It was exactly 2 weeks ago when an email from Toponia rolled in. I noticed it just as the sun was going down on a nice spring evening. One of those evenings when the doors are open, windows are open and the neighborhood is so quiet all you can hear are the mosquito hawks knocking against the walls. Their smoker needed a new home, either mine or someone else’s, and we had barely 3 weeks to get it out. Did Meathenge Labs have the room? Was I willing to negotiate this 1200 pound beast out and through our citiy’s little streets? In a 1974 Ford pickup truck belching black smoke at every turn?
I immediately called Taylor and laid my claim, Thor would be mine.
I didn’t get much sleep that night, attempting to figure out how in hell I was going to move the darned thing. I remembered a picnic last year where I attempted to push it a bit, no noticeable movement from my 210 pound frame. Well, it is diamond plate steel with a steel frame, then filled with concrete. At 6.5 feet tall, this was truly a monolith of great proportions. A monolith that could produce a staggering 250 pounds of smoked meat at one time.
I said I’d be by Sunday with people and a truck. The day was SET. Then I emailed the manufacturer, J & R Manufacturing and asked them what the weight of their Little Red Smokehouse was. I was really impressed because within a day I got my answer, 2100 pounds.
Aroo? 2100 pounds?!? This changes things, this changes everything. No longer is this some cute thing, nor is it to be taken lightly. At 2100 pounds, there could be some serious injuries and damage is anything were to happen. All of a sudden deadlifting it in to the truck idea was over. Not even sure if the 1/2 1974 Ford would handle it. And I’m darned sure Ed’s engine hoist won’t handle it now. I cancelled our Sunday date, needed some more thought about this.
A week or so went by and another broken date. Chilebrown and I visited the smoker on a Saturday, he wasn’t convinced it would be that tough. Lean in to back of truck, lift up and slide in. I remember the look on his face when he saw it from down the driveway. I think, “uh” or “oh” was about it for that. Ol’ CB was also concerned for the Ford, “This IS a ‘work truck’, right?” Cause brother, when that smoker hits the truck, SMASH.
All told I lost over 2 night’s sleep figuring this out. Taylor and I spoke on a regular basis and I was sure he thought I was going to ditch. I just couldn’t. Not only did I really want the smoker, I didn’t want to screw them over so close to the due date. I kept up the thought processes and visited 2 fancy equipment rental places. The second one in Berkeley had exactly what I needed, a larger engine hoist. Not so large that it had to be delivered, but something that could handle a ton and was portable, perfect. I called Taylor, yet again and set another date for pickup. This just had to be it, do or die. Don’t screw up, don’t screw up, don’t screw up.
Uncle Meathead shows up to work with a back that is clearly, ‘out’. We’re down to me, Eric & Taylor for the move. AHHAHAHHAHHAHAHHH, waaaah. Don’t screw up, don’t screw up, don’t screw up. I’ll just pretend I’m 24 again and throw caution to the wind and get the job done no matter what. A sunny Tuesday morning and we were off. To the gas station. Said Ford has a 460 cubic inch V8 with trailer towing gears and a gas gauge that was accurate many years ago. Perfect, 9 gallons should do it. 9 miles and 9 gallons, should have a little left over, maybe.
Backing up the driveway was as though I was threading a needle with a tree branch, with leaves. It turned out fine and we were able to roll the smoker up to the back of the truck, and tip it. We tried to dead lift the ass end in, no fricken way. Not even remotely. We got the engine hoist together with some fumbling and odd looks. The smoker was strapped and the hoist began its upward motion. Slowly, slowly and it caught on a few things. When you see something that large, something that heavy, that far off the ground it makes you think 3 times before you even breathe too hard to the left. It took everything that hoist had to get the smoker in. And the smoker nearly swung back out … that right there nearly caused me a coronary. After it was slid in and in place, I realized I had sweat on the outside of my hair. Yeah, I’m not talking just my scalp, nope. This was huge sweat, manly sweat of manliness. We’d done it. And I didn’t screw it up. It took me probably 10 minutes to collect my goozlems and correct my chakras.
Coming back down the driveway I was sure the front wheels were off the ground, it was only when I turned to go down the street that I was assured. With a ear vibrating scrape of steel bumper on concrete, we were off! YEAH !!! At this point I have conquered the smoker and I own its soul. This is very important, because now there is no harm that this smoker can do to me in the future. I win.
Here we find me on the forklift unloading the smoker and Eric getting his two hams ready for the first smoke. Can you see his hams? Dang, those sure are some hams there Eric.
Since Tuesday is a work day for us all, I decided that we’d take it home later on. Besides, we have a 1956 12,000 pound forklift to wrastle the beast here. I can replace the wheels, clean it, paint it and figure out what to do with all the electronics. See, it’s been outside for a few years and most certainly the fans have seized, the thermostat and other items have rusted shut. This would cost thousands to have done professionally, I’m sure. So, I’m considering taking it down from a 220 rig to a 110 and replacing some fans. I should be able to come to a happy compromise here. This will result in a lower meat capacity, but should be enough for my personal needs. Don’t you think.
