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Tractor-Cue Makes Outdoor Cooking Fun
After getting started in the barbecue business as a part-time hobby, Jacksonville, Ark., farmer Jack Taylor drummed up so much business he turned it into a full-time job. He owes his success, in part, to the unique big barbecue machine he built out of old tractor parts.
"After I decided to build my 'Tractor-Cue', it took about five years to find all the parts for it and another 8 months to fit and weld them all together," says Taylor. "I built it to look as close as possible to an early 1900's Case 30 hp steam tractor, patterning it after a real one they have in the museum in Scott, Ark."
A big break in searching for parts came when Taylor found a 1934 Deere D or G tractor in a neighbor's grove. The tractor had the big steel wheels he'd hunted for all over Arkansas. So he hauled the tractor to his farm, dismantled it, and used much of it to build his look-alike Case.
Taylor's Tractor-Cue weighs approximately 6,000 lbs., is 14 1/2 ft. long and has a smokestack that's 8 ft. high off the ground at the top. He parks it on a concrete pad outside his house - it can be pushed but doesn't run on power of its own - and hauls it to barbecues in a canopied trailer he had specially built for it.
The Tractor-Cue has five gas burners that put out 65,000 Btu's apiece and two gas burners that put out 25,000 Btu's apiece. It also has a firebox that burns 2-ft. long pieces of stove wood.
Capable of cooking 500 lbs. of meat at a time, it has a 6-ft. long by 2-ft. wide gas steak grill that'll handle 50 steaks at a time. Or he can cook up 50 hamburgers or 250 hot dogs on the grill at a time.
Since starting out as a part-time week-end venture to supplement his farm income in the middle 1980's, Taylor and his barbecue machine have become something of celebrities in central Arkansas - and else-where.
He travels a five-location circuit, including Little Rock, every week, May through December. The barbecue machine is licensed as a mobile restaurant by the state health department.
Taylor has also competed in many state and national barbecue contests, winning the Arkansas State Barbecue Championship with his ribs in 1990. Leaving the Tractor-Cue behind, he's also competed in, world class competition in Ireland and the former Soviet Union.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jack Taylor, 1810-A South Highway 161, Jacksonville, Ark. 72076 (ph 501982-3791).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #2