Is 120 gallon tank large enough???????

Discussion in 'Reverse Flow' started by dyce51, May 5, 2013.

  1. dyce51

    dyce51 Fire Starter

    I am in the beginning stages of building a BBQ Concession/Catering trailer. I am building one styled after the Southern Yankee BBQ Shack trailers. The trailer I have is a 14' long (I may extend it a bit and move the axles not too sure yet) The split up I'm thinking is 5' for the smoker open area and 9' for the enclosed kitchen area. I'm planning to build my own smoker/cooker but not sure what size to go with. I'm leaning toward using a 120 gallon compressor tank (74"L and 29"D) with an offset firebox reverse flow design. Do you guys think the 120 gallon tank will be too small?? That 2146 sq cooking area on 1 shelf and slightly less on the upper shelf so with 2 cook shelves in it thats around 4000 sq cooking area. (top shelf removable so I can still roast a pig as well.) Looking at doing a few local Festivals and also Catering.

    I already talked to the health dept and they say as long as the materials for the cooker are non-porous and have not been used for chemicals or petroleum based products I should be ok.  I do have to submit detailed drawings and a list of materials for the build to them for their approval. 
  2. dyce51

    dyce51 Fire Starter

    I have seen so many people build a smoker out of a 250gallon + tank and that made me wonder if I am under shooting it by looking at the 120 gallon tank.

    Like I said I am still on the drawing board right now I have to submit all my drawings of the cooker, the trailer floor plan, plumbing layout with backflow preventers and electric layout with 30 amp service panel to the health dept for approval before I can start the build. I want to make sure I have approval before I start throwing money at this project.
  3. I guess it all depends what your cooking. If doing butts and brisket, the 120 is plenty big. But for ribs and chicken you need a lot of cooking surface.

    With that said, my friends that have the most success in BBQ food service always pre-cook the food the day before. By doing this, you can go with a smaller cooker. And believe it or not, quality actually goes up.
  4. dyce51

    dyce51 Fire Starter

    Well my menu consists of pulled pork, pulled beef, pulled chicken, ribs, hot dogs and burgers meat wise.....but would like to do a whole pig every now and then as well.
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You need to have more than one cooker / smoker to accommodate  that range of protein....  Different temps, times...   
  6. Id go 250,
  7. dyce51

    dyce51 Fire Starter

    ok I will look for a 250 rather than the 120.....thanks for the help!!
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  8. dyce51

    dyce51 Fire Starter

    OK I found a 250 gallon tank......Is $150 a decent price for a scrap 250 gal tank??
  9. Look it over good for rust pitting, you dont want to spend all the effort and money and have a cooker with pits all over it. If its in real good shape, that a decent price.   It something like 7 ft long and 30 inches wide, right?
  10. dyce51

    dyce51 Fire Starter

    I called a recycling place in the North West (C & R recycling in Pioneer, Ohio) corner of Ohio and they said they have several to choose from. He said 250's are $150 and I can pick out which one I want he says it weighs 485lbs. is just over 7' long about 30" round. So since I have a choice I plan on picking the best looking one I can find.
    Last edited: May 13, 2013

Share This Page