Why a Food Truck Is Perfect for Your Restaurant

The restaurant industry is full of ways to maximize profits. Perhaps you’ve tried promotions, new menu items, happy-hour specials, and more, but you’re still struggling to stand out from the crowd. It might be time to think outside the box—and by “box” we mean restaurant. A great way to expand your customer base and grow your business is to get a food truck!

Check out these 4 sweet perks to investing in a food truck for your restaurant this summer.

Advertising With a Side of Fries

A restaurant’s marketing strategy is crucial to attracting new customers and growing sales.

Food trucks are becoming a key component to running a successful restaurant in this era of social media. Photos of your delectable food are wonderful, but who doesn’t want to advertise with the actual mouth-watering dishes you serve at your restaurant?

Potential customers can now visit your truck to sample your products instead of just considering them from an advertisement. The added benefit of advertising that actually pays you back in cash is awesome. Starting a food truck business that eventually becomes financially self-sufficient is never a bad thing.

Grow Fast with Low Upfront Costs

Expanding your business by establishing another location is a natural business choice as your business grows, and you seek new ways to maintain your level of growth. Rather than opening another brick-and-mortar location, why not consider purchasing a food truck?

A food truck provides great flexibility regarding location since you could virtually conduct your business from anywhere, with startup costs that are often less than $50,000—a fraction of the cost of a brick and mortar location.

The menu in your restaurant can be adjusted and pared down so that it fits your truck. Now customers can choose between two locations—one of which is mobile—and still enjoy the same quality of food. This flexibility can help your business too, since you can go to your target customers instead of hoping they come to you.

Create a Unique Menu

For many restaurants, the appeal for customers to come is for unique and creative dishes that keep them coming back for more. A food truck allows you to serve your customers anywhere and anything you choose, such as a BBQ menu or new vegetarian options. The radical changes you make to a successful establishment can alienate your long-term customers, but your food truck is the perfect way to experiment and attract new patrons in safely and creatively.

Seasonal Opportunities

There may be seasonal opportunities for you to take advantage of with a food truck, such as bringing your truck to beaches or parks now that warmer months are upon us. Is a big sporting event coming up? If you can obtain space outside a local arena, you can capitalize on sporting fans in town.

Looking for a younger crowd? A university can also be a lucrative place to earn some extra income when students are moving between classes. With some brainstorming, you are sure to find some amazing ways to use your truck—the sky’s the limit! Running a food truck can be a fun and creative venture for a new or existing business, and we want to make it an easier one too! Give the team at Cookshack a call today at 800-423-0698 or visit us online to see our wide selection of smokers, grills, and pizza ovens.

3 Ways to Celebrate National BBQ Month

May is National BBQ Month, and our team at Cookshack is planning to mark the occasion with gusto. Whether you’re a professional or a newbie, this is a great month to go all-in on delicious dishes—challenge yourself to master a new element of the process or embrace the spirit of the season with a relaxed, BBQ-centered gathering. Need inspiration? These are our three favorite ways to celebrate.

1. Try a New Sauce or Spice Rub

National BBQ Month is the perfect time to broaden your flavor horizons. A new sauce or spice rub brings a new dimension to a weekday dinner or a weekend gathering with friends. If you usually go with a sweet and savory rub, try a spice blend with bold Mexican spices. Are you a dry-rub diehard? Branch out into wet rubs that use mustard, honey, or vinegar. Venturing away from your tried-and-true spices and sauces is a fantastic way to find new combinations and reinvigorate your love of BBQ—just in time for summer!

2. Learn a New BBQ Skill

Every BBQ master knows that creating a juicy BBQ dish is equal parts art and science. Take your briskets and ribs to the next level by learning a new skill for National BBQ Month. If you’ve never tried a microplane, use the tool with garlic or shallots to add a jolt of flavor at the end of the BBQ process. Are you all about beef and pork? Celebrate this month by experimenting with beer-can chicken, trying out different lagers and IPAs to find the right blend of hops and flavors.

