Trailer Smokers, How Do You...

Discussion in 'Catering & Large Group Gatherings' started by bigsyd, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. bigsyd

    bigsyd Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    I'm curious to know how those with Food Trucks and/or Trailer Smokers handle the long cook times required for smoking meats? Do you/they setup early where you'll be serving?

    I can understand grilling foods in these situations. But let's say you are contracted to provide smoked meats at an event (pulled pork, brisket, ribs, etc). Some meats are going to take 5 to 16 hours to smoke. However, you don't have access to the event location 5 to 16 hours ahead of the event time.

    Do you smoke elsewhere and then show up while the meats are in a rest period? I want to be at the serving location so they can catch that smoke and aroma in the air. Do you start to cook somewhere else and drive down the road with the smoker still doing its thing (that could be a disaster). Optimally, It would be nice to have access to the serving location hours in advance but that's not always the case. What If I wanted to do a Pop-up type of thing? How are you guys handling the mobile catering and serving?

    I'd be curious to hear some of your routines and processes.

  2. bigsyd

    bigsyd Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Good Morning. Any help regarding this question is highly appreciated.
  3. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    well.. obviously your going to have to cook ahead of time if you can't get in the day before to set up and start cooking... So then you just get in as early as possible and fire the smoker up to reheat food ... or just let it run so people can see and smell smoke... have a different plan for reheating ... about all I can think of...
  4. bigsyd

    bigsyd Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Makes sense to me. I'm guessing the key is going to be gaining early access.
  5. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have most always had early access to event sites so it's never been much of a problem for me. Pulled pork I always have vac sealed and frozen ready to go. I try to keep 30lbs of pulled pork in the freezer at all times. Ribs I have always done on site and that is one of my most requested smoked items. Briskets I have done the day before at home and then reheated at the site the next day. Turkey breast, chicken, beef or pork tenderloin have always been done on site.

    I have my own 3 bay portable propane fired steam table so I can set it up and get it warming whenever I need to. No waiting to get access to a building to plug into power or looking for extension cords. Roasting pans and other electric warming devices draw too much power and have a tendency to trip breakers.
    I found chafing pans to be a pain always making sure they stay lit outdoors and swapping out empty fuel cans and they never seemed to keep food warm enough to my liking.

    There is something to be learned at any event you do and at each one you will be a little bit better organized and confident then you were for the one before.
    bigsyd likes this.
  6. bigsyd

    bigsyd Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Now that is the type of information I was looking for. You've giving me some clarity as I was somewhat stuck putting my plan together.

    To be able to do Pop-ups and some catering, I think a lot of smoking will be required to be done in advance. I'm so stuck on the way my BBQ taste fresh off the smoker. That is the experience and product I want to push. However, in some cases some things will have to be reheats. I think its going to boil down to creative solutions.

    Thanks for your reply.
  7. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's the realization I came too was somethings could not be cooked on site due to time constraints. Pulled pork is one of those items that does not suffer at all from rewarming. I just thaw it out and throw it in a foil pan add a little juice cover and start rewarming in the smoker if I have room or it goes right to the steam table.

    Briskets actually have little noticeable difference served the next day rewarmed. I do not slice until ready to serve however.
    Honestly most people would never know the difference if you smoked it the day before or not.
  8. bigsyd

    bigsyd Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Cool. Thanks for this information and confirmation.
  9. bgingras

    bgingras Fire Starter

    What temp do you bring your briskets back up to? Are you bringing them back to temp in the smoker?
    bigsyd likes this.

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