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     ectofix updated 2 years, 7 months ago 1 Member · 7 Posts
  • guest

    September 30, 2017 at 12:00 am

    In another clip we had referenced a smoker.  I was wondering if others had worked on any.  Every one I have worked on was stripped and bypassed of controls and was being used manually. Often with a added wood box fire and manually firing it but with the electrical rotating racks still functioning. And placed outside of the kitchen.



  • ectofix - Nashville

    September 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    NOW…a story:


    My local BBQ joint had some flatbed electric ones I was once called upon to repair.  The owner said that this one smoker had quit heating and the “knockers” needed to be replaced again.  I wasn’t overly familiar with smokers, so I thought that was something new which I’d learn during this service call.  What a KNOCKER is and how it works.


    Come to find out – he was talking about the contactors.


  • ectofix - Nashville

    September 30, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    When I was in the field, I might’ve worked on maybe one smoker a year.  Mostly gas-fired.  A few with a Ferris wheel-type rotating rack.


    A typical smoker’s controls are as basic as it gets.  An ON/OFF switch and a thermostat.  Maybe a motorized vent to evacuate the smoke before opening the door.  I never encountered any that had their controls or heating components bypassed.


    NOW aside from those behemoth, relay logic (or PLC) controlled smokers that I’d alluded to in the other post, we DO have a restaurant possessing a smallish “Ole Hickory Pits” brand gas-fired smoker.  It’s located inside and under a hood.

    My understanding is the gas system quit working for awhile (before my time) – until our shop finally fixed it.  However, that particular smoker actually had what was called a “competition switch” – which disabled the gas feature if used in a BBQ competition environment.  So it was designed to work on just wood and charcoal for those occasions.

  • fixbear - ADK NY

    October 1, 2017 at 4:56 am

    True Pitmasters are a rare breed of person..  They like to have their pit just so and are always striving for something a little better.  I have seen some come and go due to the lack of profitability.  And I love a good brisket or pork butt done right.  But they don’t seem to make it in the lower Adirondacks. The closest thing now is in the capital district.  A small chain called Dinosaur that .takes smoking serious.  They have had 2 fires in the kitchen.  High tech automated smokers.  But they are always crowded. Still not as good as down south.  Or what I’ve made myself.  Got to be the marketing.  They do put meat in today for overnight smoking for tomorrow. . And I believe it’s unattended. Hence the quality.  And Bagged sawdust for the automation.


    Another house is in a low income area, converted 2 story house to a take out restaurant with a home built smoker and a very talented pit-master. I’ve had pulled pork, brisket, shredded chicken from him and all were super. They are willing to pay a premium to our local loggers for hickory..


    So, are the commercially made automatics a good thing or not.  I do believe that the best meat comes from some one willing to put in the time and tend to it. However, the rotating racks sound like a big improvement to hand moving large hunks around by hand.  Especially in the later stages.  And if a establishment has a labor problem, autos seem to fill that bill.


    Now the other side.  Cured meats!  This side kind of mandates autos with recording devices.  FDA is big on records for produced food products. It has made many quit the business trying to keep up. Having  to provide a private office with full , bathroom, and pay a inspector.  Kind of drove out all the good small packers.  Five in my area alone. That and prepacked meat. 


    Now we are starting to see high end supermarkets installing smokers and producing both cured  and uncured meats.  I have seen machines that are about 3 ft by 3 ft by 4 ft up to 6 X 6 X 20.  And any time you work on one you will smell like smoke. As will your truck for weeks.


    So, what have you seen out there.

  • ectofix - Nashville

    October 1, 2017 at 5:17 am


  • fixbear - ADK NY

    October 1, 2017 at 5:23 am

    Would that be a Nova?  Be careful of zip locks for thermaliization. They are toxic.  Boil bags are a different compound.  I use a SV1 and a Vacmaster chamber vac. Boil bags are under 3 cents up to 30 cents for thicker (5 mil) big ones.  Chicken sure looks good.

  • ectofix - Nashville

    October 1, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    AH!  I deleted all that.  Felt as if I was hijacking your thread with all those pictures and the story.  You’re right though.  The chicken did look good, so I’ll just put IT back up again:


    Yes.  That’s an Anova.  Works pretty good and is compact.  I just use a commercial grade pitcher along with it for the sous vide process.

    Boil bags?  I’ll look for those.  I have a Seal-a-Meal, but bags for it sure seem expensive.

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