Smaller fully loaded vs. Bigger less options

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Smaller fully loaded vs. Bigger less options

Postby saltyhog » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:18 am

Hey, I'm new to the forum but I've been cruising around for a while as I'm in the market for a smoker and I'm pretty much set on backwoods.

I am trying to decide on a smoker and I'm finding it very tough! I'll give a little background info so you guys will have a better understanding of my needs and can hopefully provide insight.

I am a young restaurant owner in Montreal, Canada who has had a southern inspired restaurant for three years now. We serve some BBQ at the restaurant i.e. pulled pork, ribs and I make homemade belly and back bacon for our hugely successful brunches. We get all this smoked food done using a combination of a small backyard smoker and our indoor oven to finish... not ideal!

So, I would like to purchase a real, rock solid smoker to do our smoking but I would also like to expand into catering and supplying other restaurants that id like to open in the near future. I am trying to decide on a fully loaded(gas,water,convection) competitor or piglet. Or a not as loaded(probably just convection) pro jr.

I will probably need to move this smoker around a few times as the business expands/changes so mobility is an issue and money is always an object!

Let me know what you think as I am dying to pull the trigger on this as I'm expecting the full two month wait time being in Canada and all.

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Re: Smaller fully loaded vs. Bigger less options

Postby abangs » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:05 am

Check your PM.
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Re: Smaller fully loaded vs. Bigger less options

Postby boar_d_laze » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:28 am

I'm not an expert in BWS, but perhaps I can help provide a conceptual framework.

People tend to overestimate the size of smoker they need. You can get a lot done in a cabinet the size of a Competitor.

C'mon! It's a business for heaven's sake, you know what your daily and weekly volumes are to the nearest pound. Since you give no indication as to what they are, how can you expect a meaningful recommendation?

I'm by no means an expert in BW Smokers, but the problem with nearly all cabinets is air flow. Figure out your needs based on volume, figure on the next size up so you won't have to fight bad flow, and you'll still be hopelessly confused. Call Mike, tell him what and how much you want to cook, how often you're going to be cooking it, and ASK.

If you, or someone else, will regularly and reliably check on the pit during every cook, you don't need auto-water. If there's a chance it will be overlooked, you do need it.

You do want a Guru or Stoker. They're relatively inexpensive ways of ensuring (up to a point, anyway) consistency. Consistency is a big piece of the commercial puzzle.

There's mobility and then there's mobility. If you're going to be schlepping the thing on and off a trailer every snow-free weekend, that's a lot different from planning on moving to a new space in eighteen months. If you don't know what you're going to be doing, neither does anyone else. On the other hand, mobility is mostly big casters and tie downs. Not particularly expensive, so why not?

I've heard good things about your restaurant (from where or whom I can't remember). Way to go. :D

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