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Commercial smoking

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
How many of you smoke commercially? I am working on getting set up to start smoking commercially. My vision is to start off with a mobile food truck and go from there. I have decided to build a rf trailer with a vertical for ribs and beans. I have been smoking for around 10 years now. I've figured out some good recipes for rubs and am just about done with a few sauces. I still have a lot of little things to figure out for sure. I need to get the smoker built so I can try out smoking with birch. Birch is the most available hardwood up here in Alaska. I hope it works well. If I have to ship up wood it is going to be hard to keep the price of a meal down to where people can't not buy a good sandwich. I have given myself two years to get things up and running. My wife has decided to go to nursing school and will be done in two years.
post #2 of 11

Sounds like a great idea. I wish you all the luck in the world!



post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks Al. I will try to keep you guys updated on the progress. I need to get better at that.
post #4 of 11

There don't seem to be too many commercial smokers here. Most everyone here is a backyard guys with the occasional club or church smoking team. 


There's another barbecue forum called The Smoke Ring that has more professional barbecue restaurant operators on it. Though the overall traffic is lower. 

post #5 of 11

Just verify local food truck ordinances. In the lower 48 they vary A LOT! In some areas all food prep, smoking and cooking, has to be done in a Brick and Mortar Commissary and only finishing and assembly is allowed on the truck. So no trailer smokers behind the truck or smokers on the truck. I have also seen guys with a big trailered smoker and sides in coolers, selling sandwiches across a folding table...Best of luck...JJ

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
It all depends on the permitting you get and your setup. If you have all the sinks and water supply/waste containment you don't need a commissary up here. Still have lots to iron out. Hope it all works like I think it should.
post #7 of 11
Here is a thread on Birch to help, but doesn't sound promising.

That being said with all the hunting and fishing where you are there has to be a wood source that works and is readily available?

Good luck! Keep us posted!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link. Sounds like I might just have to try it and see. I have tons of alder around. I don't care for it with pork. Works well with fish. Will keep you posted when I figure out a way to smoke with it. Can't stuff logs in my bradley.
post #9 of 11
Maybe will take some experimentation. I've never used alder but it sounds like it's pretty mild. If that's the cheaper wood you could mix it with something a little stronger and create your own taste. I'm pulling for you, it sounds like an intimidating, but fun path to go down!
post #10 of 11
My light research on trees native to Alaska looks like there isn't much in the way of good smoking options.

If your test smokes with birch don't pan out, my best recommendation is to find a good supplier for oak, hickory or pecan; and buy a commercially built smoker like a Bewley 800 or Oyler rotisserie.

These smokers are insulated, thermostatically controlled, and use a refractory firebox and are very fuel conservative. The Bewley 800 is supposed to be able to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on just a cord of wood per month. Down here in the lower 48, a cord of hickory goes for $150-175. Compare that to burning a cord or two per week in a more traditional tank style smoker.

These are both built in Dallas, Texas, so shipping could be expensive. But you can occasionally find them used in other parts of the country. The Bewleys start at about $25,000 icon_eek.gif

But the cost savings in the long run of importing a smaller amount of fuel will add up.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
JC thanks for the additional info. I really hope the birch pans out. Shipping anything to alaska is outrageous. I ordered a tool for work that was 18$. Shipping was almost 35$. Crazy. Will keep you posted. Birch sells for about 250 a chord. We are clearing some more pasture this year so there will be a few more acres of trees if birch works
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