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Propane outdoor steam tables

 
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G Spot BBQ
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Joined: 03 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25 15 6:01 am    Post subject: Propane outdoor steam tables Reply with quote

I don't like using chaffing dishes and fuels outdoors. Pain in the butt baby sitting the fuel making sure they don't go out in the wind and changing them out when they run out. I don't have time to constantly check them when the buffet line is going. Not to mention temp control is non existent.

Got me to thinking about propane steam table that are designed for being out doors and can run on a 20lb propane tank. Been searching with Google but don't really come up with anything. Anyone have any ideas?
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Quietman
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28 15 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big John's makes three and four bay steam tables, as well as single pan(countertop) units that are propane fired. We use many of them. NOT CHEAP, but made to work the way we need them to. Quality workmanship.
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G Spot BBQ
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 28 15 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quietman wrote:
Big John's makes three and four bay steam tables, as well as single pan(countertop) units that are propane fired. We use many of them. NOT CHEAP, but made to work the way we need them to. Quality workmanship.

Thank you. Finally ran across their web site yesterday. You're right not cheap. I have a outdoor wedding coming up in August so I think I will order the 3 bay table from them. I called around a no one rents them. So maybe I will rent mine when not using it to help defer the cost.
I'm not going to baby sit chafing pans outdoors again.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30 15 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once saw a vendor take an old, broken gas 10[?] bay table, put a few gallons of water in it, and put a turkey fryer base under entire unit to heat the water - worked great!! He simply put covers and pans in the bay's he didnt need.
Check craigslist etc....maybe get into something big enough, cheap!
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G Spot BBQ
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Joined: 03 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01 15 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea Tony and doing something like that crossed my mind. I have looked at used gas tables for that purpose. Two problems I found is that they aren't very portable friendly.
Also not cheap either. Most I've run across that are at least 3 or more bays are around $700. So by the time you convert it and buy the propane gas burner I'm getting close enough to just buy the one that is manufactured for the purpose of being portable and to work outdoors.
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G Spot BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10 15 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thought I'd revisit this. I found a old 220 volt 3 bay steam table that I can pick up for $200. So now I'm thinking about converting it to propane. This is the link to the exact unit.
http://www.dukemfg.com/products/product.aspx?part=EP303SW-208-1&category=WEBSITE_STEAM_AEROHOT_SEALED_WELL

I don't care for the idea of a turkey fryer or something like it sitting underneath it. People are going to be walking around the table likely bumping it and I don't want the possibility of something tipping over.

Also I like to keep things looking like they are made for purpose and not something the 3 stooges put together.
So I came across this site with these custom pipe burners. Basically a 44" long pipe with 36 inches of flame. This would span the entire bottom of the 3 bays nearly perfectly.
Here is a pic of what I'm talking about.




My question is what btu should I be looking at? I don't want too much burner so that it boils water when low and I want enough to steam it in a short period of time.

I could permanetly mount this pipe burner up underneath the shroud of the table completely safe and out of the way and protected from the wind.

According to the guy I talked to with a low pressure regulator and a adjustable needle valve the burner would crank out about 100,000 btu on high and around 30 to 40 on low.

Thoughts anyone?
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RodinBangkok
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Joined: 30 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10 15 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We make our own tanks, tables, the works.

For a 26 x 13 x 14 D tank we use a small round cast iron 4 inch burner.

We weld a buffer plate on the bottom of the tank, 1mm steel 8x12 inch or there about over where the burner center is.

That little burner will get about 3 inches of water up to temp in less than 15 minutes, with all the pans in place it will stay at temp with just the pilot light left on most of the time depending on your air temp.

So I think you are way too high with your estimated requirements.

I’d try a small burner first, really don’t think you need one to go the full length of the table just a buffer plate and a small one in the center.
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G Spot BBQ
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10 15 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. Not sure what you mean by a buffer plate. In addition I don't really have the tools or know how to do much if any fabrication on my own.
I'm more of a some assembly required type of guy.
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RodinBangkok
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 10 15 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plate is probably best described as a diffuser plate of sorts. It helps distribute the heat across its surface and is in contact with the bottom of the tank. You can probably do without it.
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Cayman
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Joined: 02 Jul 2009
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Location: Alabama

PostPosted: Tue Jul 14 15 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've got 2 of the Big John's 4 bay portable steam tables and they work great. They heat up quickly and use very little propane, partly because once they heat up, you have to turn the temp down or it becomes too hot to touch...but a great and sturdy steam table.
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G Spot BBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14 15 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally took the plunge and ordered a 3 bay table from Big Johns. Should be here in a day or two. Looking forward to getting it. Cooking for a softball tournament this coming weekend of about 60 people so I can put it to work right away.
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