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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 07-28-2011, 07:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Pa_BBQ View Post

Do you buy commercial or make your own?
I would love to make my own but have no clue where to start.

I do not have a stand, or trailer, or a brick and mortar store. Though I think it is important to have one of your own recipes to offer as a sauce. If it was me, the last thing I would want is someone to say to me as I am starting my business, "Hey dude, I know this sauce flavor! I buy the same at Walmart!" I can not imagine that the visual imagery of that customer, or anyone in earshot would be good. The last thing you want to be known as is, "The Walmart BBQ Dude."



As for what to serve them out of, take a visit to a good restaurant supply dealership if you have not been to one recently.
You can buy squeeze bottles, little sauce cups with tops, etc. Make sure to set up a corporate account first visit,
bring a TAX ID #, etc.


Here are a couple of books that I think would help you out. They are FILLED with recipes and ideas. I would try a sweet sauce, and a spicy to start. Maybe a mustard too. The investment in your business is worth a couple of low cost books. Try some of the recipes at home, add your own twist(like maybe adding a local beer to it or something.) Presently, I have these very same books at my house, on loan from the library. Perhaps yours would have one too if you want to try to save some cash. But I think they are worth the dough. Both are under $10 each.


Amazon.com: Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces: 175 Make-Your-Own Sauces, Marinades, Dry Rubs, Wet Rubs, Mops and Salsas (Non) (9781558321250): Paul Kirk: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Xq5zw-4OL.@@AMEPARAM@@51Xq5zw-4OL

Amazon.com: Barbecue! Bible : Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades, Bastes, Butters, and Glazes (9780761119791): Steven Raichlen: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B2F%2B%2BtiIL.@@AMEPARAM@@51B2F%2B%2BtiIL
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Unread 07-28-2011, 07:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by big brother smoke View Post
I make my own for catering, peach, raspberry chipotle and cherry!
And it is mighty fine.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
Not meaning to start anything here, but if you're not making the rub, not making the sauce, buying the meat from a store (not raising & butchering it) & not growing the trees for the smoke wood - what exactly ARE you doing? Throwing some meat in the smoker for a few hours?

Seems to me if you want to sell BBQ to the masses it should actually be all YOURS.
Was this meant to be funny? Why would BBQ be any different than any other restaurant? Do you think McDonalds makes their OWN ketchup, mustard, bacon, soft drinks, etc? Think again.
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Unread 07-29-2011, 09:44 PM   #19
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I was feeling pretty good about myself when my brisket turned out. Now I find out I have to raise my own cow, grow my own tomatoes and plant my own farken apple tree. If I find out I need to start rubbing two sticks together for my fire I'm giving up.
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Unread 07-30-2011, 10:15 AM   #20
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I HAVE rubbed two sticks together and made a fire.... it's NOT fun. I prefer the match.
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Unread 07-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watertowerbbq View Post
Do you think McDonalds makes their OWN ketchup, mustard, bacon, soft drinks, etc? Think again.
Nope & if you want to be the McDonalds of BBQ - more power to you.

Not saying you have to be Farm to Table on this or grow your own smoker wood, but really - making sauce & rub is not exactly difficult. Plus you gain the benefit of selling your original rub & sauce as an added revenue stream. Finally - what happens if the commercial sauce you're using changes formula or is discontinued?

If you want to be a professional cook - be a professional & actually cook. That means making your own sauce & rub - not dumping it out of a can. All the ingredients for a great sauce or rub can be found at any Sam's Club, Costco or BJs. Just do it - your customers WILL appreciate it.
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Unread 07-30-2011, 12:48 PM   #22
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Actually, McDonalds does make many of their own sauces. Particularly their own mustard and bbq sauces, which, I actually got to participate as an observer of someone running a taste test of McDonalds BBQ sauce with several other sauces and McDonalds did quite well.

On a different but on topic tack, there is nothing inherently wrong with taking a commercial sauce and modifying it. There is a risk that the formula might change, which is certainly a risk that can occur. Although, how many of us use Worcestershire sauce, or make our own ketchup that we base sauces upon. In many other types of restaurants, there are basic sauces that are often used as a basis. A good example is Lee Kum Kee, which at one time, before it became a staple of the Asian food aisle in supermarkets everywhere, owned nearly 90% of the bulk sauce business in Chinese restaurants in the U.S. It is not so unusual to use premade sauces as we all might suppose.

