Smokehouse

6 Construction Aspects to Consider When Purchasing a Smokehouse

The success of smoked meat products has significantly increased over the last few decades. As one of the oldest methods of food preservation, the smoked meat industry continues to grow as does the demand for dried and smoked protein products. For processors, that means that industrial smokehouses are becoming vital to their lifeline.

Yet industrial smokehouses are one of the biggest investments a processor can make. Making sure to understand what to look for before the buying stage is crucial to the longevity of the investment.

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How to Properly Probe Product in a Smokehouse

Accurate temperature readings in your smokehouse are essential for improving yields, consistency, and food safety.

Unfortunately, a lot of smokehouse operators don’t know how to properly use a temperature probe. This means that temperatures are not being measured precisely — which gives way to varying degrees of product yields and consistency on the same truck and can result in a costly recall.

Proper probing is a relatively simple task, but it needs to be done consistently every single time.

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beef sticks

How to Step Cook Beef Sticks for Improved Yields and Consistency

Despite supply issues, the popularity of meat sticks remains on the rise.

In 2021, processors made a combined total of over $1.83 billion in sales for meat snacks at convenience stores alone– with meat sticks as the leading category. That’s up from $466 million in 2015 – almost a 1.5 billion dollar increase in six years!

Clearly, Americans love their meat sticks.

This sudden growth in popularity has left processors looking for ways to optimize their meat stick operation — to grab a larger share of the industry, outprice the competition, and make more money.

More specifically, it has put a lot of pressure on processors to improve yields and consistency in order to compete for those dollars.

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Step Cook Beef Jerky

How to Step Cook Beef Jerky for Improved Yields and Consistency

The popularity of beef jerky is at an all-time high.

According to research done by the Simmons National Customer Survey (NHCS) in 2019 and the U.S. Census, approximately 50% of the U.S. population, which is nearly 160 million people, eat meat snacks and beef jerky regularly.

Americans love their beef jerky! So much so that, according to data from IRI, dollar sales of jerky increased 18.2% year-over-year at the start of 20211. Compare that to last year, the category had only grown about 1% year-over-year2.

This increased growth has put a lot of pressure on processors to improve yields and consistency in order to compete for those dollars.

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pork belly comb remover

The Best Way to Remove Belly Combs

Americans love bacon.

According to Statista, 18.31 million Americans used 5 pounds or more of bacon in 2018 alone. If you drop that amount down to 2 pounds, the number skyrockets to over 60 million.

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smokehouse quotes

How to Accurately Compare Smokehouse Quotes

Smokehouse quotes can be tricky to compare, especially when investing in an industrial oven for the first time.

Most food processors look at one number on a quote — the total cost. It makes sense. You have a budget to keep, finances to gather, and ultimately want to know how much you need to spend in order to get the smokehouse you need.

Total cost on a quote, however, can be deceptive.

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smokehouse installation checklist

How to Prepare Your Plant for a Smokehouse Installation

Preparing your facility for a smokehouse installation is an essential step in purchasing an industrial oven.

Not only does proper preparation ensure a quick and easy installation of your new oven, it also affects the life and operation of the oven.

Bumps in the flooring under the oven, lack of filters on water and air supplies, improper pressure on utilities, even the wrong floor slope can all wreak havoc on your oven, causing serious structural and operational problems down the road — most of which will not be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

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coves smokehouse air flow

4 Essential Benefits Coves have on the Smokehouse Air Flow

The air flow, or more specifically the breakpoint, is the most important feature in any smokehouse or dehydrator.

This one feature alone is what cooks product in the oven — and is ultimately responsible for product yields, consistency, and color, as well as cook time.

If you want to improve product yields, consistency, or color, it all starts with being able to improve and control the breakpoint. The more control you have to set the location and duration of the breakpoint in any one specific spot in the oven, the greater your yields and consistency. The opposite is also true: the inability to control the location and duration of the breakpoint in an oven will always result in less than optimal yields and consistency.

It seems to reason then that the design of the oven cabinet should help strengthen and improve the breakpoint.

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door seal

What is the Best Style of Door Seal for a Smokehouse?

The door seal is a vitally important part of any industrial smokehouse, dehydrator, or steam oven.

This one component is responsible for keeping the oven doors sealed tightly in the frame, preventing heat and steam from escaping the cabinet, and in some oven designs, keeps the doors closed.

Imagine the cost you would pay if the oven didn’t have a door seal: utility expenses would spike with the loss of heat from the oven, employees would be burned just being near the oven, and product wouldn’t cook consistently, resulting in product rejections.

The door seal is that important, but not all styles of door seals are created equal.

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