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starting a food booth

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

hi everyone i have been smoking for a few years now and i built my first bbq last spring . It worked pritty good but the more i got into smoking i knew it wasn't the right bbq for what i wanted to do. so i sold it this winter and am in the middle of building a doubble barrel  reverse flow smoker. me and a friend love smoking so much that we have decided to try selling pulled pork and brisket and all the sides at big events. im just wondering if there is any money to be made doing this. being here in canada i have not noticed to many people selling this type of food . there is mostly just hamburgers poutine and sausages. we were also concidering doing catering for weadings and stuff like that. we were going to try to cook all our meat fresh but we are not sure how many people to cook for. if we cook 5 pork butts and only sell 2 then we arn't making any money so if anyone has any advice i would appreciate it thanks!!!


this is the old smoker i got some great plans for the new one!!!

post #2 of 32
Dude one picture ? Tease!
post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 

ohhh just wait im in the middle of a doubble barrel reverse flow smoker bbq build!!!! when im done ill show some good pics

post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
doubble barrel.png 2,003k .png file






doubble barrel 2.png 1,790k .png file



well there it is finally done!!!! i haven't had any replies so I'm not sure how this will work lol guess I'm kind of a loner in here ha ha oh well... anyways ill be doing some cooking on Sunday and will be sure to show some pictures of how it works . if you have any great side recipes or main dishes that would be great we are lining up some events and festivals now. so far we will be serving 

Sides:                       smoked mac and cheese , baked beans and slaw.

Main dishes:             pulled pork or brisket on a bun

optional:                   bacon wrapped poppers or sausage or water chestnuts asparagus , kabobs, and foot longs


What do you think????? i could use some opinions . if you have any better ideas or advice that would be great.

post #5 of 32

That's a nice looking smoker guy. I too have been wondering the same thing except maybe a roadside stand. I live on a high traffic highway and good food in my area is kind of scarce. I do quite a bit of catering but there seems to be very little money in catering to me. I would like to have a roadside BBQ shack on Friday's and Saturdays. I have almost all the equipment I need. I need to check with the health department to see if any specific regulations apply to such a set up and I need the nerve to get started. I have a portable propane powered steam table that holds 5 hotel pans, a portable fryer, several smokers and a propane powered flat grill. I really need a generator and some good refrigeration. I have plenty of good coolers though. I also have a really nice easy up 10X10 tent with screens all around. I would like/hope to earn enough to buy myself a nice BBQ trailer. I have several recipes that i get very good reviews about. PM me and i will share them with you. Some I got off here, some are my own and some are old family recipes.

post #6 of 32

Matt..... evening.... beautiful build.... I really like the design....   Question about air inlets to the firebox....  are there some I can't see ??

Looks a little lacking on fresh air inlets....    Dave



post #7 of 32

Dave, it looks to me like there are some under the doors. The pic is kind of small and my eyesight ain't what it used to be from years of welding but it looks like it to me.

post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 

ya i have a 3 inch air inlet just underneath the doors.we tried it out last weekend and it seemed to work well i have some food pics ill post soon. it works well but we are entering an event that has 10000 people plus and its 3 days long. wow I'm scared ha ha we are the only BBQ style food. but we cant get in until 8 am and it took like 10 hrs to cook a pork butt  so the food wont be ready by 10 or 11 so I'm just not sure how I'm going to pull that off. I'm thinking of wrapping it up in foil right off the bat to speed up the cooking and I'm trying to talk the event planner into letting us in around 5 am so that should help. if i could get a 8 lb pork but done and pulled in 6 hrs i would be happy. and ya Mike i would be happy to share some of the advise i have got and recipes. i cant for the life of me find a good BBQ sauce recipe. and one thing i did find out is you need 3 sinks and water and some kind of hot water. I'm in the same boat as you bro . I'm just going for it i herd of people making up to 12000 bucks at events just selling burgers and fries. I'm not sure how true that is but screw it you just have to grow some balls and fallow your dream!!!! ha ha 

post #9 of 32

Matt, I have done pulled pork for large crowds many times and the way I do it is. Smoke @ 275-300 for 2-3hrs then foil with 3 quarters apple juice, 1 quarter apple cider vinegar till IT is around 205 pull and let rest in coolers for min of 1 hr before pulling (the longer the better). This way will cut down your cook time a lot and still have great product. 

post #10 of 32

Awesome smoker

post #11 of 32

can you cook a couple buts and packers the day before and reheat for the lunch crowd ?


they will see and smell the meat you put on in the morning and wont know the difference 




post #12 of 32

Before you get to far into your venture check with your local health department. SOme states and countys have many regulations surrounding vending or selling food.

