Choosing a Smoker For Food Booth

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by nerb, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. nerb

    nerb Newbie

    Hey everyone,

    I'm wondering if anyone has any advice as to which smoker to purchase for a festival food booth looking to cook 30-40 racks of baby backs at once.  I'm looking to spend less than $1000 and have no problem doing some mods to a cheaper model.  I do a charcoal/wood chunk smoke.  No need for a trailer but wheels would be nice, and I'm leaning towards a vertical smoker.  All input is appreciated!

    Thanks!
     
  2. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    You probably won't find anything under $1000 that is worth a darn...if you do you'll have to put more money in it to get it fixed.

    Good luck though!
     
  3. nerb

    nerb Newbie

    Thanks for the reply but I think I will.  

    The brinkmann trailmaster vertical is $300 and I figure I can get 4 racks in each level, totalling 20 racks in the smoker.  I can buy two for $600...

    There are lots of good reviews on this model.  Any others I should consider?
     
  4. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    What did you end up getting? How has it worked out?
     
  5. nerb

    nerb Newbie

    I ended up getting that Brinkman and did about $100 worth of mods to it (wrap in insulated blanket, door latches, filling in gaps with silicone, 2x thermocouples, rib stands).  I was able to fit 3 full baby back racks on each level of the vertical smoker.  There are 5 levels so thats 15 racks of ribs.  I had two thermocouples fixed at the bottom level and the top level so I could see the temp dist in the cook chamber.  You NEED to use rib stands in order to get an even temp dist top to bottom.  Laying the ribs flat blocks the convection too much and I was seeing 70+ deg difference from top to bottom.  I was also using the water pan door to regulate air flow along with the chimney.  With those mods and a little practice to get the temps right, that thing cooked like a champ.  For around $400 you can put out 15 racks of baby backs in one batch, thats not bad.

    nerb
     
  6. duresk

    duresk Fire Starter

    I need to get some ribs racks. I did 8 racks the other day on my smoker and laying the flat really did mess with the temperature of the smoker. They turned out awesome, just required more babysitting of the smoker than I wanted.
     

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