I guess in terms of smoking meat, one could call me raw. I can cook meat...but I've never made my own jerky or sausage or anything like that.
I have, however, had the pleasure of eating lots of those goodies. Everything from homemade (thank you Native American powwows) to stuff from a local butcher (thank you deer hunting uncles!)
I have a husband and a 9yr old son. With the amount of protein (esp red meat for some reason) we have found we need to ingest in order to be at our healthiest, we've found out we need another option than simply going to the store and grabbing a pound of hamburger or steak. That's just too expensive to do anytime the mood strikes.
So we've got a couple of problem solvers..
-Took up hunting. Yes, it takes a while to get good at hunting where we live (Western WA), but we like the outdoors and such anyway, so it's time well spent as far as we're concerned.
-Make jerky for snacking (and anything else that can be munched on without doing a full blown dinner). Both good for game meat and a way to take advantage of sales in the store where you can stock up a bit.
But smoking meat is not something you want to go after haphazardly...since screwing it up can kill you. So I started googling and found this forum! Hopefully I can get some good pointers and start making my family some healthy protein rich snacks! (Yeah, yeah, salt and "nitrates" aren't "healthy" technically, but they beat getting botulism! :P )