Nice looking Rig



post #13 of 32

That is one Fine Smoker. Best of Luck...I am going to assume our Canadian brethren like their Q Sweet like us East Coast Yankee's...BUT...To cover all your bases, I would use a Tangy Finishing Sauce mixed " in " the Pork and a Sweet BBQ Sauce to Top the Sandwich or Plate of Meat. Here is what I use, the two compliment each other...


BTW...Don't over look the POWER of introducing the New with the Familiar...Pulled Pork or Chopped Brisket POUTINE will Sell...JJ


JJ's Finishing Sauce (Tangy)


2C Apple Cider Vinegar

2T Worcestershire Sauce or more to taste

1/4C Brown Sugar

1T Smoked Paprika

2 tsp Granulated Garlic

2 tsp Granulated Onion

2 tsp Fine Grind Black Pepper

1 tsp Celery Salt

1 tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chipotle powder. Add more if you like Heat.

1/2 tsp Grnd Allspice


Combine all and whisk well. Let rest, at room temp, 30 minutes for the flavors to meld together.



KC Bubba Q Juice


2C Ketchup

1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)

1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar

1/2C Molasses

2C Dark Brn Sugar

1T Tomato Paste

1T Your Rub

1-2tsp Liquid Smoke

1tsp Worcestershire Sauce


Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.

Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

Makes 3 1/2 Cups.




post #14 of 32

Nice, you may wamt to makea few small holes above the fire at the level of the Throay (opening going into the Smoke Chamber. This will alow more constant movement of heat and smoke through the Smoker.


Q-view as you proceed...

post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 

hey thanks for all the help guys. we did our first event. it was a rhubarb festival. and Friday night it was open for like 3 hours so we got some food ready and ended up breaking even because the crowed wasn't as big as we thought. being a bit bummed out we decided to cut back on the amount of meat to sell on Saturday so we didn't have to trough any meat out. well SE sold out at like 11 am and had to turn people away until we got more meat cooked. but Sunday we nailed it right on just enough food . we thought we could handle the work load with 3 of us and really we needed 4 or 5 . we had to get up at 2 am to get the smoker going and put the meat on and I'm telling you i was a tired boy by the end of the weekend . I'm not sure what the heck i can do to speed up the process and still have a great product??? has anyone ever used a pressure smoker?/ so in the end we made enough money to try a few more events. i seen lots of potential. our next one is on July 27 Th

post #16 of 32
I kno of a guy who would smoke his product then freeze it until the event then just bring it back up to temp day of. I'm excited for you and hope it works out. I want to do the same thing but lack a big enough smoker to do the events. Best of luck to you

post #17 of 32

I think your key is having some done and frozen on site and ready, and then try to cook perfect and if you run short boom you have more in 10-15 minutes.  I have been looking into doing this for awhile now and getting a business plan together, but having some extra frozen and vacuum sealed that can be reheated in hot water is key.  Also, I wouldn't see the need to throw meat out, if you know you are going to run long package it and get it cooled within the health departments regs and use it next time.  

post #18 of 32

Oh and killer double barrel!  Would love to see more pics of the build.  

post #19 of 32
Thread Starter 

ya so i have done 2 events now and the first to were awesome and we made money its just hard because i put in 3 times the hours and money into food cost then the guy buying a 3 dollar bag of potatoes and selling pouting for 6 bucks a piece. we sell pork on a bun 6 bucks brisket on a bun 7 bucks and half rack 8 bucks. are our prices OK???  and another thing we dint have a food truck so we have to lug everything around and try to rub the meat in our 10 x 20 tent and it just doesn't look good. but then again we sold 300 lbs of meat in 1 day and had nothing but good reviews!!!! 2Nd event and we made the news paper!!!! woo hoo . everyone thinks it is so easy to do what we are doing but im telling you its a lot of work. we are up at 3 am putting food on for noon hour then having to stay up to keep the fire going and work till midnight and do it all over again for a 3 day event. and i work a full time job durring the week. its crazy but i have a Passion for this and am not going to give up. i see so much potential to make money doing what i love to do.   

post #20 of 32

matthews, evening......  I ran a charter business and I loved it.....  It wasn't work....  Same deal selling BBQ.... Sell good food, get great reviews and it ain't work......  2thumbs.gif



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