The 3 Steps to Choosing a Smoker

If you like to grill meat, a smoker is the perfect addition to your stockpile of appliances. But shopping for one will require some forethought and a little bit of smoker knowledge.

Smoked Meat Dinners Carmel, Indiana 317-688-7290

Smoked Meat Dinners Carmel, Indiana 317-688-7290

There are hundreds of smokers to choose from on the market, from stovetop and handheld smokers, to the colossal rigs used for commercial purposes. Such styles include offset barrel smokers (stick burners), gas smokers, electric smokers, pellet smokers, water smokers, cold smokers, kamado-style cookers, combo-ovens, and more, all of which vary in price, quality, features, and performance. In order to bring home the right smoking equipment, you must start by doing your research and narrowing down your options. Fortunately, you can do this with 3 simple steps.

Determine Your Capacity

The first factor to think about is volume. How much meat do you intend to smoke at one time? Are you using it for personal or commercial applications? Restaurants and large facilities will require a bigger smoker than someone who simply wants to smoke meats at home. In another example, a person who will be smoking meats for a family of four will need a larger personal smoker than someone who is cooking for one.

Consider Your Space

Since smokers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, you want to think about where it will go and how much space you have. Do you have room for a vertical smoker in your kitchen? The garage? Will it be stored on the patio or in a backyard shed? Designate an area before making any final decisions so that you have the room to conveniently store it away. Furthermore, it is important to learn the proper way to store a smoker. Freezing temperatures and heavy precipitation can interrupt performance and overall quality.

Set a Budget

It is very important to set a budget before shopping around for smokers. Not only will this help narrow down realistic options, it will provide a boundary for spending and help resist pressure to buy an upgraded version you do not need. Smokers range in price from as low as $50 for condo or apartment units, and as high as $10,000 or more for professional grade. It is recommended for beginners to start with a small vertical water smoker that costs between $100 and $300, but this is entirely up to the consumer.

Beginner Brands To Consider:

As a beginner smoker, there are several popular and highly-reviewed make and models that will serve you well. Here are a few to consider:

Weber 22-Inch Original Kettle Charcoal Grill – $149
Pit Barrel Cooker Package – $299
Camp Chef 24-Inch Smoke Vault – $250

In the Mood for Delicious Smoked Meats Right Now?

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ

Come to Rackz BBQ! We are conveniently in Carmel, you can stop by anytime for lunch or dinner. Enjoy our made-from-scratch menu filled with traditional barbecue classics, like ribs, brisket, chicken, mac-n-cheese, corn bread, and more! If you don’t have time to sit down at our restaurant, place a takeout order for a hot and fresh meal on the go! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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Smoked Meats: Hot Smoking Versus Cold Smoking

BBQ Restaurant Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

BBQ Smoked Meats 317-688-7290

Smoked foods, like meats and cheeses, are a very popular meal choice these days. Various foods make the perfect candidate for smoking, whether cold or hot, including pork ribs, ham, sausage, beef, salmon, cheddar, gruyere, and even delicate cheeses like Brie. And although it is a food preparation technique that was introduced thousands of years ago, it continues to be improved upon by innovative culinary experts all across the world, every single day.

They are two primary methods of smoking foods: cold smoking and hot smoking. Both methods add tons of flavor and offer loads of benefits, but each in their own unique way. Continue reading to learn the major differences between hot and cold smoking, as well as some common knowledge regarding methodology and more.

Cold Smoking Meats

Cold smoking is a method of food preparation that infuses foods with smoky flavors and preserves them without cooking them or using heat. Average temperatures used in cold smoking environments range between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold smoked meats are known to deliver a highly flavorful, saltier, dryer, and less tender product. This result makes it a perfect cooking technique for hams, sausages, bacon, salami, prosciutto, and other types of cold cuts.

It is also the preferred method for smoking delicate foods like seafood and cheese because it enhances their subtle flavor profiles and adequately preserves them for weeks. This includes salmon, scallops, oysters, Monterrey jack cheese, cheddar, gruyere, and brie. Cold smoking is also great for drying out herbs and spices.

Hot Smoking Meats

Hot smoking is the more popular and well-known method because it delivers a juicy, succulent, tender meat product. This is why it is the preferred method for meats like beefsteaks, chicken, ribs, and other pork cuts. It is an all-in-one process since the wood, meat, and smoke are all in the same chamber. In contrast to cold smoking, hot smoking utilizes heat to cook foods, which renders hot, moist, and ready-to-eat meals.

The average temperatures used to achieve hot smoked meats are very high, ranging between 190 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This cooks food in as little as one hour, infusing them with distinct flavors of oak, mesquite, hickory, cherry, or apple. These are the most popular woods for hot smoking meat.

