December 19, 2022
Many restaurant owners have considered adding barbecue items to their menu offerings. Whether it's brisket or pulled pork, Americans are crazy about barbecue - both at home and in restaurants. So, if BBQ is so popular, should restaurants try to get in on the action?
Restaurants like to add new barbecue menu items for a variety of reasons:
To attract new customers: Adding new menu items can be a way to bring in new customers who are looking for something different or unique.
To keep existing customers coming back: Adding new menu items can help keep existing customers interested and coming back to the restaurant. Nothing like brisket or pulled pork to get your customers coming back for more!
To stay competitive: Restaurants may add new menu items to keep up with trends or to offer items that their competitors do not have. Adding barbecue items is a good way to do this.
To increase sales: Adding new menu items can be a way for restaurants to increase sales and profits.
There are three factors that might discourage someone from adding barbecue items to their list of offerings: rising labor costs, soaring meat prices, and the lack of consistent flavor outcomes when using a traditional BBQ pit, which requires expertise and constant attention. That's where commercial smokers come in!
What exactly is a commercial pellet smoker? A commercial pellet smoker is a type of cooking equipment that uses wood pellets as fuel to cook and smoke food. These smokers typically have a large cooking chamber where the food is placed, and a hopper where the wood pellets are stored. The pellet smoker uses an auger to feed the wood pellets into the cooking chamber, where they are ignited and burned to create heat and smoke. The pellet smoker is controlled by a thermostat or other temperature control system, which allows the user to set the desired cooking temperature and maintain it throughout the cooking process. Commercial pellet smokers are often used by restaurants and other food service establishments to prepare large quantities of food for events or catering.
Commercial pellet smokers allow restaurants to offer a consistently good menu item (such as brisket), without the many hours of labor required for traditional offset smokers. Also, because pellet smokers are "set and forget," restaurant kitchens can produce large amounts of consistently good barbecue dishes, with very little investment.
Should I use an Offset Smoker or a Commercial Pellet Smoker?
Depending on where your restaurant is located, you might not be permitted to use a traditional offset smoker that uses wood logs. This is because log burning BBQ smokers emit a large amount of smoke (because they burn the wood inefficiently). So, if you are in an urban or suburban location, be sure to check with your municipality, to find out what types of commercial grilling and smoking equipment is allowed.
Pellet grills are generally allowed in most restaurants, because they burn very efficiently. The main difference between a pellet smoker and an offset smoker is the type of fuel that is used to produce heat and smoke. A pellet smoker uses wood pellets as fuel, while an offset smoker uses charcoal or wood. Another key difference is the design of the smokers. A pellet smoker is typically a compact, self-contained unit that uses an electric motor to automatically feed the wood pellets into the firebox. An offset smoker, on the other hand, is a larger, more traditional-looking smoker that has a separate firebox attached to the side of the cooking chamber. This allows the cook to control the heat and smoke levels more precisely by adjusting the amount of fuel and air that flows into the firebox.
Commercial Pellet Smokers = Lower Labor Costs
An offset smoker requires more labor than a pellet smoker. This is because an offset smoker typically requires more frequent attention and adjustment to maintain the desired temperature and smoke levels. The cook must also regularly add fuel to the firebox and monitor the fire to ensure that it does not get too hot or go out. A pellet smoker, on the other hand, is largely automated and requires less frequent attention. The electric motor automatically feeds the wood pellets into the firebox, and the smoker is typically equipped with temperature controls and other features that make it easier to maintain the desired cooking conditions.
What Types of Wood Pellets Should I Use?
Wood pellets for barbecue are made from hard woods such as oak, hickory and maple, and there are many different brands of wood pellets available for use in pellet grills. In general, there are two ways that pellets are manufactured - either from dry sawdust waste from a saw mill (limited flavor), or directly from green hardwood chips. Pellets made from fresh, green wood chips are dried immediately before manufacturing, which results in superior wood flavor. Lower-quality, mass market pellets, which are available in places like Lowe's and Home Depot, are widely available and made from sawmill waste. Look for a wood pellet manufacturer that specializes in making premium pellets for smokers.
Adding barbecue items to your restaurant's menu offerings will increase revenue and keep your customers coming back for mouth watering items like brisket and baby back ribs. Using a commercial pellet smoker, combined with high-quality wood pellets, will keep your costs down and deliver consistently flavorful offerings to your customers. Using a pellet smoker to prepare barbecue items will allow you to produce top-quality BBQ at a very competitive price, which means more profit!
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