Posted 15 January 2003 - 08:48 PM
Posted 16 January 2003 - 02:13 PM
In the end, we understood which dimensions we'd need, and had two enormous smokers custom-built for our kitchen. I'll never forget the day they were delivered. We had to close down East 27th Street, open the entire storefront of what would one day be Blue Smoke, and then get them lovingly moved into the kitchen. We cut holes in the back of the building to accommodate the back of the pits (that's where the wood is loaded). The fit was perfect --- almost too perfect. In fact, there is no more than 1/4-inch between the top of pits and the steel beam that supports the kitchen ceiling. We were incredibly lucky that we didn't have to re-build the kitchen around the smokers.
As I've written in another post, we had lots of problems getting excellent product from the smokers in those early months, mostly related to the enormous updraft from our 15-story smokestack. One night, in an effort to improve our ribs, we shut off the fan on the roof. We ended up with an alarmingly loud fire alarm and an invasion of axe-hauling members of the NY Fire Department. It wasn't pretty. "Ole Hickory" wasn't able to help that much in figuring out our smokestack problems, since they've not had experience with many (if any) urban installations. But once we identified the problem, they were great about helping us install the 3 dampers that have made all the difference in the world in terms of getting smoky flavor and moist meat.
All in all we are quite happy with our choice to work with Ole Hickory.