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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 12-27-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
eggzlot
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Default Cambro - 300 v 400

Other than the size (more on that in a minute) any major differences between the 300 MPC and the UPC 400 models? Features? Build quality? They are in different "lines" so was not sure.

Re: size - there are times where I only want to rest 2 butts, or a brisket, so I would think the 300 would be fine. But sometimes we have parties, and it would be great to be able to heat up appetizers or some main dishes (non BBQ) and hold those too while prepping other dishes. Those parties - a few times a year - makes me think I should give the 400 a whirl, but I am afraid that it will not be super efficient when just wanting to hold a butt or two, or just a brisket, after a "simple" cook.

Thoughts?
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Unread 12-27-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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They do make a divider to cut down on the thoeretical size. might even beable to do a cold side and hot side with the divider in? or atleast a hot side and not so hot side
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Unread 12-27-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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correction, its a moveable "ThermoBarrier". I think that makes the 400 a better sell. Though it looks like the 300 has nice handle for liftinging the things if you can deal with less space
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Unread 12-27-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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Yeah for another $35 or so, that does make the 400 rather appealing.

Since you seem to know your stuff, any idea on the UPC400 vs UPCS400?

http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=21
http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=22

"S" Model is about $20 cheaper at the Webstaurantstore so I wonder. The write ups seem identical. "S" model seems to have a menu clip and maybe 1 other thing, but anything major? Just go for the cheaper one?
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Unread 12-27-2012, 04:48 PM   #5
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Restaurant Depot has the 400 on sale this month for $245 and the 300 for $179.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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We have the 400 with the divider. Works like a champ when only holding smaller loads.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggzlot View Post
Yeah for another $35 or so, that does make the 400 rather appealing.

Since you seem to know your stuff, any idea on the UPC400 vs UPCS400?

http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=21
http://cool.cambro.com/product_line.aspx?rrn=2&plrn=22

"S" Model is about $20 cheaper at the Webstaurantstore so I wonder. The write ups seem identical. "S" model seems to have a menu clip and maybe 1 other thing, but anything major? Just go for the cheaper one?
what your looking at is that one of them has a gasket seal the other doesnt. maybe someone else can elaborate
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Just curious, and please excuse my ignorace, but what is the advantage of a cambro vs just placing your butt/brisket or whatever it in a cooler wrapped in towels? Is it a metter of convenience? Easier to handle? Thanks!
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Unread 12-27-2012, 05:47 PM   #9
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I've been doing the cooler thing for the last 2+ years that I have been BBQ'ing. But when I have parties, like Xmas when 20+ people were over, aside from BBQ we are making making trays of Italian food, hot appetizers, etc and with only 1 stove, it can be a logistical nightmare. Just for this past Christmas alone there were 2 hot veggie dishes, chicken, ham and rice - those were main courses. Plus 2-3 hot appetizers. So would be nice to have a cambro to slide in pans on hot food and hold them hot to free up the oven for other foods.

I also like to cook BBQ in pans sometimes, and though I have some big coolers, pans never fit in well.

Just curious to see the difference in the UPCS and UPC - the website shows both have a gasket. One has a built in seal vs the other with a removable gasket. Wonder if one is better than the other?
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Unread 12-27-2012, 07:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eggzlot View Post
Other than the size (more on that in a minute) any major differences between the 300 MPC and the UPC 400 models? Features? Build quality? They are in different "lines" so was not sure.

Re: size - there are times where I only want to rest 2 butts, or a brisket, so I would think the 300 would be fine. But sometimes we have parties, and it would be great to be able to heat up appetizers or some main dishes (non BBQ) and hold those too while prepping other dishes. Those parties - a few times a year - makes me think I should give the 400 a whirl, but I am afraid that it will not be super efficient when just wanting to hold a butt or two, or just a brisket, after a "simple" cook.

Thoughts?
I own both and have used them for competing and catering. I see no difference in the hot holding time between them. I use the 300 for comps just because it is a lot lighter than the 400.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 07:40 PM   #11
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You can always use mine when ever you want.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 07:53 PM   #12
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I upgraded from the MPC300 to the UPCS400. The UPCS 400 does not have a removable gasket. It has a self-sealing door. Also, one can purchase a set of casters (two swivel w/brakes) for around $80 vs the platform type cart that the UPC400 requires at around $150.
Good luck with you decision.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 09:05 PM   #13
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Phil - may take you up on the offer, thanks as always!

Funtime - you do not have any problem with the non-removable gasket? It seals ok? It also does not the traditional vent, right?

I'll check RD for any sales, but last time people mentioned a RD/Cambro sale, my local RDs were not having the same sale.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 09:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pig Daddy View Post
what is the advantage of a cambro vs just placing your butt/brisket or whatever it in a cooler wrapped in towels?
Four distinct differences:

First, the gasket and locking mechanism of a Cambro provides better insulation than a standard cooler. You should compare a Cambro to a Yeti for similar insulating properties.

Second, the Cambros are designed to fit food pans exactly. This includes foil and steel. You can throw all your food in cooler, but the cambro allows you to keep them on seperate racks and pull out exactly what you need for each turn in (This is the comp forum, right?). This also allows you to add approved heat sources to the bottom rack without moving anything on top. Check with your sanctioning body to see what is and isn't allowed there, but it almost never includes electric/chemical heating elements.

Third, the door being on the side instead of the top means that when you open it, you don't lose as much heat as a top door cooler.

Fourth, Cambros tend to have moisture venting systems that allow you to vent out steam without greatly affecting your heat.

All that said, I have a cambro and have still been known to use my cooler. Some times the cambro is just too much hassle, but that may be due to my particular setup. Both work fine if you know what you are doing.

Back to the OP, it's important to know what you are doing. A strong poster here who teaches classes once mentioned that his time line was so specific to his amount of meant and/or model of Cambro, that when some one else changed it up, meat was coming out not done correctly. I use a 400 and am happy with it. I'm sure I could use a 300 (or two) but I'd have to adjust my process accordingly. Make sure you know what youa re doing. Just my $0.02.

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Unread 12-27-2012, 10:14 PM   #15
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There has been no issues with the "built-in" gasket which is actually a different type of door that is not flat like the MPC300 or UPC400. It is cut with bevels to fit the box tightly. The meats have stayed hot for several hours at comps. I had one problem as mentioned by Daniel (above) when I did not let my brisket vent long enough before putting it into the Cambro to hold.
I haven't ever used the vent in my MPC300 as I understand it is used mostly to prevent breads or pastas from getting soggy.
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