3. Host a Friends and Family BBQ

There’s no question—BBQ is best when it’s shared. Bring a bit of fun to National BBQ Month by hosting a celebration for your family and friends. It’s a great way to show off the new flavors and skills you’ve discovered throughout the month. The trick to a successful gathering is to keep your focus on the main course; let your guests bring the side dishes. That way everyone gets the chance to try something new, and you can all kick off the summer season right.

After a long winter, National BBQ Month is a fun way to bid farewell to cooler weather and celebrate all things BBQ! Do you want to celebrate this month in style? Check out our selection of spices and rubs to give your BBQ some extra OOMF. Purchase our 5-pack spice kit which includes all of our customer favorites—a 20 oz bottle of Signature Barbecue Sauce, 10 oz shaker bottles of RibRub and Brisket Rub, 13 oz shaker bottle of Spicy Chicken Rub, and an 8 oz shaker bottle of Chili Mix. Have trouble finding the right products for you? Give Cookshack a call, or fill out our contact form.

Why Does Your Business Need a Wood-Fired Pizza Oven?

The quality of your oven might not seem like a central component of your business. It might seem safe to assume that the ingredients and recipes are much more important. It sounds simple, right? In fact, the type of oven that you use has a huge impact on the quality of your pizza. A regular oven might simply heat your pizza, but a wood-fired oven can take an average pizza and turn it into a crispy, restaurant-quality delicacy.

What Makes Wood-fired Pizza Ovens So Unique?

Wood-fired pizza ovens don’t just cook your pizza—they enhance the flavor and texture with the natural wood smoke used to heat the interior. While a regular oven might use electric or gas power, a wood-fired oven uses real wood to infuse your pizza with an all-natural smoky flavor.

It’s like buying a pizza at an authentic, family-owned restaurant in Italy. Even if you make your pizza by hand, a regular oven might give your pizza a bland, artificial taste that you associate with frozen pizzas. Wood-fired ovens are the real deal.

Wood-fired ovens also enhance the texture and quality of your pizza. When you bake your pizza in a wood-fired oven, the heat makes the crust dry and crispy while the ingredients stay juicy and flavorful. If you cook your pizza in a traditional oven, you might notice that the crust tends to lie flat. A wood-fired oven makes the crust rise and bubble for that perfect homemade appearance.

When you think of a wood-fired oven, you might think about a barbecue smoker that takes hours to cook the meat. Wood-fired ovens are the exact opposite. You can cook your pizza in just a few minutes or less and still infuse it with a delicious smoky flavor. If your dining room is packed, you can deliver hot food to your customers as quickly as possible.

Where Can You Buy a Wood-fired Pizza Oven?

Cookshack Inc sells high-quality wood-fired pizza ovens directly to restaurants and business owners. For your convenience, you can order our ovens and other kitchen appliances online. Our wood-fired pizza ovens can cook just about any pizza in three minutes or less. They’re made specifically with restaurant owners in mind, so you know you’re getting the perfect oven for your fast-paced business.

Can You Use a Smoker to Smoke Seafood?

When most people think about smoked meats, they likely picture a traditional barbecue with ribs and brisket or the simpler hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs. Some people enjoy smoked bacon or pork sausage for that classic Sunday brunch. However, many people don’t realize that you can smoke seafood in your smoker to create a delicious homemade flavor!

What Are the Benefits of Smoking Seafood?

Many only know two ways to cook seafood: grilling and frying. Smoking seafood though opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Just like barbecue, you can experiment with different types of wood to bring out different flavors. For fish, some experts recommend using hickory, apple, or cherry. You can also try different sauces and brines to enhance the complex flavors of salmon, tuna, and other types of seafood.

Smoked seafood is also a healthier alternative to the traditional barbecue. Most people prefer smoked red meat, which can be loaded with fat, cholesterol, and calories. Seafood is leaner, healthier, and bursting with delicious flavor. When you serve smoked seafood, you can throw a classic backyard barbecue that’s easier on the arteries, and still delight the palate of your guests.

