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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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Old 01-29-2020, 08:35 AM   #1
Hayduke
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Join Date: 04-08-18
Location: Bluffdale, Utah
Name/Nickname : Rusty
Default Stick Burner vs Ole Hickory

I am considering what smoker I want to put on my trailer and I am down to a Beck Built stick burner and an Ole Hickory. Quality food is my #1 goal. Where I live very few restaurants and or trucks are cooking on stick burners... in fact only 1 that I know of so I don't have a lot to compare. I will be doing a full fledged catering and food trailer business with an emphasis on Texas style BBQ... well inspired by I should say.



I want to know, in your opinion, is there a big difference in flavor between a stick burner and an Ole Hickory?



Bonus question:
If I plan on selling the restaurant concept down the road do you think having a stick burner would hinder that as it is not very automated?
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:55 AM   #2
Jousting Pigs
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I own a restaurant and started with a 1000 gallon offset. I love it, the flavor is awesome and the food is great. We added an Ole Hickory EDX to help with catering and busy weekends but we've found it turns out the same quality of food as the offset. We started cooking more on the EDX and eventually transitioned primarily to the EDX and use the offset as backup. We'll pay for the EDX in just over a year in wood savings, went from a cord+ a week to 1/8 or less cord a week. We used a CTO for a week or so and didn't care for it, get a rotisserie model if you go the OHP route.

I love tending a fire but there are so many other things that need your attention while running your business the commercial smoker allows you to multitask. I didn't want to love the EDX, just use it to finish meat once they were wrapped, but it turns out some great que.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:54 AM   #3
Hayduke
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Originally Posted by Jousting Pigs View Post
I own a restaurant and started with a 1000 gallon offset. I love it, the flavor is awesome and the food is great. We added an Ole Hickory EDX to help with catering and busy weekends but we've found it turns out the same quality of food as the offset. We started cooking more on the EDX and eventually transitioned primarily to the EDX and use the offset as backup. We'll pay for the EDX in just over a year in wood savings, went from a cord+ a week to 1/8 or less cord a week. We used a CTO for a week or so and didn't care for it, get a rotisserie model if you go the OHP route.

I love tending a fire but there are so many other things that need your attention while running your business the commercial smoker allows you to multitask. I didn't want to love the EDX, just use it to finish meat once they were wrapped, but it turns out some great que.

Awesome, thanks man! I assumed that there would not be a big difference.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:12 PM   #4
ynotfehc
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You can get the comp switch/burner switch on an Ole Hickory and cook only with wood if you choose. Dont see why it's an either/or debate.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:13 PM   #5
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I ran a stick burner exclusively for the first 4 years I was in business. By the end of the 4th year, I began having medical issues from the lack of sleep and other problems as well. I still run stick burners some bu thave been running an FEC120. I'm in the market for an Ole Hickory EL in my near future. Stick burners are great if you have a team of 2-4 pitmasters, otherwise, they are not feasible IMO for a business if you have to do it all alone.
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:36 AM   #6
travismagee
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I am building a cabinet smoker for a restaurant right now who currently use Ole Hickory's and Southern Prides. They are switching over to all wood/charcoal due to the flavor.

But here is the kicker. They do not have an overnight pit master and do not want to hire one. So I developed a way to cook on our Big M's where you can stick burn all day and set up for 8+ unattended overnight cooks.

Our smokers are all wood burning and can have a thermostat controlled solenoid to control firebox airflow for long cooks. The cookers are insulated and you can easily run up to 4 or 5 hours with only one load of wood. This works great and saves a ton of wood over a long period of time, but this customer wants to cook at least 7 to 8 hours unattended.

I came up with a very easy overnight cooking method on our Big M's. You can run the Big M all day long as a traditional stick burner while you have the manpower to feed it. For overnight 8 hour or longer cooks, we developed a charcoal/wood basket that you load in and drop a Flame Boss with 3 fans over the intake. You can still put 1 or 2 full size splits of wood in the basket for 8+ hour cook.

So now you get the best of both worlds without losing quality of flavor in cookers than can handle 20 to 32 briskets at a time.

I would definitely look into our smokers if this is something you are trying to achieve.

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Old 01-30-2020, 05:48 PM   #7
Hayduke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travismagee View Post
I am building a cabinet smoker for a restaurant right now who currently use Ole Hickory's and Southern Prides. They are switching over to all wood/charcoal due to the flavor.

