Hello Dr. BBQ:
Love your column. I am thinking about starting a small roadside operation, so what could you recommend for professional-grade smokers/trailers? I would like to do a limited menu, haven’t worked out pounds of product per day yet. I have about a $10,000 budget. Thanks,
I sold BBQ on the side of the road for a couple years and it’s a tough business. The best advice I can give you is to start with the health department. You can’t sell food anywhere without dealing with them, so you might as well make friends with them early. In most places it’s a state-run department but you’ll also need to work with the county and if your location is in a city you’ll have to deal with them too. Find out exactly what they are going to require from you and ask them how to best accomplish that. Believe me, you need to deal with this long before you decide how much meat to cook because they can shut you down before you sell a sandwich. As for a cooker, if you need a NSF rated cooker you’re gonna use up a good chunk of your budget for even a small one. My choice would be an FEC100 by Cookshack. Good luck.