What Kinds of Seafood Can You Smoke?

You can smoke a wide variety of seafood, although the smoky flavor complements some types of seafood better than others. Popular smoked seafood recipes include ones featuring salmon, tuna, shrimp, oysters, halibut, catfish, scallops, tilapia, and clams. Your smoked seafood could be the main entrée or part of another dish like a creamy clam chowder.

Once you’ve mastered the art of smoking seafood, you can add different vegetables, herbs, and spices to your dishes and see how they complement the smoky flavor profile. Looking to get adventurous?—experiment with different sauces and rubs that are made specifically for smoked meat.

How Do You Smoke Seafood?

Smoking seafood is an easy and rewarding experience. You can prepare smoked seafood just like you would other meats in a regular smoker from Cookshack. We sell a wide range of smokers for both home and commercial use. Simply add the wood to the smoker, then let the meat cook for several hours so that it absorbs the delicious smoky flavor!

In addition to smokers, we also sell sauces, rubs, cookbooks, wood chunks, wood pellets, replacement parts, and other supplies that you need for a successful cookout. 

We do more than residential cookers, we have commercial products that are built with large restaurants in mind as well—browse our selection of commercial smokers. Have questions, contact us today for expert advice.

4 Reasons Why BBQ Is the Best Takeout Food for Restaurants

Takeout has become an increasingly popular option for many restaurants. Here’s why adding BBQ to your takeout menu is a tasty option your customers will love! 

  1. Embrace the Ultimate Comfort Food

We’ll admit it—we’re a little biased, but we believe that BBQ is the ideal cozy, comfort food for individuals or families to enjoy! With more people ordering takeout now than ever, it’s a classic addition that will entice your customers to place an order. With the increased desire for a convenient culinary experience, customers can treat themselves to a delicious, home-cooked meal, without needing to do the cooking!

  1. Make It a Family Affair

A family-friendly meal that even keeps the kids happy—yes please!? When customers don’t know what to make for dinner, BBQ is the perfect option! Whether you decide to make it a “Family Special” offered on Friday nights or a weekday feature, these combos are sure to inspire some quality family time.  

  1. A Convenient Option

Many people don’t want to put in hours smoking or grilling the perfect, mouthwatering BBQ—they just want to eat it! Adding a barbeque option to your menu allows customers to take advantage of your cooking expertise and professional barbeque equipment so they can savor a delicious meal any night of the week without having to plan and prep for it! 

  1. A Versatile Menu Item

Barbeque is a delicious menu item that can easily be adjusted to suit a theme or promotion. Whether you want to adjust the recipe to fit a specific theme, or change the sides that accompany the meal, it can easily be done with BBQ!

When you’re thinking about widening your repertoire and adding barbeque to your restaurant’s menu, there’s only one team to trust—Cookshack! Visit our website today to check out our smokers and grills. 

Why You Should Open Up a Ghost Kitchen

A ghost kitchen, also known as a commissary kitchen, is a kitchen equipped to prepare delivery-only meals. Many restaurants are now using a ghost kitchen to prepare restaurant-quality meals for on-the-go dining.

If you are thinking of opening up a ghost kitchen of your own, there are a few things to keep in mind. First off, you will need to decide what type of cuisine you will be specializing in.

Depending on what type of food you will be preparing, you will need specific equipment to cook certain foods. For example, if you will be cooking and serving BBQ cuisine, you will need a professional-quality smoker and grill. You will also likely need a deep fryer so you can serve traditional sides such as French fries with your main course of BBQ meats.

Open the Right Shop and Serve Food Customers Are Craving

If you are pretty confident in your recipes and cooking skills, your competition shouldn’t scare you. A ghost kitchen is easier to start up since there aren’t as many costs to open the doors. It is also possible to get up-and-running in as quickly as a week rather than months.

