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What Smoker????
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Punky
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Joined: 25 Feb 2009
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Location: Buena Vista, CO

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 7:48 am    Post subject: What Smoker???? Reply with quote

I tried this on the cooker forum, not much response so counting on you guys to help. We have a small "mom and pop" restaurant, burgers, ice cream, home made chicken strips, etc. We currently offer bbq from a Smokorama pressue smoker, almost exclusively pulled pork, which actually comes out really great and is very popular. We would like to take it to the next notch and offer "real" pit BBQ. We also do quite a bit of business out of our concession trailer during the summer at events and a secondary location. I am looking at getting a trailer mounted smoker to use for both the restaurant and the trailer. Looking mainly at one of the Yoder smokers or possibly a Lang. I think the visual effect of an operating smoker out with the trailer is huge, really draws people in. But will it be efficient and easy enough to operate to use for the restaurant year round? (I am in Colorado) Or would I be better off just going with a Cookshack type cabinet smoker installed permanently at the restaurant. I am intersted in primarily adding brisket, ribs, and turkey breast, all of which I have trouble getting the results I want with the Smokaroma. Any comments, advice, etc would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
Mike
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first call should probably be to your local health department to see what certifications they require for a pit. I do not think Yoder or Lang have an UL or NSF ratings for them, and some states county's may require them (Minnesota comes to mind)

Then I would look at cost, sizes, and fuel afterwards.
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Punky
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Location: Buena Vista, CO

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are in a small town, rural area, so far regs and requirements aren't a problem. I'm starting to think a combination of smokers might be best. A smaller trailer smoker for portability and visual effect, and an indoor unit like the Cookshack for consistent product and quantity. I'm just concerned about the feasability of the trailer unit in the middle of January when it's zero or below out. It appears that many restaurants are getting great results out of the Cookshack type smoker. Let me know what you all think.
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Jarhead
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Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Punky, I have a FEC-100, by Cook Shack, installed in a vending trailer and it works great for me. Burns about 1# of pellets per hour running at 250*.
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4LittlePigs
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got an offset stick burner outside my building and a Cookshack inside. I was cooking many days this winter in single digit temps. I use my offset for ribs, brisket and butts. Most of the time I cook to 150-160 to get the good smoke and then I can finish on the cookshack as needed. My ribs generally take about 6 hours but briskets and butts generally take about 12-14 depending on weight and cooker location. The combination of the 2 cookers gives me many options, especially with catering and vending. I don't get the smoke flavor that I want with the Cookshack alone but it's got its place in my arsenal.
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daddywoofdawg
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the problems with the cookshack from my research is it needs 220V which is fine at the raunt but for vending it can be hard to get 220V.The other thing I have found is it's pellet which I feel doesn't get that wood pit flavor.(yes I know they use them on the BBQ circuit and pellet envy has kicked my butt a couple of times).Check with your HD about what they want in the NSF approved and if they don't care look at maybe a DP,southern pride,or harry has an oyler for sale.
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Jarhead
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

daddywoofdawg wrote:
One of the problems with the cookshack from my research is it needs 220V

My FEC runs on 110v, through an inverter and draws 5 amps with the electronics and auger and about 10 amps when starting up with the igniter.
Quote:
The other thing I have found is it's pellet which I feel doesn't get that wood pit flavor.

If done with a 2 stage smoke, it can get very close.
Quote:
Check with your HD about what they want in the NSF approved

The FEC is NSF approved.
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22 11 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I smoke with a Southern Pride on a trailer. It is insulated and cooked fine at 20 below. I had to put it on an enclosed trailer to satisfy the state health department. With a three compartment sink. I am mobile and up to code. We have to use NSF equipment everywhere. The nice thing about the Southern Pride is that you have wood with gas back up. Consistent temps. You don't have to baby sit and you get a premium product.
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Get Your Rub On BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25 11 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I chose a Southern Pride SPX 300 for my catering trailer. I installed it through the wall to avoid any issues with having to have an area screened. It's easier this way and I get to stay inside the trailer for my prep/loading/unloading of product.


