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What would you do?

 
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BBQ Guy
BBQ Fan


Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 116
Location: Benton, KY

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24 18 12:26 am    Post subject: What would you do? Reply with quote

I have a very real possibility of owning a legendary BBQ place that has lost its way. It started as BBQ only roughly 70 years ago and the meat was cooked exclusively on pits on top of coals. The pits are still there but are no longer active - in fact, one of the pits has been converted to an incinerator. Two Southern Pride cookers have replaced those pits. The latest reviews (within the last 18 months or so) are really not all that positive on the BBQ. I learned to cook over live coals; however, i do realize how much labor is involved with that. Since around 2000, i have cooked exclusively with an offset smoker. So, here's my question: Would you spend the money on refurbishing the pits, or get a new (or used if it could be found) commercial sized offset smoker?
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Homemade smokehouse in my tobacco barn
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jess
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 26 Sep 2007
Posts: 1785
Location: Fl.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24 18 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all know there is a big difference between pit Q and other styles, most of the hogs I have done were on a block pit.
That said usually it seems when a place goes down hill it is not the pits fault but the pit master. A long term reputation can be a great help or a hard thing to live down.
Good luck with your venture...
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BBQ Guy
BBQ Fan


Joined: 25 Feb 2006
Posts: 116
Location: Benton, KY

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25 18 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very true! Thank you for your reply. I guess it just comes down to what the pitmaster is comfortable with since the end product is his.
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Blackstone 36" Griddle
LEM - .75 hp #12 & 15 lb stuffer
Homemade smokehouse in my tobacco barn
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Pit Boss
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2349
Location: Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27 18 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No matter what I say, it is always "easier said than done".

If you feel the food, and consequently the reputation, has suffered because of the change from the old pits, then by all means refurbish them! Yes they are more labor intensive, but the taste is totally different than what you get from an offset.

Offsets are great tools, and gas or electric assist pits are wonderful if used the right way (although I'm not a fan of Southern Pride...I'm an Ole Hickory guy, and can usually taste the difference believe it or not). Those pits can be useful for certain foods so I might not get rid of them right away. Keep them long enough to see if you need them. They could be useful for things like ribs, burnt ends, wings, etc.

The coal/direct heat can be used for pork...whatever you would traditionally cook on them (whole hogs for me). But as I stated above...the direct heat method presents a completely different end flavor than offset or rotisserie type pits.

Sounds like a great opportunity if you proceed cautiously.
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CrazyChef
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 12 Jul 2007
Posts: 1737
Location: Spencer, MA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06 18 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like it's been said before, "It's the cook, not the cooker". You can get a GC at a Q comp with a $25 el cheapo smoker you bought off of Craigslist, and you can come in DAL with a $15,000 custom Jambo rig. If you can make good Q, and the reputation has the ability to be saved, then you're good with the existing equipment to start. I would definitely return the incinerator back to it's original state though.
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