So, while the smoker isn’t in use at the moment. It is mine and the process of refurbishing has begun. Remember, my smoker can totally kick your smoker’s ass!
I…I…I’m darn near speechless. You, sir, are a superhero. ‘Nuff said.
HA! Not yet, it can’t. Congrats, buddy.
I think I have a business trip planned to the Bay Area exactly on the same day you’ve got that baby loaded for the first time…
Yeah, well, ummm….like…my smoker is working. TODAY.
🙂 Just kidding. I almost couldn’t believe this when you sent me the photos the other day. Can’t wait.
Wow. Congrats on the new toy!
sweet meat jeebus
Okay “BeastMaster”; now that you own the “Beast” we want to see regular updates of your training sessions with Genuine Hams and animals that formerly were airborne!
After carefully studying the “Thing” it occurs to me that there might be a distillery in there somewhere. Did you check???
OK, I seriously don’t even know what to say. I’m flummoxed. And slightly jealous. Even though I don’t quite know what the HELL I’d do with a smoker that big.
Eric is naughty.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with a smoker this big either. And yes, Eric IS a naughty boy. Kinda funny though, he doesn’t own a computer. I’ll have to show it to him later, he isn’t here at the moment.
It’s big, it’s heavy and it’s all mine.
Hot Damn Sir! That is the Humvee of smokers.
I thought it could not be done by mortal men. It just goes to show you that you have “Superpower Meat” abilities. You are about to journey on the ultimate ‘Meat Adventure’ restoring that big beautiful meat smokin machine. Let me know if you need any help. One jealous M.F… Chilebrown
You should keep that thing locked.
I wouldn’t want small children from the neighborhood suddenly go missing.
Hmmm, how about you rent it out while you’re working on it? I think it is bigger than our apartment! 😉
Drop deck trailers make this type of project much easier. You can load/unload it with a couple of people and don’t need any other stuff.
Hell yeah brother! I have so often nearly purchased used J&R equipment at auctions but getting it up here would be hell, to say nothing of getting it up the stairs to my restaurant.
Way to go.
Yes your smoker does kick my smoker’s ass. I retreat a small, defeated man.
Well, it looks as though I’m going to make a run for it and refurbish it to its original working condition. Meathead offered to help out and it makes the most sense.
Thank you Frank for the idea of the drop decked trailer. It isn’t an easy beast to flop about.
Lawdy! That is a fine, fine bit of equipment you got there! There is so much beautiful goin’ on–I am in awe.
Get on with your bad, bad self, Biggles. You are too cool.
You got 240 volt service for the house, no big deal to keep it factory-stock and just run a separate circuit to it from the main breaker box. Don’t matter if you haven’t got enough breaker positions, I can show you how to do it.
No, see that’s the problem. I don’t have 240 or 220 to the house. And the 110 I do have is only about 40 amps, the smoker pulls 14.
I gotta sign me up for some more amperage. Oh, and some fancy volts too.
Hey, I haven’t seen Eric’s butt in years. Thanks.
Oh, and nice smoker.
We gotta fight for smokers’ rights! Well, you know what I mean:
Thanks for your smokin’ post!
Your partner in culinary crime at ThisNext,
Oh, ok… is that a challenge. Cause I am ready to compete.
I just finished smoking 100 chickens, one time, one smoker, one fine chicken…..
Holy crap !!! You win!!!
That’s one fine smoker, Biggles. Makes me a slight shade of green. Liked what 333 did with the swabs, too. I just found you smokers when I was looking for ways to use my smoked pork stock. And I thought a quart was a lot!
Keep it fired up, boys. Down here I use dead blueberry trees in the smoker- mild & sweet. Doesn’t even need sauce.
MamaPat in GA
Georgia? Oh man, I wanna come see !!!
Blueberry trees? That’s most excellent, berry wood.
I have the exact Smoker 4 sale!!! It’s been in storage for several years but never used. Not Once!
I called JRM and there 16-17K new. I am selling mine for 10k. Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org if your interested or have friends that want it.
Your story is motivational. I just wish I had the Collateral to open a business.
Oh well, The Family wants it gone.
My thought was to open the smoker to the community. They’d buy the food and pay me to smoke it, kinda like a grass roots deal.
Have you posted over at the bbqsearch.com forum? There?
Hi, are you interested in selling the Little red smokehouse BBQ Pit? If yes please contact me. (815)545-5803 cell Mitch
Sorry, but I got rid of it quite some time ago. A 2100 pound smoker was just a bit over my head, literally.
I HAVE TWO R&R SMOKERS FOR SALE.
@ Mike Pearlman – contact me at 312 771 0401 or email@example.com. I am looking for a J&R