The Benefits of a Ghost Kitchen

There are several benefits to running a ghost kitchen. For one, your ghost kitchen can be located anywhere, so you don’t have to foot the bill for high rent to be centrally located.

You also get to avoid all of the costs that come with accommodating a dining room such as tables, chairs, high rent for the additional space, and wages for front-of-house staff.

There is also a very high demand for delivery food, so you don’t have to “sell” your product. The money you save by not setting up a physical restaurant can be invested in other potential income streams such as marketing campaigns and digital branding.

Starting up a ghost kitchen is a great investment. If you’re looking for a BBQ smoker to start your ghost kitchen, reach out to us at Cookshack Inc!

Get The Greatest Grilling Gifts This Christmas

Buying the right Christmas gift is tricky, but buying the right grilling gift for a BBQ aficionado is a whole other ball game. So, if you know someone who loves to grill but seems to have it all and you’re looking to buy them something special this Christmas—or you’re just stumped for ideas—look no further! Cookshack has a range of unique and innovative grill-tastic options that’ll do the trick. 

Here are some tips on what to get your favorite grill master this holiday season:

Pellet Grills

If you know someone who says there’s nothing more peaceful than grilling, maybe you should try looking at Fast Eddy’s Pellet Grill. It’s the only pellet grill on the market that uses charbroiling technology. 

If you’d like the smokiness of a charbroiler with the flavor control of a traditional grill, this could be the perfect addition to your patio or garage. Give your loved ones the joy of a delicious backyard barbecue and the warm hug that only comfort food can bring. Besides, if done right, grilling can be healthier than a lot of other cooking methods. 

Smokers

If they already have a grill, why not try the original home-smoker that started it all? This electric smoker is easy to load, clean, and is incredibly portable. While you’re at it, take a look at Cookshack’s entire catalog of smokers. This option may just be what they’re missing. 

BBQ Essentials

If your friend or family member already has an impressive grilling setup, then why not throw in some of Cookshack’s classic BBQ essentials, like Fast Eddy’s Championship Seasoning. Whether you make it an add-on to your Christmas gift or a stocking stuffer, it’s sure to delight any recipient. 

Cookbooks

Here’s an option for the newer cooks out there—if your favorite chef is just starting out, why not look at this incredible cookbook for beginners? It has a mix of traditional recipes as well as gourmet wood-smoked dishes.  

Everyone can agree that there are few things more beloved than a cookout. So, if your loved one enjoys grilling, show them some love this Christmas by giving them the gift of a KC-style barbecue made easy. Check out Cookshack to make smokin’ simple. 

How to Smoke a Delicious Turkey

This Thanksgiving, surprise your family with the best-smoked turkey they’ve ever had. Turkey is the holiday staple at most Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables. Smoked food is slow-cooked, and slow cooking food helps it remain tender, soft, and succulent while also retaining the maximum amount of flavor.

Cooking a turkey properly is a little trickier than smaller birds like chicken or duck, but don’t let that deter you. Even if you have never smoked a turkey before, you can use these tips to smoke a succulent bird that your tastebuds will love.  

How Do You Smoke Turkey?

The first step to a deliciously smoked turkey is having the right tools for the job. Electric smokers and pellet grills from Cookshack are designed to give you mouth-watering meats with each and every use. 

  • Select a skinned, mid-sized bird of 10-12 pounds.
  • Rub it with butter and spices and brine it for 48 hours.
  • Remove the turkey from the fridge, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before placing it in a hot smoker or grill at 250°F.
  • Continue with the process for up to 10 hours, or until the turkey’s center reaches 180°F. If you are smoking a bigger bird, expect a longer cooking time.

Here are some delicious and straightforward methods to brine your turkey:

  • Smoked turkey is delightful to taste even without adding too much seasoning. Beginners can taste success by merely coating the turkey with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • If you want to try something more ‘gourmet,’ you can fill the breast cavity with apples, onion, garlic, lemons, and aromatic spices so that your turkey full of flavor.

