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Greetings from SW Florida

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello group,

I am a recent transplant from Maryland to SW Florida. I am still on my first dedicated smokers, a Masterbuilt electric purchased about 18 months ago. I Still have my trusty 30 year old Weber kettle (and a cheap propane grill for quick and less flavorful grilled foods). The whole low and slow is fairly new to me (with the acquisition of the Masterbuilt). I really didn't try it on old trusty, although I know it is very capable.
I have been working out a few failures with chicken and pork. I have also had some delicious successes and well.

I just bought some pork belly and am about to cure then smoke my first go at bacon! (I'm pretty excited about the whole thing).

Looking forward to learning from the group and sharing successes (and failures). Anybody else from SWFL, please give me a shout out. I'm still looking for quality local markets to find the meats and poultry I want. Pork belly and local chickens are not proving to be easy. (Maryland was awash in these local farms.)

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Cindy
post #2 of 11

Welcome to SMF!

 

Glad to have you aboard!

 

I'm in Sebring & it's even worse here.

 

I mostly drive to Lakeland to Sam's for meat, and my Grandson is a chef & he gets me pork bellies through the restaurant.

 

There are a lot of guys on here from your area and I'm sure one will be able to help you out.

 

Al

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the warm welcome, Al. I must say I am a bit envious of your 'belly connection'. The Sarasota Costco was carrying belly. But when I finally got set up last week after our move and the rainy season lessened, we headed up to the club and I was disappointed to find NO BELLIES. The worker in the meat dept stated they stopped carrying them. So I am now only finding over priced butchers at $5.99 lb. they should only be$2.50-$3.75/lb unless they are a heritage (and pasture raised) like Berkshire.

I'm not even sure where w will get out thanksgiving bird. I had always ordered from a local turkey farm in MD haven't found any such thing here in Englewood/Venice.
Supermarket chickens have been inconsistent at best in terms of texture.

Again, thanks for the welcome. And any tips you think I will find useful smoking in my new home are always welcome.

-Cindy
post #4 of 11

texas.gif  Good morning and welcome to the forum, from a hot day in fall,  here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

 

 

Gary

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Al nice o talk to you.
I'm over in Englewood, near Venice. My smoker is electric and not under a cover so smoking was out until the rainy season let up. Costco carried belly until last month and dropped them right before I was ready to buy. Good price too $2.75#.
post #6 of 11
I sympathize with you on the failures. The first time I smoked anything it was chicken breast with hickory.....needless to say my wife still reminds me of that horrific day. To this day I have never used hickory again....on anything. I wouldn't even want to burn it in a camp fire...lol.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CedarBreath View Post

I sympathize with you on the failures. The first time I smoked anything it was chicken breast with hickory.....needless to say my wife still reminds me of that horrific day. To this day I have never used hickory again....on anything. I wouldn't even want to burn it in a camp fire...lol.

I started smoking my chicken with applewood and water in the pan. I found the flavor of applewood okay but the texture was Gawd awful. But I have recently used a mix of apple and hickory (and even hickory by itself when apple ran out) and no water. I'm good with the hickory flavor added and by skipping the water and smoking 250F for 3 hours (instead of a bit higher temp and IT 165-170) the texture has been spot on.

Next up is bacon, should be ready to smoke Saturday.



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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
I also found my local supermarket will order belly for me. Meat manager said if I'm buying the whole belly then he can do $2.89#. So that should come in today or tomorrow 😎. Now to find a good poultry source.


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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi Gary. Been hot here in SWFL but we are finally seeing highs just in the mid 80s. And evenings are getting darn pleasant. It got my first attempt at curing going with some belly bacon this week and a whole belly on order. Probably toss a yard bird in the smoker for dinner tonight. That is my frequent go-to and I finally got it right to our (hubs and I) liking. I love this group so far. A few have been very helpful getting me advice on my bacon adventure. Happy
post #10 of 11

Welcome to SMF

 

What a difference from MD to FL. No more snow, ice, freezing temps.

 

You can find good meats just gotta venture out.

 

I to have to work around the elements being a full time RVr, My smoker is covered and under the awning even but when the wind blows these downpours here in S, FL forget it.

 

Smoke On.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nepas View Post

Welcome to SMF

 

What a difference from MD to FL. No more snow, ice, freezing temps.

 

You can find good meats just gotta venture out.

 

I to have to work around the elements being a full time RVr, My smoker is covered and under the awning even but when the wind blows these downpours here in S, FL forget it.

 

Smoke On.


Thanks for the warm Florida welcome. Last winter was another brutal snow. So when my company had a new owner buy in and restructure (cut employees including me) we decided it was time to make that vacation home our fulltime home. We would love to add a RV in our plans in the future (My sister and BIL have a mighty fine Monaco monster) But I have some northern sized bills to pay off on a south Florida income. So it might take a minute.
With my relatively new MES, I wasn't taking any chances with rains. Now that cooler and drier weather is upon us I'm excited to smoke! And darn if commercial bacon prices are not darn near double that what they were in Maryland! So I need to get a less expensive solution to my biggest vice;bacon.


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