailer I got quoted has. I’ll have to go back and look. That’s a good point though.
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Old 12-20-2018, 07:46 AM   #17
ynotfehc
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Theres no sacrifice in my opinion with the cto-dw, because I cook with wood not the gas assist. If I used the gas assist, I would expect to sacrifice flavor. Try calling Ole hickory and seeing if anyone uses an CTO-DW in your area. They may know someone that you can contact and go visit with and see it in action.

Last edited by ynotfehc; 12-20-2018 at 08:03 AM..
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:26 AM   #18
kurtsara
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Any particular reason you went with 2 smaller cto’s instead of the dw model?
Because I had both of them already. One was mounted to a vending trailer the other we would haul on another trailer, got tired of doing that so we had this trailer built.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:11 AM   #19
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Theres no sacrifice in my opinion with the cto-dw, because I cook with wood not the gas assist. If I used the gas assist, I would expect to sacrifice flavor. Try calling Ole hickory and seeing if anyone uses an CTO-DW in your area. They may know someone that you can contact and go visit with and see it in action.
I emailed them and they told me dickeys used one and that a bunch of private people in my zip code code had them but they couldn't give me their information. Makes sense i suppose. Wish I could find someone though.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:12 AM   #20
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Because I had both of them already. One was mounted to a vending trailer the other we would haul on another trailer, got tired of doing that so we had this trailer built.
Got cha. I didn't know if it made it any easier as opposed to the one big pit.
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Old 12-20-2018, 09:33 AM   #21
kurtsara
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Got cha. I didn't know if it made it any easier as opposed to the one big pit.
We like having both of them, we can always use one of them to keep food warm.
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Old 12-20-2018, 02:42 PM   #22
SmoothBoarBBQ
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Something else to think about is your sink. Most trailers come equipped with a 3-bay sink but they are pretty much useless for washing anything besides utensils. Lots of places are getting away from mandating a 3-bay sink in favor of a larger, "farmhouse" style sink so you can fully submerge all your hotel pans and whatever else you have.

Seriously, look into this one specifically while you're doing all the other stuff. Washing dishes in a 3-bay sink is an absolute pain in the butt. When I got my trailer the health department said I needed a 3-bay sink, now they say I don't. The laws are written in such a manner that nothing is really clear and unfortunately that leaves way too much discretion to the health inspections / environmental health.
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Old 12-20-2018, 08:00 PM   #23
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Something else to think about is your sink. Most trailers come equipped with a 3-bay sink but they are pretty much useless for washing anything besides utensils. Lots of places are getting away from mandating a 3-bay sink in favor of a larger, "farmhouse" style sink so you can fully submerge all your hotel pans and whatever else you have.
If you have 1 large sink, how do you rinse and properly sanitize your dishes?
The best thing to do is measure your largest dishes and make sure your sinks are big enough. I do as little dishes on the trailer because of limited water. 40 gallons may seem like a lot, but after I fill the steam table pans, wash my hands a couple dozen times, I may have enough water to fill my sinks once, and if I'm washing a bunch of greasy dishes, I will need more water. Also I dont have much space for air drying dishes after being sanitized. After I'm shut down and cleaned up, I'm not going to sit around waiting for dishes to air dry, I'm driving off to go sleep. Much easier to wash dishes at the commissary with a dish machine!
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:41 AM   #24
SmoothBoarBBQ
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Originally Posted by ynotfehc View Post
If you have 1 large sink, how do you rinse and properly sanitize your dishes?
The best thing to do is measure your largest dishes and make sure your sinks are big enough. I do as little dishes on the trailer because of limited water. 40 gallons may seem like a lot, but after I fill the steam table pans, wash my hands a couple dozen times, I may have enough water to fill my sinks once, and if I'm washing a bunch of greasy dishes, I will need more water. Also I dont have much space for air drying dishes after being sanitized. After I'm shut down and cleaned up, I'm not going to sit around waiting for dishes to air dry, I'm driving off to go sleep. Much easier to wash dishes at the commissary with a dish machine!
With a 3 bay sink that barely allows for hotel pans to fit into reservoir how do you properly rinse and sanitize your dishes? It makes more sense to have a single bay larger sink so you can effectively submerge all your dishes. If you have to wash them all, then rinse them all, and then sanitize them all, it's much easier if you can actually submerge everything. My sinks are small and a pain in the butt to use.