Smoked Barbecue Meats Near You!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ

Visit Rackz BBQ in Carmel, Indiana for delicious smoked meat entrees, hand-crafted barbecue sauces, and homemade side items, like peach baked beans, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, and more. From appetizers and sandwiches, to salads, entrees, and desserts, there is much to choose from on our comprehensive BBQ menu, so be sure to try them all! Contact us during regular business hours at 317-688-7290 to ask us about our menu prices, weekly specials, and more. We accept call-ahead and takeout orders too!

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What is the Difference Between Spare Ribs and Baby Back Ribs?

Whether baby back or spare, you can’t go wrong with barbecue ribs. But do you know the difference between the two?

Barbecue Ribs in Carmel, Indiana 317-688-7290

Barbecue Ribs in Carmel, Indiana 317-688-7290

To an untrained palate, it may seem like all ribs are the same. But to a barbecue ribs lover, the difference is distinct. The confusion often happens with baby back ribs and spare ribs because many diners can’t recall what it is that truly sets them apart.

To understand the difference, you need to know that pork ribs come from the same two places on a pig, and the type of ribs depend on the area in which the meat is cut. Continue reading to learn more about the difference between baby back ribs and spare ribs.

🍖 Spare Ribs

Spare ribs are also known as side ribs. You can think of them as the bigger brother to baby backs. They come from the underbelly of the pig where the bacon comes from. Yes, BACON! Compared to the popular baby back cut, spare ribs are thicker and meatier, and generally come with the sternum, costal cartilage, and flap still attached. These are the ribs that are traditionally prepared St. Louis style or Louisiana style, which is something you will commonly see at restaurants and barbecue competitions. In these cases, spare ribs that are prepared in these styles usually have their costal cartilage trimmed from the top and the flaps removed from the back, giving the meat a uniform rectangular shape.

🍖 Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs are also referred to as loin robs or back ribs. They are cut from the backside of a pig along the spine, which also happens to be very close to the area where pork chops are cut from. Compared to spare ribs, they are less meaty and fatty, and cook much faster; however, they still retain flavors and moisture very well when cooked properly, making them very tender. They are also the more commercially-promoted meat. This actually contributes to their higher price points because they are higher in demand due to mass marketing.

Visit Rackz BBQ for Top-Choice Barbecue Ribs and More!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ

Rackz BBQ offers a wide selection of delicious smoked meats and southern comfort foods that are sure to please the entire family. Located conveniently in Carmel, you can stop by anytime for lunch or dinner. Enjoy our made-from-scratch menu filled with traditional barbecue classics, like ribs, brisket, chicken, mac-n-cheese, corn bread, and more! If you don’t have time to sit down at our restaurant, place a takeout order for a hot and fresh meal on the go! Contact us at 317-688-7290 to place a call ahead order, or to learn more about our menu selections, prices, and specials.

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Understanding the Cost of Catering Service

Before making any final decisions about which catering service to go with for your upcoming occasion, it is important to understand how different types of caterers might price their services. When you sit down with a catering representative at a company of your choice, you may be in for a total surprise when you read the quote they offer you. Furthermore, they may even try to up-sell you on services and amenities you do not need.

To avoid being caught off-guard by an expensive or unnecessary catering quote, it is helpful to understand how some catering services segment their prices, and how to match your catering needs with the right provider in order to save money. With this knowledge, you can ensure that you pay for only what you need. Continue reading to learn some common catering price models, and how to find the proper catering service for your particular event.

BBQ Catering in Carmel, Indiana

BBQ Catering in Carmel, Indiana 317-688-7290

Varying Costs of Catering Services

It is important to understand that catering services differ among providers, from fancy and formal, to casual and simple. The type of catering service you choose will have a major impact on the cost and amenities you receive. If you are planning a wedding, you would want to choose a more formal, all-inclusive service that can additionally provide wait staff, linens, table décor, and more. If you are planning a family reunion at a local park, you could opt for a less formal catering service that can provide hot meals, deliveries, drop-offs, and cleanup, saving you time and money. Overall, the less formal the catering service, the less expensive it will be.

