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Topic: Is there a way to produce great BBQ from a kitchen using lava rock?
From: Debbie Lawless,
Subject: Re: Introducing BBQ to an existing menu
We have two 24 hr., full-service, family-oriented restaurants (no liquor) which offer a huge variety of menu items; every type of breakfast imaginable, American standard dinners, but also Italian and Southwest entrees, like lasagna and taco salads. This stuff sells great, but I personally love BBQ.
The restaurants are limited however to indoor cooking methods, short of me buying an open grill or smoker of some sort, for which I would probably have to seek health dept. approval to introduce.
My question is this: Is there a way to produce great BBQ (like a variety of BBQ sausage sandwiches and ribs) from a kitchen that uses a lava rock open flame grill, a convection oven and several flat grills? I already know of a company which sells terrific BBQ style sausages, I just need to know if it would be possible to produce outdoor tasting BBQ with my existing equipment. If I did have to resort to purchasing an outdoor grill and smoker, what would you recommend that would be operationally feasible. The type of fuel would need to be cost efficient, and accessible.
For example, I don't have a delivery system for oak or hickory wood. Although it might be possible. Thanks for your help.
You have put me on the spot.
As far as I am concerned, the answer to your question, "Is there a way to produce great BBQ (like a variety of BBQ sausage sandwiches and ribs) from a kitchen that uses a lava rock open flame grill, a convection oven and several flat grills?" is NO.
However, I must tell you that what most restaurants sell is not barbecue, but a poor substitute that is okay to the average 'BigMac' trained palate.
The really good barbecue restaurants usually have the pit inside and exhaust the smoke through the roof.
I don't know where you are located, sounds definitely Southern and probably Southwest, but you may want to talk to Baker's Pits in Garland, TX. 800/ 308-7487. He has run two barbecue restaurants before designing up and manufacturing grills for restaurants.