I've been trying to work with my environmental health department to become my own commissary. Earlier this year when I bought my trailer they said I needed a 3-bay sink, but now they're saying the ability to fully submerge every single item I need to wash is more important, and they're recommending a single bay large sink. Go figure, right? There's no commissary kitchen in my county, so I spent almost an entire month going to every single restaurant, bar, cafe, VFW outpost, etc in my town and nobody wanted to let me use their place as a commissary. I'm getting pretty close and right now it looks like I just need to screen in my porch. They also don't want me filling up my fresh water tank at my house, but it kind of makes no sense as everybody in town is getting water from the same source...none of the restaurants have a filter for incoming water from the tap, so I don't understand the concern. I've got an RV park that is letting me use their facilities for my gray water, so I'm hoping I can just use them for my fresh water source as well.

So right now I'm just operating on the Marine Corps bases near my house, and the bases do their own inspections so they no longer require a commissary kitchen.
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Old 12-21-2018, 07:55 AM   #25
ynotfehc
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Like I said, you make sure your sink basins are large enough to hold what you are washing. They make 3 compartment sinks to fit sheet pans and hotel pans, its whether you ask them to be installed on your trailer.
I personally would not use dishes that haven't been sanitized, too much liability and in a 1 sink wash process, I dont know how you do that. In the food business, we are often blamed for someone's poor hygiene. If in a 24 hr time frame someone eats a meal at home, a restaurant, and a food truck/trailer, and then gets sick, guess who they blame first? Food truck, restaurant and then lastly the week old deli meat in the fridge. But they wont post on social media about the deli meat, or that they didnt wash their hands after scooping cat litter, or ate doritos in the car after filling their gas tank without washing their hands, etc. they will post they got sick after eating your food, whether they really did or not. But its your business, so do what you are comfortable with and what your HD allows.
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:09 AM   #26
kurtsara
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You could never get by with one big sink in Minnesota, you have to have the three sinks plus A hand wash sink plus another sink if you want to wash vegetables.

And in Minnesota half of your largest item must fit in the sink so you can wash half, turn it over and wash the other half, ours meet that requirement.
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Old 12-21-2018, 01:56 PM   #27
medic92
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You could never get by with one big sink in Minnesota, you have to have the three sinks plus A hand wash sink plus another sink if you want to wash vegetables.

And in Minnesota half of your largest item must fit in the sink so you can wash half, turn it over and wash the other half, ours meet that requirement.
We have basically the same rules except for the fourth sink for veggies. Our sinks meet that minimum requirement but they're a royal pain in the rear when you're washing big pans. I have a 10 gallon plastic can that's NSF rated that I'll also fill with either sanitizer or the required amount of bleach & water to soak bigger items for proper sanitation.

I have a huge fear of cross-contamination and sanitizing dishes is a big part of it.
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Old 12-29-2018, 06:48 PM   #28
PaulstheRibList
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I spent a ton of time looking into how to layout my trailer, getting that layout health department approved BEFORE I ordered it. Then a bunch more time picking the vendor for the trailer. Actually, the vendor did assist in the design/build details as well.

Here are a few of the things I didn't know how much I would apprecitate when i was ordering/designing:

1.) 8.5 foot ceilings. So great! More storage room up high, which is invaluable. And it makes the trailer feel big, because it is. AND, it is so great looking/easy to see from the outside.

2.) The TV box next to my vending window. I haven't actually put the TV in it yet. I do put the Menu, all the menu/marketing materials in there, and it works so great for that!

3.) The Rubber floor interior is way better than the aluminum diamond plate.

4.) Getting the bigger 3 part sink so we can actually wash dishes.


2 years in, there's just about Zero I would change. (I would add a small vent fan for when we keep the warmer on overnight in the simmer - which I need to add for this summer.)

I'm right down the road, 2 hours from Houston on I-10 in Lake Charles. I'd be happy to show you our rig and see if our process helps you get some jumpstart on yours.

Paul
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