Common Pricing Models

Restaurants that offer catering services generally use a conditional method that is fitting to their unique business model. This means that most catering companies price their services differently. It all depends on their available resources, experience, number of staff, and more. A more accomplished and experienced company may be able to provide lower costs and additional discounted rates, while a new company just starting out may not be able to offer any deals in order to cover their overhead costs. Here is a list of factors that change, and ultimately determine, the total cost of catering service from company to company:

The Distance in Which the Caterer Needs to Travel to the Appointed Destination
The Type of Venue
Amenities Offered (i.e. On-site smoker, chocolate fountain, champagne tower, etc.)
Start Time and Duration of the Event
Number of Guests
Special Requests and Preferences
Type of Food, Beverage, and Dessert Menu
Cost of Food
Requested Number of Catering Staff
And More

Large-Scale Catering

It is also important to know that some caterers use certain “thumb rules” when providing their services that affect the total cost of catering. These rules are specific to each company, and will differ among caterers and their business models. For example, many large-scale catering companies will typically add an additional 5 to 10% of food so there is never a potential for shortage. This also covers them in the case that a dish or part of the menu is dropped, prepared incorrectly, or disrupted in any way. It is like a safe-guard that ends up costing customers more money, but also protects them from a lack of food. It is also good for clients to know that large-scale caterers often charge three times the rate of the actual food cost. This means if they are preparing a dish that is $10 per person, they will charge clients $30 a plate to cover their overhead and services they provide along with the courses.

A Simpler and More Affordable Approach to Catering…

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ

If you are looking for a simpler, more cost-effective approach to catering, choose Rackz BBQ for authentic smoked meats and southern classics that are sure to fit the budget. We can customize a catering menu specific to your party’s theme, personal preferences, dietary restrictions, and more! We also offer delivery services, drop off service, set up, breakdown, and cleanup for all clients. Aside from catering, we also accept call-ahead orders for pickup when you just don’t feel like cooking dinner. Contact us at 317-688-7290 to learn more about our barbecue catering services and selections here in Carmel, Indiana.

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Rackz BBQ Has Officially Launched a Brand New Website!

When you’re in the mood for great barbecue, our pitmasters have the tasty cuts and smoked classics you’ll love! And now we have a brand new website showcasing all of our famous menu selections, services, and more!

BBQ Restaurant Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

BBQ Restaurant Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ welcomes everyone to our brand new website! Now our valued customers and surrounding community can enjoy a hassle-free online experience getting to know our restaurant and the wonderful amenities we offer here in Carmel, Indiana! So the next time you crave great barbecue, you’ll know exactly where to go!

See Our Homemade Classics and More!

When you visit our brand new website, you quickly learn that finding your way around is simple! Our HOME page is easy to navigate, and contains various links to all the features and amenities you are looking for. Start by visiting our MENU page to look through our selection of house made barbecue sauces, smoked meats, classic cuisines, handcrafted side items, and decadent desserts. Everything here at Rackz BBQ is made from scratch and carefully crafted using the freshest local ingredients and authentic flavors.

Don’t feel like cooking? You don’t have to! We accept call ahead orders for pickup every day of the week. Simply give us a call, tell us what you want, and pay for it at pickup! We are conveniently located in Carmel, Indiana, right off of Hazel Dell Parkway, and just North of Main Street. You can click the map on our Home page or CONTACT page to get instant directions to our location, anytime! When you come into our restaurant, you are treated with the utmost courtesy and respect.

Just visit our ABOUT US page to meet the team and learn more about our company history! You will see where we get our passion and drive for providing outstanding service and delicious meals at an affordable price. In fact, you can see what others are saying about Rackz BBQ by reading our customer testimonials on our REVIEWS page!

You Have a BBQ Caterer Near You!

How about party planning? If you are planning a party or event, Rackz will provide the food for you! You can check out our CATERING page to learn everything you need to know about our catering options. Our culinary experts provide affordable catering services for all events, occasions, and industries throughout Indianapolis and Central Indiana! You can choose from our house menu items, or work with our catering coordinators to customize a meal plan unique to your event. From office box lunches and birthday parties, to tailgate catering, on-site smokers, and more, we have what you need to create a memorable occasion within your budget!

Want a Meaningful Job in Food Service?

Are you a motivated person who gets excited about food? Are you looking for new and stimulating employment that can serve as the start of a long, fruitful, and rewarding career in the food industry? Visit our JOBS page to learn more about the employment opportunities at Rackz BBQ! If you are an energetic and reliable team player with a commitment to outstanding customer service, we encourage you to apply! Go to our Contact Us page and give us a call to learn more about the application process.

Visit Rackz BBQ in Carmel!

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ Carmel, IN 317-688-7290

Rackz BBQ is eager to impress you with our delicious, made from scratch barbecue cuisines. As a restaurant dedicated to quality and value, you can trust us for exceptional customer service, neighborhood prices, and most importantly, authentic barbecue fare that you will love. Call us anytime at 317-688-7290 to speak with a friendly restaurant manager about our weekly specials, current menu selections, catering information, and to place pickup orders. We look forward to seeing you!

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