But here is the kicker. They do not have an overnight pit master and do not want to hire one. So I developed a way to cook on our Big M's where you can stick burn all day and set up for 8+ unattended overnight cooks.

Our smokers are all wood burning and can have a thermostat controlled solenoid to control firebox airflow for long cooks. The cookers are insulated and you can easily run up to 4 or 5 hours with only one load of wood. This works great and saves a ton of wood over a long period of time, but this customer wants to cook at least 7 to 8 hours unattended.

I came up with a very easy overnight cooking method on our Big M's. You can run the Big M all day long as a traditional stick burner while you have the manpower to feed it. For overnight 8 hour or longer cooks, we developed a charcoal/wood basket that you load in and drop a Flame Boss with 3 fans over the intake. You can still put 1 or 2 full size splits of wood in the basket for 8+ hour cook.

So now you get the best of both worlds without losing quality of flavor in cookers than can handle 20 to 32 briskets at a time.

I would definitely look into our smokers if this is something you are trying to achieve.

mgrills.com

I am a fan of your cookers I am looking to get one for my SCA cooks and backyard. I was looking at the Big M it is sliiick! I will have to dive into the specs on it. But last I check it is sold out how would I go about ordering one?
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Old 01-30-2020, 05:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HBMTN View Post
I ran a stick burner exclusively for the first 4 years I was in business. By the end of the 4th year, I began having medical issues from the lack of sleep and other problems as well. I still run stick burners some bu thave been running an FEC120. I'm in the market for an Ole Hickory EL in my near future. Stick burners are great if you have a team of 2-4 pitmasters, otherwise, they are not feasible IMO for a business if you have to do it all alone.

Yes, I am the worst when I run on no sleep. My thought was cook long meats the night before and hold them till service. I have looked at FECs as well but not sure about the flavor from the pellets. Maybe I suck but I am not a fan of brisket on pellets. Either way I am looking to get as close to "texas style" without losing sleep
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Old 01-30-2020, 09:33 PM   #9
HBMTN
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Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
I have looked at FECs as well but not sure about the flavor from the pellets. Maybe I suck but I am not a fan of brisket on pellets. Either way I am looking to get as close to "texas style" without losing sleep
I'm not a fan of the FEC either with the exception of it gave me some sleep and it was within my budget when I needed something other than a stick burner. The pellet cookers do not give enough smoke flavor and brisket just isn't anywhere near the same as on a stick burner. What I will say about the FEC is that in my price budget at the time, had I not gotten it I would have ended my catering business because I couldn't take the long nights anymore. So it did get me through several years to the point I'm at now looking for an Ole Hickory EL, but to buy new is $21,000 and that hurts even for a thriving business. I'm going to look and try to find a used one in the $7-K12k range.
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Old 01-31-2020, 08:05 AM   #10
e11even
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
Yes, I am the worst when I run on no sleep. My thought was cook long meats the night before and hold them till service. I have looked at FECs as well but not sure about the flavor from the pellets. Maybe I suck but I am not a fan of brisket on pellets. Either way I am looking to get as close to "texas style" without losing sleep
Maybe look at a J & R smoker. Made in Texas and will get you the texas style you are looking for. They also allow you to get sleep, that is why I bought one.
They have different size models and all are burn wood but some have electric assist if that's something you would want so you can cook and hold or to finish after wrapping. Sounds like this would be what you are looking for. Have you ever watched Burgers Brews and Que? lots of those successful BBQ places on there are running J & R's as well as Michael Symon in his restaurant.
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Old 01-31-2020, 09:05 AM   #11
travismagee
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Thank you!

We build our Big M's to order. I just have to list them as 'sold out' on my website so people don't try add them to cart without discussing their build first. Our single door Big M's start at $10k.

You are definitely welcome to come by our shop in Mesquite and cook on one. We are actually not too far from J&R Mfg.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
I am a fan of your cookers I am looking to get one for my SCA cooks and backyard. I was looking at the Big M it is sliiick! I will have to dive into the specs on it. But last I check it is sold out how would I go about ordering one?
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:11 PM   #12
Hayduke
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Originally Posted by travismagee View Post
Thank you!

We build our Big M's to order. I just have to list them as 'sold out' on my website so people don't try add them to cart without discussing their build first. Our single door Big M's start at $10k.

You are definitely welcome to come by our shop in Mesquite and cook on one. We are actually not too far from J&R Mfg.

That would be cool. I might have to do that
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