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ISO kosher caterer for BBQ in Virginia

b
bandr Mar 17, 2011 07:57 AM

Given the chance to put together our wedding as we really want it, my fiance and I are attempting to plan a weekend in a national park culminating in a picnic/BBQ reception. Our biggest hurdle is that we have our hearts set on a location that seems to be near exactly no kosher caterers who can do what we'd like - does anyone know of a catering company in the VA/Washington DC area (or even a bit further afield!) that caters decent BBQ?

  1. b
    bandr Mar 18, 2011 07:58 AM

    Thanks to all so far! We'll update with what we find out in case anyone else finds themselves in this kind of odd situation . . .

    1. k
      KosherChef Mar 17, 2011 03:28 PM

      Try Executive kosher...they travel all over north amercia.

      Executivekosher.com

      1. p
        Prettypoodle Mar 17, 2011 12:26 PM

        Try asking Rabbi Deitsch @ Chabad NOVA (703) 426-1980

        I am sure he can help!

        1. g
          ganeden Mar 17, 2011 10:51 AM

          Are you talking about grilling or smoking? For grilling, try to find nonkosher caterers who will accept working under supervision of a rabbi. A grill isn't too hard to kasher because libun gamor, the method of kashering the grill, doesn't require perfect cleaning first. For smoking, try to find a BBQ caterer who doesn't mind his smoker kashered by libun gamor (heating until red hot). I bought my commercial smoker used and nonkosher, and kashered once for everyday use and once for Pesach, and I don't think it will withstand another kashering. Smokers, especially rotisserie smokers, are often not as robust as grills, because they see a much lower heat in the cooking area. In any case, I'm sure you can find a BBQ caterer who would allow libun gamor at least once.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ganeden
            gotcholent May 22, 2011 08:53 PM

            Chowhound requests that I take this moment to mention that I am a chef/bbq enthusiast and business owner-kosher catering before making my comments.....with that noted, those of us who take real pride in our equipment and treat our smokers like our own children would also dread the idea of losing years of patina to the koshering process. It took a solid year of weekly, heavy, smoking (roughly 150-250lbs at a time) before I was really happy with my commercial smoker's seasoning. It'd be cheaper to purchase or even build a smoker then have to have someone properly kasher (and maybe destroy) another one. Check out pictures these pictures spanning a single year's smoking, note the color of the walls (the patina), like having a well seasoned wok, seasoning you smoker can make all the difference in the world.

             
             
             
             
             
            1. re: gotcholent
              g
              ganeden May 23, 2011 12:04 PM

              I have s Southern Pride smoker capable of 600 lbs of meat at once time. The professional units like this are built pretty robust, and it took 2 kasherings no problem. However, the less robust personal units are probably incapable of libun gamor- welds will crack, the frame will warp. For the racks, they will lose some or all of their season. What I was proposing was looking for someone with a large commercial unit, and kashering it once. It will surely stand up to it. Ole Hickory or Southern Pride or Oyler or Holstein are all robust commercial units capable of withstanding one kashering. But you are correct, if dealing with iron or uncoated steel grates, and home-type units made from anything thinner than heavy plate, it is probably not worth kashering.

              1. re: ganeden
                gotcholent May 23, 2011 02:12 PM

                My only southern pride comes from 18yrs born and raised in Texas:) We built the unit pictured above by converting a commercial proofer, it was already stainless steel and insulated, with racks. Maybe not the most traditional set-up in the world, but very portable and the side car allows for a nice indirect heat and smoking pathway. My current build-out is being designed for a 16ft boat trailer which we are marrying to a 330 gallon cast iron boiler tank. She's gonna be a beaut, I hope to have it ready, tested and seasoned for a string of BBQ competition this summer.
                Is your smoker mobile or built into your restaurant?

                1. re: gotcholent
                  g
                  ganeden May 23, 2011 03:45 PM

                  My smoker is on wheels but not mobile. I closed the restaurant last August. I'll probably mount the smoker to my trailer eventually, but now it's in my backyard. I'm making wine professionally again, so there is no hurry to get the smoker mounted. I can make a few pounds for my friends where it's sitting. Fact is I haven't fired the thing up since last August.

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