Hey guys and gal's
Earlier this month a friend crushed his leg and has no income. All of us got together and I proposed a number of benefit cooks to help keep his bills paid until his disability gets started. Problem has come with the fact that my little bbq grillware vertical smoker just doesn’t do chicken parts well as it only has 4 racks a lot of wasted space, and dries out chicken quarters.
I have serviced commercial kitchens for a decade. and even the ole hickory smokers I maintain for sticky fingers waste more energy than produce profit with chicken parts (wings). Here is my working concept to solve this issue.
I started with a lockwood CA-60-RR-25 dough retarder from a subway I closed out. It has angle brackets that slip into joints every inch to maximize storage. It is 60 inches tall 22 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Yes it is food service grade aluminium, but this is meant to act as a working concept so that my welder can see how I want these units designed.
I called up my welder and told him to come to the shop so we could fab out some racks to fill this thing. We stumbled upon a box of hotel pan lids that fit perfectly. they are good quality stainless and very stout. So why fab racks if these work. The lids have a conical depression in the center which I bored a 1/2 inch hole in to allow drainage into the drip pan.
The drip pan well you guessed it, is a hotel pan 3 liter capacity sets 5 inches from the burner. which I am gonna tell you produces a lot of steam and doesn’t have to be emptied as it steams off as fast as it collects.
Next time to fab the chimney. Yep you guessed it I had an ole rotted out charcoal barrel grill that had a 4 inch round 12 inch chimney coming off the side of it that bolts on. I drew out the pattern cut the hole and attached it to the box. Yes it is too small and we are making a 6 inch that will bolt on the same way, but our first cook was scheduled to be 1/23/2016
Now installed is a propane 120,000 btu cast iron burner @ 11 inch wc I pulled from a vulcan cast iron griddle that I pulled from a restaurant that used that griddle for more than 25 years. attached to it is a marshall 360 high pressure regulator. Yep you guess right every time.... eats small tanks of propane as a snack. I get 6 maybe 8 hours off of one depending on the box temp, but now we are cooking ! Gave it a 4 hr seasoning run with steam and hickory.
Now we have a concept and with no soot its first test run was today. First run 40 lb of leg quarters ( $4.79 per 10 lb bag ) brine soaked in equal parts salt and sugar water sage and molasses. Even spacing out chicken drastically it easily holds 7 quarters per plate. So barely dented the twelve racks, but what am I gonna do with 80 lb of smoked chicken other than grow breast ?
Box temp 250 with the chimney blowing steam like a whistle. All plates draining hard as they can though each other straight into the drip pan in which I had 1 liter of water in and a beer just to make sure. Now I had not explained the chip box yet so just hold on.
Now I cut the door to the piano hinge so I could empty drippings and refill chips if needed after installing the chimney. While seasoning I found that when I opened the bottom section of door the flames would decrease in size. Yep I was drawing too much air in through the burner lifting the flame. So i cut a 3 inch hole in the bottom door and installed a damper. Utilizing my 4 $3.29 ace hardware door bolts and fire rope sealed its draw.
Ohh yeah, the chip box........ well I had figured on using a stainless chip box I have for my coal smoker. but its small. Turned around and found the perfect fit. On my porch sets the wifeys baby. A 5 gallon autofill electro freeze slush machine from one of my sonics which she and her friends use frozen drinks of course. On it is the stainless drip box 4x4x10 inch. She wont miss this one we have a warehouse full of this crap.
Ohh back to the golden brown chicken. mmmm just look at the fats caramelizing on the stainless pans in which they set. 6 hours and I gotta say its perfect (for us) no after 6 hrs its not dry by no means. It was steamed, bones pulled right out as if boiled.
Now he can see what I want to build only double wall stainless with force draft burner and honeywell variable flow gas valve from that im gonna pull from an damaged edge 60 pizza oven that will guarantee box temp.