All this being said, I would make my own sauces, as I prefer my flavor profile and the ingredients I use.
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Unread 07-30-2011, 06:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
Nope & if you want to be the McDonalds of BBQ - more power to you.

Not saying you have to be Farm to Table on this or grow your own smoker wood, but really - making sauce & rub is not exactly difficult. Plus you gain the benefit of selling your original rub & sauce as an added revenue stream. Finally - what happens if the commercial sauce you're using changes formula or is discontinued?

If you want to be a professional cook - be a professional & actually cook. That means making your own sauce & rub - not dumping it out of a can. All the ingredients for a great sauce or rub can be found at any Sam's Club, Costco or BJs. Just do it - your customers WILL appreciate it.
What's wrong with being the McDonalds of BBQ? They are a successful chain of fast food restaurants. Isn't the idea of being in the restaurant business to make money? If you buy raw meat, prepare it, cook it and sell it for a profit, regardless of the rub or sauce you use, you are a professional cook.

Now your points about the what if it becomes no longer available are valid and you have a couple of option. You can make your own or you can try and purchase the recipe from the person who came up with the original recipe. I've found that making my homeade rub costs me about 1/2 of what a commercially available rub costs. However, if I was a 1 person operation starting a catering truck, I may not have the time to devote to making rubs and sauces. Before you can start selling sauces to the public, you are going to have to get the packaging approved by the appropriate governmental department, have the food nutrition information determined, etc. The list goes on and on. That's a lot of extra money and time for someone starting out.

However, the notion that you are not a professional cook if you use a commercial sauce or rub is silly at best and condascending at worst. You can agree to disagree if you want.
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Unread 07-30-2011, 07:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by watertowerbbq View Post
However, the notion that you are not a professional cook if you use a commercial sauce or rub is silly at best and condascending at worst. You can agree to disagree if you want.
I stand corrected & you are right - if you get paid to cook you are technically a professional.

What I meant to say was no self respecting BBQ professional - selling Q to the public for a living - would use a commercial sauce or rub.
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Unread 07-30-2011, 10:23 PM   #25
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extend this a bit and one could say easily say no self respecting BBQ professional would cook meat in a machine shop fabricated, insulated cooker.

it should be in a pit dug out of the dirt with the meat on a stick.

the sauce is play, whether commercial or not...cooking the meat properly is the challenge.

just curious, what liquids go into your sauces? hope it aint heinz or lee and perrins.

while i can appreciate your POV on some level, it really is a kinda ridiculous blanket judgement.
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Unread 07-31-2011, 08:10 AM   #26
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...the sauce is play, whether commercial or not...cooking the meat properly is the challenge. ...
I think you hit the nail on the head.

I understand why people labor and tweak and sweat over developing sauces. To many folks, it isn't 'Q without a sauce. I also understand that it can be a nice profit center. I know that some people immediately drown that plate of 'Q with it before they even taste what was just served to them.

Typically, I like sauce on my plate to dip my onion rings or french fries in. More often than not though, if I start slathering sauce on the meat on my plate, it's to cover the flavor of a crappy rub or a poorly cooked piece of meat.

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Unread 07-31-2011, 09:08 AM   #27
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extend this a bit and one could say easily say no self respecting BBQ professional would cook meat in a machine shop fabricated, insulated cooker.

it should be in a pit dug out of the dirt with the meat on a stick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
the sauce is play, whether commercial or not...cooking the meat properly is the challenge.
True for those of us here - not true for the average BBQ customer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boogiesnap View Post
just curious, what liquids go into your sauces? hope it aint heinz or lee and perrins.
I'm guessing you missed the post above where I said:
"All the ingredients for a great sauce or rub can be found at any Sam's Club, Costco or BJs. Just do it - your customers WILL appreciate it."

I have never said ANYWHERE in this thread one needs to make all the ingredients that go into a sauce or rub. Hell - I never said anything against "doctoring" a commercial sauce (though I do think it is rather lazy & kind of cheating). What I AM saying is - if you are going to be serious about making a living selling Q, you need to be serious about ALL aspects of your flavor profile. That means the cook, the smoke AND the sauce & rub. Do you honestly believe ANY of the legends often revered (and paid big bucks for classes) here used commercial sauces & rubs when they started? Do you think ANY of the legendary joints past & present did?

