Campbell’s Butchery owner Tony Campbell reckons the butchery’s new smoking oven is like “going from a Mini to a Rolls-Royce”.
The specialised piece of equipment, manufactured in the Czech Republic, was delivered about three weeks ago by a technician who travelled with the smoking oven to install it.
Mr Campbell said it was ideal for his business and meant it was able to smoke a range of meat products.
“It’s essentially just a big oven, but it smokes produce. It will cook hams and bacon and it can also cook European-style smallgoods like smoked chorizo and cabanossi, things like that. It’s primarily going to be used for bacon and hams.”
He said it had the capacity to smoke 110 bellies per cook, or 55 hams.
The smoking oven was shipped to New Zealand in a purpose-built frame and arrived in parts. It took about a week to put together and install.
Mr Campbell said it was a long, slow process, but well worth the wait.
“He’s been doing it for 25 years, travelling around the world putting in smokehouses … he was good at what he does and he was obviously pretty experienced at it.
“I can’t say enough about it. I’m absolutely over the moon with it. It’s opened up opportunities to do a lot more wholesaling. What we used to cook in a week, we can now do in two to three cooks.”
The butchery’s old smoker took about eight hours to complete a cycle, whereas the new smoker can do the same job in between three and four hours.
Mr Campbell said it delivered “a better all-round” smoke, using manuka chips from the West Coast.
“It’s tripled our production and also knocked a third off our cooking time . . . it’s the Rolls-Royce of smoke machines compared to what we had,” he said.
“At the moment we’re doing about 1000kg [of bacon] a week. We hope to get it up to 3000kg or 4000kg in the next 12 months. That’s the streaky bacon – there’s been huge growth in the streaky bacon industry.”
Asked about the cost of the smoking oven, he said there “wasn’t much change out of $100,000”.
Mr Campbell said the butchery was also considering investing in an automatic slicer to keep up with demand.