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I need to build a steam table

mikedixon

Smoke Blower
129
11
Joined Jun 21, 2009
 After this past weekend, trying to sell fajitas in middle Tennessee, (without much luck mind you, we only sold 8, but even the BBQ guys weren't selling anything), I have come to the conclusion, we need a steam table. I may fabricate one so I can make exactly what I want. I know I want propane burners, and probably pneumatic tires so we can roll it in the grass and gravels easy, and I want it to hold 3 hotel pans, and I want it to be insulated on the sides, and lightweight enough for my wife and I to load in the back of my truck, and also have a drain in it. My problem is deciding what burners to use. I thought about using one of the 3 burner cast iron stoves like they sell at Northern Tools, and make a cart to mount it and the actual water "tank". That would make it easy to break down, and easy for 1 person to load. I have decided we need a steam table, because Sterno, and chafing dishes are not keeping the food at a temp I am comfortable with. I am seriously considering trying to set up as a vendor at bike week 2011, and some of the big car shows and other events in the south eastern US, so that means health dept inspections and such, so I want a good rig. Any suggestions on burners, design, etc?
 

meateater

Legendary Pitmaster
SMF Premier Member
8,984
61
Joined Oct 17, 2009
I would look at restaurant supply company's before trying a build, maybe even restaurant salvage places, might find something you can mount on a trailer to make it easier.
 

mikedixon

Smoke Blower
129
11
Joined Jun 21, 2009
Check here, I see them all the time and they ship... I buy a lot of items there,  the warehouse is only about 2 miles from my house.

I know they are a reputable business.

http://www.equip-bid.com/cgi-bin/mncal.cgi?kcdrop
You may get a nasty email from my wife for showing me another website to feed my cooking obsession. Just ignore it lol. Actually, thanks for the link. I saw some stuff on there I could use. I didn't see any steam tables, but I will check back from time to time.
 

ecducit

Newbie
24
10
Joined Jul 26, 2010
 After this past weekend, trying to sell fajitas in middle Tennessee, (without much luck mind you, we only sold 8, but even the BBQ guys weren't selling anything), I have come to the conclusion, we need a steam table. I may fabricate one so I can make exactly what I want. I know I want propane burners, and probably pneumatic tires so we can roll it in the grass and gravels easy, and I want it to hold 3 hotel pans, and I want it to be insulated on the sides, and lightweight enough for my wife and I to load in the back of my truck, and also have a drain in it. My problem is deciding what burners to use. I thought about using one of the 3 burner cast iron stoves like they sell at Northern Tools, and make a cart to mount it and the actual water "tank". That would make it easy to break down, and easy for 1 person to load. I have decided we need a steam table, because Sterno, and chafing dishes are not keeping the food at a temp I am comfortable with. I am seriously considering trying to set up as a vendor at bike week 2011, and some of the big car shows and other events in the south eastern US, so that means health dept inspections and such, so I want a good rig. Any suggestions on burners, design, etc?
I occasionally work on restaurant gas steam tables but it's been awhile, since not many restaurants use gas heated steam wells (most are electric).

The burners on those restaurant units aren't much more than a pilot sized burner per pan to keep the water hot.  Of course, there's no issues with those from outdoor elements such as wind that would steal your heat.  If you were to acquire one of those units, you'd probably have to modify it with larger burners to compensate for those breezy outdoor occasions.

I've never dealt with improvising with aftermarket burners, but as I think about what you're wanting,  you'd want three separate burners and gas valves for each pan.  The burners need only be large enough to get the water up to temp in some timely fashion but small enough to just keep it there without boiling the water.
 

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