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· Registered
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be opening a pub serving wood-fired grill fare and classic smokehouse meats in a few months. It's a project I've been working slowly on the back burner the past few years and it's finally come time to turn up the heat. I'm thinking, a wood-fired grill AND smokehouse will be too much for one time ... MEP, fire preparation and maintenance, and just too big of a menu than I would like to work with. Also, being that we're smoking with a wood-fired, stick-burner smoker that requires manual attention, I don't know if I want to be smoking for 12 hours every day of the week.

I'm trying to think of ways to have both wood-fired grill items and smoked items, but at separate times.

First idea:

Wood-fired grill for lunch, Smokehouse for dinner (meats will not be ready until about 5:30 pm anyway after resting)

The con of this is that I can't have steaks for dinner, and not many people eat steaks for lunch (in my market anyway).

Second idea:

Alternate days (odd days grill, even days smoke)

This is easy to remember for a usual customer but I don't like that the leftover MEP from Wednesday will have an entire day of being in the fridge before being used again on Friday.

Third idea:

Grill earlier in the week, smoke later in the week (Tue, Wed, Thur: Grill) + (Fri, Sat, Sun: Smoke)

I would rather smoke on weekends because it lessens the chance of having waste. Since smoked meats need to be cooked way ahead of service, I figured there's more of a chance of everything selling out on weekends.

Fourth idea:

Smoking earlier in the week (Tue, Wed, Thu) and grilling AND smoking (Fri, Sat, Sun) but with a limited grill menu.

Ideas, comments, suggestions greatly appreciated.

· Super Moderator
8,412 Posts
One thing jumps out at me.   You need to have the same menu every day of the week.  If you are going to be good at something then you need to have it on the menu all the time.  If you by chance become really good at one particular thing then there's no sense in making it available only on odd/even days.

As far as labor goes are you really opposed to a thermostatically controlled smoker?

· Registered
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Kuan: Good point.

Even if we did a smoked menu every day of the week, I would want it based on a "Meats of the Day" menu. Today's meats: Brisket, Pulled Pork, Pork Belly

My reasoning for that is so on some days we can have short smoke days (Chicken, Sausage and Ribs take a lot less time to smoke).

If we got really popular for Brisket, we'd probably just have brisket as one of the smoked meats of the day every time.

Yes, opposed to any gas, electric or gas-assisted smoking device ;)

· Registered
43 Posts
I would say use the wood fire grill for service and the smoker to smoke components in your menu. for example, cure and smoke your own bacon/sausages and whole roasts. in this way you are using the smoker via prep that could only need to be done every other day at the most.

a wood fire grill is adding smokey flavor to any item that touches the grill so the smoker is really only beneficial for slow smoked items.

I have sadly never gotten the chance to work anywhere with a smoker so maybe my thought process is to limited on a smoke houses possibilities.

· Registered
252 Posts
It seems like you're leaning bbq/steak house so just a thought

Meat of the day
Porter house
NY strip
Grilled salmon
Salad one
Salad two
Chicken fingers
Side one
Side two
Side three

You almost have a full page. And nothing that a team of 6 couldn't prep out. 2 prep cooks a grill cook a pit master a pantry cook and a fry cook. Even doing your own butchery, cutting down lettuces and cutting your own fries you'd be fine.

· Registered
11 Posts
A wood fired grill is a challenge to cook on. However it does deliver a fine product. I spent three years using it in DTD operations. Hamburgers, Steaks,salmon, chicken breasts...etc. I would run your weekend specials with the smoke. Use your leftovers on a lunch menu brisket sliders, Texas dip (brisket sandwiches)...chicken salad, pulled pork sandwiches. It's endless!
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