As a big fan of BBQ, I’m always interested in knowing what type of smoker or pit a BBQ Joint is using and of course what kind of wood they use (quick side note: this is information that I am slowly adding to every joint on my BBQ Joint Search Engine so you’ll know ahead of time). Die hard BBQ junkies tell me they will not go to a joint that uses anything other than ONLY wood, but that’s not feasible everywhere around the country. Also, there are a some smoker makers that have developed excellent quality woodburning/gas smokers that big time BBQ Joints use to turn out solid, quality BBQ day after day.
This is the first in my series of pieces covering pits, smokers, and wood so I can get a better grasp of what each company does and what makes them stand out on their own. Southern Pride is a company well respected in the BBQ industry. Their smokers are used by hundreds of BBQ joints including Fette Sau, Smoque BBQ, Jim & Nick’s Bar-B-Q, Robinson’s #1 Rib, Van’s Pig Stand, and Pork Barrel BBQ Del Rey will be using them once they open in Late February/Early March.
Here’s the background on Southern Pride:
Mike Robertson began in the BBQ restaurant business in the early 70’s and saw the need for a more consistent, less labor-intensive way to prepare traditional smoked BBQ. Together with his father B.B. Robertson, they designed the first version of their wood-burning rotisserie BBQ smoker.
In 1976, they decided to try to build and sell an improved BBQ rotisserie smoker and formed B.B. Robertson Company. Mike started building the first commercial BBQ pits in a garage in Marion, IL and B.B. hit the road to demonstrate and sell their early design. That first year in business, they built and sold 6 smokers. The family business was off and running with Bert Robertson handling sales, Mike doing the manufacturing, and with “Mom Monte” Robertson keeping the books and trying to keep both the boys in line.
Through the years, Southern Pride’s steady growth saw the manufacturing facility move and expand to meet production demands. In about 1981, the name Southern Pride was created to better identify the core business of wood burning BBQ pits and smokers. It is used today as a signature of the craftsmanship and pride that goes in to every Southern Pride Smoker that is built. The biggest change, from back in the 70’s and early 80’s, when they built every part of every oven by hand is modern manufacturing technology. Today with computer automation, modern turret punches, and laser cutters most of the parts are pre-made to be more exact, more consistent and with higher quality. However, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the satisfaction that the employees feel by doing a job right and building a quality product for Southern Pride’s customers.”
They offer 2 electric smoker models SC-200 and DH-65 (no rotisserie and use wood chips) and have 6 gas models. The gas ovens use wood logs to create the smoke flavor, but are gas fired to maintain and regulate the cooking temperature. All the gas models use a rotisserie system to self baste the product and use a convection fan to move the heat and smoke around inside the oven. The ovens produce consistent reliable results in every single use. You simply load a couple of logs in the firebox, set the time and temp you want to cook at, and load your product. There is no need to turn or check your food once the smoker starts, the rotisserie keeps everything moist and moving and the convection fan moves the heat around so there are no “hot spots” inside the smoker, and the food that comes out speaks for itself.
Their gas oven models are:
The numbers in the models represent the approximate cooking capacity in pounds of pork butts that can be cooked in a single cook cycle.
You can contact Southern Pride via the number below or through their website here