I may be new to owning a smoker, but I am far from a rookie at cooking. I am 30 years old and I live in Southeastern Connecticut. I worked in my fathers restaurant between the ages of 14 and 20. Joined the Navy as a submarine cook and served for 8 years. Afterwards, I spent two years in Culinary School learning classic French cooking. Currently, I am using my military benefits and going to school full time at the University of Connecticut, working towards a BA in Economics. I am not cooking professionally at this time, but I do ALL of the cooking at home for my wife and friends. I have standards that my wife just doesn't understand (but she is not complaining either). I make everything from scratch. On Mondays, I'm breaking down chickens, Tuesdays there is always a huge stock pot simmering, I bake bread over the weekend and I'm churning ice cream whenever I get that sudden paranoia that I might run out. My kitchen aid helps me pump out sausages, and a million other things too. Lets just say that I spend at least as much time cooking as I do working and studying combined :) Its a good thing I learned the art of kitchen multi tasking at an early age.
I finally broke down and purchased my first smoker about a month ago. I own the Napoleon brand Apollo AS300K. It took me a long time to decide to purchase this over the Weber Smokey Mountain cooker. It was the tiny additional features that pushed me to the Canadian side of the fence. As of now, I've only managed to smoke a couple pork shoulders. Low and slow for 13 hours and they came out great. I'm looking forward to learning a lot about smoking from you folks here. I can tell that this is a great community and I really can't wait to dig in and get to know everyone. I have a loooooong list of "to-dos" with my smoker. Here are my short term goals:
1) More Pork shoulder
2) brined and smoked pork loin (going on today after brining for a couple days in the fridge)
5) Bacon (waiting for the colder months so I can cold smoke)
6) Smoked Cheeses (ditto)
That's about it. thanks for reading!