I'm happy I found this forum and I'm looking forward to looking around.
I'm a professional chef working on a private yacht in South Florida. I've been cooking professionally for 21 years.
I do a lot of practicing at home when I'm not on the vessel which is often. I go through many phases of learning new techniques and cooking styles. I go from spending a few weeks on French bread and pasty to Korean and Japanese street food to whatever I feel like I have to work on to have a large repertoire.
Now I started working on a project where I'll be teaching myself to brine, salt, smoke and dry cure charcuterie from all over the world. I start with simple, unsmoked sausage and work my way up from there.
I'm using a regular, rectangular, covered gas grill with an attachment smoker (with pellets) for hot and cold smoking. I also use a small, hand held cold smoker for work when I want to smoke raw fish, sauces and dressings and anything else where I incorporate cold smoke. This is a very quick smoke where the flavor only lasts a short time after it's served.
I have a kitchenAid counter top mixer with a meat grinder attachment and a sausage stuffing attachment. I may purchase a separate, slightly more heavy duty grinder in order to keep smears to a minimum and work faster. I feel the sausage stuffing attachment on the kitchenAid is quite good.
I already prepared my first recipe, a mild merguez and it turned out great. The photo shows it served with a spicy tahini sauce.
I'm making it a point to use the best meat, spices and casings I can in order to see how things work out when the best ingredients and supplies are used. If things aren't working out, I want to make sure it's not the ingredients and supplies. I'm ordering my meat from a local farm a little further up north and the product has been excellent so far.
I've already placed my brisket for a 10 day brine in the fridge today and I'm planning on making a Montreal style smoked meat (that's where I'm from). It goes from brine to smoke to steam and I'm looking forward to see how it works out. Montreal smoked meat isn't easy! hah... It's basically a pastrami with some specific spices, long brine, medium long smoke and long low steam or braise.
It looks like there's a lot of great information here and nice to meet you all.
Edited by Aprilized - 5/5/15 at 9:00pm