Q: Dear Doc:
I cook a great hog and a few other things as well. I would really like to open a storefront business—I already have a commercial-sized pit and a great location with an out back detached block building for the pit. Is it legal to cook outside of the immediate premises? What equipment will I need to hold pre-prepared foods such as BBQ’d chicken/pork/fish/bologna/brisket etc., etc. throughout the day? Any advice on reheat for roll-overs the next day?
A: Hi Mr. Slow,
I can help with some suggestions for holding and leftovers. Holding BBQ in insulated containers works well in the field but it’s doubtful the health department would accept it in a restaurant. You’ll need warming cabinets that are temp and humidity controlled. These things do a truly amazing job of holding things in great condition but they are expensive. Steam tables work well for serving but you don’t want to use them for long term holding. One solution I see more and more is to cool everything down and serve 100 percent reheated food. Use commercial high power microwaves and you can get good results and eliminate waste at the same time.
My personal preference is to do a combination thing where I serve fresh chicken and ribs in the evening and reheated ribs and shredded chicken for lunch. Of course the leftover chicken halves become tomorrows shredded chicken. Pork and beef are always served reheated.
My buddy Jeff Yater at Squealer’s in Indianapolis serves fried ribs as an appetizer and that moves some leftovers too. The ribs are cut individually, breaded and fried.