Finding the right industrial smokehouse for your food processing facility can be difficult.
Do a quick Google search for industrial smokehouse and you’ll find plenty of companies selling what they consider to be the best smokehouse on the market — each with a list of features and options that can make the decision tricky.
Knowing which options you need, and which are just extra features that cost you money but don’t really add any value to the oven or your product, is key to making the right choice in your smokehouse purchase.
But how do you know what features you need? We’re glad you asked!
Features You Need in an Industrial Smokehouse
When it comes time to purchase your next industrial smokehouse, we recommend looking for the following features. Not only will your new industrial smokehouse last longer with these features, you will find that your product consistency and yields increase dramatically.
Larger Fan Size
Most industrial smokehouses come with a fan rated for that size cabinet, but is often not big enough to create the CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow needed to cook your product consistently no matter where it is on the rack.
A larger fan size — one rated for the next size up smokehouse — will create anywhere from 15% – 50% more gross CFM in your oven.
A greater CFM is important to consistently cooking product in your oven. CFM is the rate at which a certain volume of air moves in a certain period of time. In the case of a blower or fan, it indicates how much air it can move per minute. So for example, a 1,000 cfm fan can remove all of the air from a box that is 10ft x 10ft x 10ft in one minute.
The more airflow in your industrial smokehouse, the more consistently your product will cook.
Cooking product in an industrial smokehouse is all about the airflow, which means you’ll want to make sure the smokehouse you purchase as a large floor radius — anywhere from 10-12 inches.
Why does a floor radius matter to airflow? Think of airflow like driving a car. When you have to make a hard turn, what happens: you have to slow the car down to make the turn, or end up crashing head first. But when the road is curved, you can continue along at your pace as if there is no change of direction.
Airflow is like that. When there are no floor radius’ to keep airflow moving, you lose circulation and your product cooking consistency drops. But when your smokehouse is equipped with floor radius’, the air keeps moving and your product cooks more consistently from the top to bottom of your rack.
Cooking in an industrial smokehouse relies upon airflow — product that receives the greatest airflow (typically at the top or bottom of the rack) cooks faster than product that receives little to no direct airflow (typically in the middle of the rack).
The ability to direct the oven’s airflow to each area of the rack will result in a more consistently cooked product throughout — increasing product yields and coloring while decreasing product yield and weight loss.
Ideally, you want to find an industrial smokehouse that breaks the oven down into multiple quadrants and allows you to direct airflow to any specific quadrant for any specific amount of time. Doing so will allow you to eliminate cold spots in your rack and give you a more consistent product.
Heavy Duty Construction
Nothing spells disaster for your budget and product consistency more than a smokehouse that isn’t built to last. Inferior materials, shoddy work, and poorly welded seams may mean you pay less up front, but will cost you much more in the long run — in repairs, sanitation, and replacement.
Instead, opt for an industrial smokehouse constructed of heavy duty materials and that meets sanitary design guidelines. Here are just a few suggestions of what to look for:
- Tubular stainless steel framing
- No ‘C’ channel
- TIG welded wall skims
- Inside cabinet is completely TIG welded
The better materials and methods used in constructing your smokehouse, the longer it will be able to provide you with cooked product.
Benefiting Your Product
Your product will benefit when you purchase an industrial smokehouse with the four features above.
Product consistency, color, and yields all increase when you have total control over the oven’s airflow — all resulting from a larger fan, floor radius’, airflow control system, and heavy duty construction.
Even the oven’s capacity will increase. The more you control the oven’s airflow, the more product you can fit on your truck while still maintaining the high level of product consistency. It’s like having two ovens in one!
When these features are included in your industrial smokehouse, you can expect:
- Increased capacity by up to 30%
- Increased product yield by up to 6%
- Increased moisture consistency while eliminating yield variation
- Better color consistency
All That and More
We designed our line of Industrial Ovens with these four main features — and provide them as standard on every model.
We believe when you purchase an industrial smokehouse, dehydrator, or steam oven, you should get an oven that doesn’t just work, but works hard to improve your product, while saving you time and money.
You can learn more about our line of Industrial Ovens, and how these features truly benefit your product, by downloading our catalog below.