Aspiring Joint Owner Commercial use Question

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Aspiring Joint Owner Commercial use Question

Postby Chance Masters » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:26 am


Looking for information from any commercial users out there...

Here is my plan ( in steps ) to eventually own a brick and mortar BBQ joint.

#1 : Buy an authentic smoker that does not have to be "babysat" to learn the nuances of smoker. Smoker should be small enough to sit in backyard but be easily transportable to a mobile trailer or eventually to a restaurant.

#2 : Start by offering local restaurants pulled pork or full racks or brisket that I have prepared or find a restaurant to offer these items exclusively to.

#3 Start a mobile vending/catering operation then use as stepping stone to own a small take-out joint.

Some questions:

#1 Can I use a charcoal or wood only smoker in a commercial application or does it have to be gas ?

#2 How big of a concern will it be to put a smoker (coal or gas) into an existing kitchen ? would it need new venting ? a new chimney? an ansul system?

Thanks for any input..BTW im in Michigan ( for health code requirement ?'s)

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Postby Captain-que » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:44 am

You're kind of talking abut two separate animals...backyard and commercial kitchen are very different. You wouldn't want to pay a five digit figure for a backyard smoker, but you might have to do that for a large commercial cooker that is allowed in an indoor setting. Especially if you are in the more populous south east Michigan, where codes are fairly strict.

In my neck of the woods, none of the current BWS models would be acceptable for an indoor setting. They require stainless interiors, smoke evacuation fans, sanitation certification and more.

I personally would recommend that you get yourself a good smoker and learn to use it well. A Fatboy is my personal choice, but others like the Party. If you want to cook higher volume and use it for a mobile kitchen, the Pro JR. is a very nice option. Once you understand the operation, you can look toward what you will need for a commercial operation.

To answer your questions:
1. Gas or wood/charcoal will depend on your local codes. There are cities that are now requiring gas for the main heat source.

2. This also depends on your city/county/state codes. They may require all of the venting, NSF certification, UL registration and in some places even require you to have a 20,000 + pollution control device installed in your chimney. (required in NYC and other cities for wood burning pits)

Have fun. I've done the restaurant thing...challenging and can be fun, but it's a lot of killer work!
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Postby smokinit » Sun Apr 12, 2009 12:31 pm

I have seen Backwoods under a covered porch or awning outside a restaurant. If you are going to do some volume cooking and still want the unit to be mobile I would bolt it to a small trailer and get one that can produce the volume you want. a Competitor on up is were I would start. I am doing now pretty much what you are about to do except the restaurant thing. PM me if you want to talk further.
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