Just saying - if you don't think you have the time or energy or skill or whatever to make one sauce & one rub AND you're thinking of making BBQ vending a profession - you REALLY need to re-think that business plan.

BTW - to answer the "what liquids go into your sauces" - store bought stuff right now though I am working with a local producer to make our own ketchup, worcestershire & cider vinegar. We've started making our own mustard. Our apple cider is source from a local orchard. We also have a 2 acre farm (Cha Cha Hut Acres) where we are featuring the organically grown potatoes in our potato salad this week. (I dug them up on my "day off" on Wednesday.) When the watermelons come in we'll be making a salad, sauce & rind pickles from those. Hoping the tomatillos come up well for a later summer salsa. Going over to a local baker tomorrow to continue work on our own signature bread recipe for our sandwich rolls. Hope that helps you understand where I am coming when it comes to producing BBQ for the public.

Oh yes - & the Hut is just my wife & I creating all of the menu items fresh daily (http://chachahut.com/menu)

To me it is about trying to live up to the legend of Q in this country - especially given the latest interest via TV shows & websites. Dumping sauce from a can is in no way shape or form legendary.

Gotta jet & make the house sauce (3 gallons = 15 minutes dumping ingredients into a pot; 3 hours on simmer) & North Carolina Vinegar Sauce (1 gallon = 5 minutes) plus running the line until 8pm tonight.

Have a lovely day...
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Unread 07-31-2011, 11:19 AM   #28
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I think Frank is correct that if you really want to do a singular job serving the best food that you possibly can, you really do need to control as much of the end product as you can. I disagree with him that you can't be a serious professional cook without doing that. In the end, if you are making money and have customers that enjoy the food you are serving, you are doing something right. There are some places where economy of scale and bulk production will put you in the best place for making money.

I disagree with the idea of minimizing the role of sauce, having seen a lot of BBQ places open and close, long term survival is a funtion of meat and sauce. The sauce has to be good enough that people want to eat it. For most, and by that, I mean probably approaching 75% or more folks, BBQ is about the sauce and the sauce alone. Overcooked meat and undercooked brisket served with lots of sauce. This is why many places serve 3, 4 or more sauces.

Frank I admire your commitment to your craft and business, but, I think there is a lot of room below that level of commitment for a BBQ place to make it. There are many restaurants that are using Cattleman's and other commercial service sauces as their house BBQ sauce.
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Unread 07-31-2011, 11:23 AM   #29
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I feel like the original question is sort of being lost here. I'm am not a professional but love BBQ. So this is more from the point of view of someone who would be your customer who knows how to make his own but likes to find good Q.

I think if you make your own it gives you some increased level of credibility from the public. This doesn't mean you need to make six sauces. In fact you might just want to try to make what you would make for your own tastes and call that your signature sauce.

The other thing I would suggest (speaking as a consumer). I love to try new sauces. I get excited when I find one my local stores carrying a new product. You could also consider using a sauce that you can not get locally. For example where I live Blues Hog just doesn't exist. If I came up to your stand and you had sauce that I had heard about but couldn't get locally I might try your Q just to get a taste of the sauce (but maybe I'm strange). And finally some people don't want to put any sauce on that they don't already know what it is. So, if this is at all possible for you what I would suggest is to try to have one or two sauces that you make yourself (maybe your mustard base sauce and one other), one sauce that you bring in from another part of the country (say Big Butz for example) and one very basic sauce that people who are not very adventurous would use.

Take all that for what its worth (albeit maybe not that much). Overall good luck with your business and I hope I get to try it someday.
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Unread 07-31-2011, 12:21 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chachahut View Post
Not meaning to start anything here, but if you're not making the rub, not making the sauce, buying the meat from a store (not raising & butchering it) & not growing the trees for the smoke wood - what exactly ARE you doing? Throwing some meat in the smoker for a few hours?

Seems to me if you want to sell BBQ to the masses it should actually be all YOURS.

To answer the questions, I make 6 stock house sauces & 2 rotating Sauce of the Moments plus 3 different rubs & have not used any sauce or rub I have not made myself for over 6 years.

Then again, I make a nice bit of change selling my sauces & rubs at the Hut.
frank, i can't say how much i appreciate, admire, and look up to your approach to BBQ, food, and serving to the public.

BUT, you did kind of allude to your opinion being it all must come from scratch or you're not really cooking.

basically, i just disagree.

i got more thoughts, but gotta go. will post again later.
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