Many thanks for such a hospitable welcome to this forum. I would love to trial a bacon without committing to buying a load of Cure #1 so will take you up on your offer, many thanks.
I have a 4 burner gas Ducane BBQ (unfortunately not one of the originals that will last forever but one post Weber takeover; still a decent quality), an old Kingsford charcoal BBQ/smoker I bought from a US colleague who couldn't take it back to the States with him and a very cheap Brinkmann Smoke 'n' Grill.
The Ducane gets used most weeks but am using this strictly as a grill. I have dabbled with a smoker box in there but nothing serious. I have grilled a Turkey for Christmas a couple of times but tends to be steaks, butterflied legs of lamb or beer-can chicken. With a family of 20+ I tend to end up BBQ’ing for most family events.
The Kingsford is my overflow BBQ but I really should be using that for smoking; I guess it would be ideal for cold smoking as it is has a separate smoking chamber. I might invest in one of those cold smoke generators you referenced; a lot cheaper than a Bradley.
My Brinkmann has only been used a few times. I have done a couple of chickens (they turned out okay), a side of salmon (that was good) and a dozen trout fillets (these were a disaster, I tried hanging them during the smoking but once they got warm they got soft and all fell from the hooks straight into the water bowl…).; The biggest issue with the Brinkmann is that it has an open bottom so controlling temperature is nigh on impossible; I struggle to get it up to even minimum temperature. Last attempt at a chicken ended up on the Ducane as a beer-can…
I would love to do some bacon (everything I have read tends to agree with your statement, once you have tried your own you’re hooked… and I do love smoked sausage so would love to try that. Some of my kids love cold smoke salmon/trout and the others swear by hot smoked so would need flexibility to be able to do either. I also like the thought of pork loin.
Not sure how much I would actually use the smoker, I guess it would depend upon how successful I was. I guess if I take a little bit of time and ask the right questions then I could make a lot more use of the kit I currently have. Just thought that having an electric smoker would make things a little simpler. I was looking at the Bradley Original Smoker rather than the digital one; Costco have these for £299. From the write-ups I have seen, temp control on the digitals is a little hit and miss so a lot of people end up buying the Auber PID so might as well save the £££’s in the first place. The big drawback is the bespoke biscuits, these can be expensive. I am doing a little bit of research to see if there are alternatives that can be used.
Looking forward to diving in, one way or another. Will post pics of my efforts and hopefully will improve over time.