For a more in-depth guide on smoking your next bird, check out our guide to Turkey 101. Not a turkey family? No problem! Check out our recipes page for tips and guides on how to prepare your family’s favorite meats for your next holiday meal.   

Cookshack is proud to provide quality smokers, grills, and accessories that make every celebration a little more delicious. Get in touch with us or visit our website and learn more about how our products can transform your next holiday meal. 

3 Tips for the Perfect Wood Fired Pizza

With the fall weather approaching, there’s nothing better than a cozy meal you can enjoy with friends and family. Check out our top 3 tips you ‘knead’ to know for creating the perfect wood-fired pizza!

Dough’s and Don’ts

The first step to a great pizza is having the right dough recipe! Remember, not all recipes are created equal. Make sure to tailor your recipe to your cooking method since the type of pizza dough that works well in a gas oven won’t cook the same way in a wood-fired oven that’s hundreds of degrees hotter. 

We recommend that your dough has less sugar because it tends to bake quicker at high temperatures, giving the appearance that the crust is done when it’s actually not. 

Cheesy Choices

Another key component is to choose the right type of cheese. The moisture content of a cheese is important because it will brown differently depending on the temperature and oven type. A fresh, higher-moisture mozzarella will give your pizza that authentic Neapolitan taste and style. 

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold…

Ensuring that your pizza’s crust and toppings are evenly-cooked is both an art and a science that includes carefully regulating the ingredients, time, and temperature. Take time to understand how the heat is distributed within the oven to achieve a consistent temperature and space out the wood to allow more air in. 

Most conventional wood-fired ovens require at least 3 hours of prep time to ensure that they’re hot enough to properly cook your pizza. Thankfully, the Cookshack Wood Fired Pizza Oven cuts this time in half with advanced technology that delivers brick-oven flavor with the press of a button.

This oven ranges in temperature from 170-900°F allowing you to embrace your inner chef and create pizzas, calzones, quesadillas, stromboli, desserts, and more! With its convenient size, there’s no need to leave it outside or remodel your entire kitchen—it can be installed under a standard commercial hood! 

Pizzas are the perfect meal for any evening, but the real fun is making them with your family and friends. Visit our website to find more great Cookshack recipes or give our team a call at (800) 423-0698 to learn more about our selection of pizza ovens and accessories.

4 Easy Tips to Make Delicious Sausages in Your New Smoker

This summer has given us some of the sunniest and warmest days we can remember, and these days only get better when you’re enjoying home-made sausages from your very own smoker!

Here are our 4 go-to cooking tips when loading sausage into our smokers.

Fanning and Air-Drying

Air drying is a critical part of the smoking process that many of us forget about, but a properly dried meat can mean a longer fridge life and better preservation for midnight snacking.

To ensure your meat is ready for the smoker, set up a small house fan in front of them for a few minutes before throwing it in.

Go Dark by Adding Paprika

Plating and presentation are just as critical to a good meal as the taste of your meats, but how do you make sure your sausages look their best? Easy, add paprika!

Paprika is a great ingredient because it changes the look of meat as much as the taste. Add 2 tbsps. for every 5 lbs. To get that dark mahogany appearance!

Give Your Links Enough Space

We get it—you want to pile as many sausage links as you can into your smoker because they taste so good! However, did you know that packing too much meat into your smoker can lead to undercooked meals?

When you’re loading up your sausages, make sure that your links are evenly spaced out so the hot air can properly circulate and cook them thoroughly.

Spray With Cool Water When Finished

Everybody loves the sound of simmering meats when they open up their smoker, but leaving sausages at too high a temperature for too long can lead to a fatless and shriveled end result.

Spray the sausages with some cool water when you first remove them from the smoker to lower their internal temperature and seal in the flavor.

Smoking meat is an art that has dated back for thousands of years, and the team at Cookshack is proud to help you carry on this culinary tradition with the best tips and technology possible. Visit our website to see our full selection of industry leading smokers and barbeques.