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Best reheating method for Que in restaraunt situation


Joined Sep 8, 2010
I am fairly new to the website and to smoking meat in general. I was going to go to culinary school until I started BBQing. Now I am thinking about honing my skills and opening a small BBQ take out joint. My question is about the reheat method for the meats. Do I cook the meats fully then throw them on the grill before I serve them? Are there any special methods I should know about or tips that would help my Que leave the restaraunt fresh? You guys and gals are great.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jun 5, 2009
Welcome to the forum. There are many methods you could use, but I guess my first question would be if you are running a BBQ joint why not serve what you cook fresh that day? Idealy if you are serving lunch you would start your cooking nice and early in the morning and be ready to serve the lunch hour.

If you have to re-heat, most restraunt set ups would have a steam table set up to heat and keep food warm. You could use hotel pans in a steamer. You could use hotel pans in an oven. You could use a smoker or grill running low and foil wrap the meat..... ect. ect.

Basically you want to heat at a low 200° or so with some moisture present to help keep it moist. If you haven't ran a resteraunt before I would suggest sticking with culinary school, it will give you the knowladge you need to succesfuly cook, plan, and run your own place. There is soooo much more involved than just putting food on a plate. I wish you best of luck, and we will answer what questions we can.


Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jan 6, 2006
Hey Moose. I would agree if you are already going to school then finish that and then consider your options. I just started my bbq joint this past summer and continue to hone my equipment menu and processes. Doesn't sound like the best business plan but I plan on building it like I cook low and slow. If I were to start again I would do things in this order.

Without question the single most important thing is doing a business plan. Things like Start up cost, Financing. target market. Marketing, competition, Operation costs, suppliers, are issues that should be looked at in a business plan. I did do a business plan but I must say that I have the luxury of building slow because I am just doing it part time and there is no real competition where I am as far as BBQ goes. The reason is that BBQ joints are not a popular thing here yet in my part of canada so the client base must be developed slowly.Alot of people didn't know what pulled pork was when I started.   

 Once you have done this or as you develop your biz plan you can 

1. Get a relatively set menu.

2. Get the rig and equipment that is going to allow you to prepare your food as efficiently as possible. including reheating

3. Get your coolers and freezer situation figured out.

4. Find a good location

Good luck and I hope this helps you a bit,  


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Aug 24, 2007
First, you cannot use a steam table to reheat food.  Violation of the foodcode they don't have the therm to get the meat back up in time.

A hot table can be used in certain instances, but a hot table has a lot more therm then a steam table.  Reheat has to come to 165 F in less then 4 hours to meet the standard.

You want a steamer or combi oven for the best reheats.  Nice equiment.

Barring a used steamer or combi... next best thing is a convection oven set to 325 F put one cup of water in the bottom of the 4 inch hotel pan load with the chilled bbq.  Cover with commercial foil and bring on up to 165 F  should take 1.75 hours.

Cooking bbq meats for reheat you would not stop early.  Cook them all the way to done.  You can pull them earlier before they start the fall apart stage, but have them done.  BBQ chicken is always cooked all the way to the finish

None barbeque meats can be cooked short of done if the plan is to finish the cooking process later.  But they should only be cooked short of done if a finishing roasting or other cooking method is going to be used.  They should not be retherm'd in a steam table or hot table.  Also realize that any reheat even of a meat that was cooked short should go to 165 F (155 F under the 2009 code) so if you are planning on serving medium rare or rare it is not an option to stop.

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