Hello, I'm Robin.
I've never smoked a single thing (on purpose, anyway) but hope to change that soon, once I have an idea of what I'm doing. I got interested in doing my own smoking & curing when I realized I had $800 of pork and beef in my freezer from the animals we purchased, but still had to buy breakfast sausage, kielbasa, brats, etc. How silly.
My goal is to be able to make the items I am currently buying. I would consider it an amazing accomplishment to make homemade brats that are as good as Johnsonville (sorry- I know some don't like them, but they are the gold standard around here!). Now, I know brats are not smoked, but that's the other half of my goal- making those "luxury" items that I usually don't buy because of price (smoked chubs are $9 for 3 at the grocery store!).
I have a little Brinkman smoker that's shaped like a torpedo that I got at a rummage sale nearly new (guess they chickened out).
I heard this was the place to list our accomplishments, and while I have few in the charcuterie department, I will toot my own horn and say that I have beautiful gardens that I start indoors from seed, I can, I cook very well, and I bake (I am most proud of my sourdough bread- you can't buy the real thing around here). I am confident that if I read a lot and ask a lot of questions, I will, thanks to the other members here, have some tasty smoked items to enjoy and share with my family. And hopefully never have to buy another Hillshire kielbasa ever again!