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Punky
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25 11 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! What a sweet install! Gives me a serious case of smoker envy! Great trailer setup, sure it will give you many years of great use!
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jwood
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25 11 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear no one talking about Ole hickory or Oyler is there something wrong with these smoker. I also plan on starting my own restaurant and im in the process of looking at smokers. I want to have the real back yard taste for my meat. So is it southern pride, oyler, or ole hickory i heard good comments about all. But which one is going to give you that authentic smoke taste. I know everyone has there personal choice of smokers, thats what im looking for. Thanks
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ecocks
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25 11 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've eaten good q at places having all three of those smokers. Read the factory sites, weigh what you want, shop a little, read what different owners say about each and then make your choice.

Ol' Hickory is my preference.
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25 11 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwood wrote:
I hear no one talking about Ole hickory or Oyler is there something wrong with these smoker. I also plan on starting my own restaurant and im in the process of looking at smokers. I want to have the real back yard taste for my meat. So is it southern pride, oyler, or ole hickory i heard good comments about all. But which one is going to give you that authentic smoke taste. I know everyone has there personal choice of smokers, that's what I'm looking for. Thanks


I have nothing but praise for Oylers and Bewleys, but I do not see either one being a feasible option for installing them into or onto an enclosed catering trailer. A flatbed would work great though.
An Oyler 700 series weighs 4,200 pounds, I believe the larger Oyler is in excess of 6K pounds. and the smokestack is nothing short of monstrous too. The people who I know that have an Oyler 700 mounted on a trailer remove their stacks for travel due to their size.
They Oyler 700 only requires 8 amps of 110VAC to operate, this is for the "Wheel of Meat" and the temperature control damper system.

I used to have a Solid-fuel grill from J&R, and that damn thing weighed near 2K pounds. Their equipment is built like military tanks, they are huge and heavy. But they sure work great!

If I had enough money where I would not need to work, but still wanted to ( I did have that option once, but.....) I would build a rig from a large cargo truck, have a diesel powered walk-in cooler in the front, a fully stocked kitchen, and a pair of Oylers on a slide-out system like we see on large motorhomes. I would travel the country doing competitions and vending for a few years, then open another restaurant in or near a major metro area.
But, I am enjoying life too much in my little slice of snow-covered hell right now!
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jwood
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25 11 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So harry what im hearing from you is that Oyler is the way to go as far as having in the a restaurant kitchen
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25 11 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jwood wrote:
So harry what im hearing from you is that Oyler is the way to go as far as having in the a restaurant kitchen


There are hundreds of places using southern prides and ole hickory's out there, and they all cannot be wrong.

All I am saying is I prefer to cook BBQ using only wood with no gas or electric back-up heat sources. I am nothing short of ecstatic that I was able to get a pair of Oylers, and I have zero complaints about them.
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Bbq Bubba
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28 11 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oyler fan #2. Cool

Having cooked on all 3 units, the Oyler lends a different style of BBQ being cooked 100% over wood and smoke. A flavor and texture that the other 2 rigs cannot achieve.

YMMV.
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tonyg
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28 11 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

#3
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BBQMAN
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Joined: 13 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28 11 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have nothing against Oylers, I'm sure they are good cookers.

But let's truly compare apples to apples here.

I own a very large custom built standard offset.

It can (and is) run off of logs only.

I also have a standard issue pipe log lighter.

I also have the same gas assist the SP and OH both use.

There is no discernable taste difference using either, or, or all three combined.

That being said, I've used and/or eaten off of just about any cooker out there, with the exception of the Oylers.

Straight charcoal and pellet cookers don't provide the wood flavor I'm used to, but that doesn't make them bad- just different.

And they all (for the most part) produce great BBQ.

If I was looking for a smaller unit (and it appears you are) an OH CTO would be my first choice.

Why?

You can use it for vending, catering, and at the raunt. Small enough to move around, yet large enough to provide some volume.

If you were looking for a stationary unit for a Q based business my recommendation might be different.

YMMV, MDN
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jwood
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02 11 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BBQMan

So if you are looking for a stationary unit like I am which would be your choice.
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BBQMAN
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02 11 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite frankly, after Harry's review of the Oylers I'd look for a joint near me and check out an Oyler.

That review was great- up to the point where bashing hundreds of happy users with gas assist started. I place zero stock (see my gas assist comments above) on using gas as a scare tactic to sell brand "A".

For the money, a used OH or SP would be hard to beat. There are a lot of deals out there right now.

As far as buying new, OH has the best deals around.

I have a friend that owns both an OH and a SP, and he prefers the SP.

That being said, everyone's needs are different.

I cook a lot of whole hog, so the OH El-EDX with 18" deep shelves would be (for the money) at the top of my list.
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