The smokehouse truck plays a crucial role in the airflow in an industrial smokehouse or dehydrator.
The correct design of a smokehouse truck will allow the breakpoint air stream (the air that flows over your product and cooks it) to move over your product unobstructed — keeping the breakpoint velocity from degrading as it moves across your product. This is essential to evenly cook your product.
An incorrect design, however, will do the exact opposite: obstruct the breakpoint air stream, degrade it as it flows over your product, resulting in unevenly cooked product.
The Right Smokehouse Truck Design
When the design of your smokehouse truck plays such a crucial role in the movement of airflow in your industrial smokehouse or dehydrator — and can affect the consistency and yields of your cooked product — it’s imperative to know what constitutes correct and incorrect smokehouse truck design.
So how can you spot a correctly designed smokehouse truck compared to an incorrectly designed smokehouse truck? We’re glad you asked!
A smokehouse truck should include the following 2 features that positively affect oven airflow.
All smokehouse trucks have some kind of structural component that holds the truck together and from which the trays or screen are supported.
Most smokehouse trucks have this structural component — whether a bar going up the center or on the ends of the cart — on the sides of the truck that face the oven side walls.
It seems like a smart design, put the structural components that get in the way of loading and unloading the truck to the side to make it easier to use, but in reality, it’s the worst spot to maximize airflow in your oven.
The high and low velocity air streams that collide to create the breakpoint (the air that actually cooks your product) move down the side walls of your oven. When the breakpoint is created, that air shoots across your product from those same sides — meaning, if the structural components of your smokehouse truck face the side walls of the oven, it will obstruct the breakpoint.
The best smokehouse truck design places the structural components on the sides facing the front and back of the oven. This eliminates obstructions to the breakpoint air stream, resulting in a more evenly cooked product across the truck.
12” Floor Clearance
The bottom of your smokehouse truck is another area that can either hinder or help oven airflow.
The high velocity airflow travels down the side wall and across the floor of your oven to meet the low velocity airflow and form the breakpoint. In other words, it travels under your smokehouse truck.
The European style smokehouse truck (with low floor clearance) is the most popular on the market right now, but greatly hinders the airflow in your oven.
As mentioned above, proper smokehouse truck design should eliminate obstructions to oven airflow. A smokehouse truck with a low floor clearance (like found in the European style truck) causes a big obstruction to oven airflow. This low design essentially creates a “wall” on the floor of the oven, breaking the high velocity airflow and affecting where the breakpoint occurs.
Instead, look for a truck that has a minimum of 12″ clearance from the floor. This will allow the high velocity air stream to move unobstructed and unbroken across the floor of your industrial smokehouse or dehydrator and create the breakpoint exactly where it needs to be.
Invest in Good Smokehouse Truck Design
The design of the truck you use in your industrial smokehouse or dehydrator is crucially important to creating the breakpoint airstream (the air that cooks your product) exactly where you want it.
The best design for a smokehouse truck includes unobstructed sides and a 12″ clearance from the floor.
While it may seem like an expense to replace the trucks you use in your industrial smokehouse or dehydrator to trucks with a proper design, such a decision is really an investment.
Continuing to use a poorly designed truck costs you more than purchasing new smokehouse trucks ever could: in uneven, inconsistently cooked product, low product yields, and an inefficiently operating industrial smokehouse or dehydrator.
Investing in good smokehouse truck design will increase the consistency of your cooked or dried product and help your oven run more efficiently — that alone is worth the investment.
About Fusion Tech
Fusion Tech is a custom fabrication company specializing in custom designed and manufactured equipment and facility layouts for the food processing industry. Our full-staffed design team provides customers with 3D models of the equipment and layouts we design, allowing you to view our solutions as they will look in your facility. You can learn more at www.ftiinc.org/food.