In the Beginning, There Was Barbeque

The company that was to become known as one of the most respected restaurant cooking equipment manufacturers in the world, started in one room, with one product. Established in 1974, Mike Higgins and his partner, H. E. Finley, acquired the patent rights to a unique, 100% wood-fired barbecue pit invented by the late Herbert Oyler.

The two entrepreneurs formed J&R Manufacturing, LLC and began building the Oyler Pit, one pit at a time. Business was good because this rotisserie oven used a simple but extremely effective process to cook mouth-watering barbeque. As Mr. Oyler knew, cooking all night, without attention, using rotisserie motion, consistently produced delicious barbecue. Word spread fast and soon the Oyler pit could be seen in barbecue restaurants throughout the country.

In addition to its durability, this pit had the additional distinction of being the first wood-fired oven to be UL approved and NSF listed. It was to be the first in a long line of industry-redefining products from J&R Manufacturing. From the first wood-fired convection oven to heavy-duty grills featuring “Chef-Cool” insulation (allowing chefs to achieve the temperatures needed for a perfect sear without overheating themselves or the kitchen) to spit-roasting display rotisseries which showcase their work to customers while maintaining high kitchen output, we have constantly innovated to bring top culinary professionals the quality of product that they deserve.

These products are in Commercial Kitchens throughout the World

From humble beginnings, we have grown to serve chefs and restaurateurs worldwide. J&R ovens are in use every day throughout the United State and in many foreign countries.

From Euro Disney in France to Raffles in Singapore, there is an exponentially expanding community of international customers for J&R products. The fifty countries where our equipment can be found include: Antigua, Aruba, Australia, Bahrain, Bermuda (B.O.T.), Canada, The Cayman Islands (B.O.T.), China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Holland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, The Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and the United Kingdom.

Most, if not all, of these restaurants, are in high-traffic locations and the J&R ovens, broilers, and rotisseries have proven to be durable and adaptable to local cuisine demands. Click here to review the companies who trust J&R Manufacturing products for their food service businesses.

Four Reasons J&R Products Have Received Accolades from Food Professionals

A popular restaurant with a month-long waiting list likely owes its success to many factors – a great menu, a great location, great service or any number of a dozen other considerations. There are four key reasons J&R products consistently out-perform others:


The flavors, textures, tenderness, and appearance of the foods cooked in our equipment are second to none. The J&R development engineers excel as food specialists and equipment designers. Every new piece of equipment is thoroughly proven in the company’s test kitchen during the development stage to ensure that the food quality meets the customers’ demanding standards. J&R Manufacturing maintains a NO GAS philosophy in all of its barbecue pit designs.


Many of the innovations in live-fuel cooking have come from the creative product designers at J&R. The company was first in the industry to introduce the use of thermostatic controls, convected air, cook and hold, and evacuation systems on 100% wood-fired units. The combination of infrared burners with a wood fire for open rotisseries was first introduced to the commercial kitchen by J&R. Innovative, authentic Brazilian Churrasco Rotisseries and Japanese Robata Grills have gone from the drawing boards of J&R product specialists to fueling the success of a new wave of equally innovative restaurants.


The key to the durability of these commercial ovens is the use of heavy gauge steel and thick refractory linings that have been field tested over the last 30 years. This assures long years of quality use. Every unit is thoroughly tested prior to shipment to ensure that it meets quality, safety, and user-friendliness standards. Some units that were built more than forty years ago are still in daily use!


Great customer service is sometimes hard to find, but with J&R, it’s always well done! Because satisfied customers say good things about a company, the J&R customers are the company’s best sales force. A knowledgeable staff to answer the toll free phone lines is always ready and able to help. Support is available before, during, and at any time after installation. Our fully equipped test kitchen is always available for customers interested in menu testing and personnel training. To top it off, every unit ships with our own time-honored recipes and advice for getting the most out of the new centerpiece of your commercial kitchen.