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From the North and the South

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm new here, but not new to meats or smoking. I was born and brought up in Jefferson Co. NY, my dad owned a meat and grocery store and cured and smoked his own bacons, hams, dried beef, offals, turkeys, chickens, misc. pork (shoulders, rib/loin roasts, etc.) Canadian bacon... just about anything that he could tie down long enough to pickle! I started in the meat room at age 5 helping to crank the hand grinder and tray up meats for the fresh meat case, to hanging pork in the cooler at age 8 and beef at age 11, and learning meatcutting until HS graduation. I tried college but left to work full time at the store. I graduated to chain stores, became a Journeyman meat cutter, a First cutter and Meat manager, then went on to Deli/Bakery Supervisor and Meat Department Supervisor of 30+ stores. After a back injury and 2 yrs trying to get back to work I went into retail sales in electronics and am a store manager in that field now. We moved to Texas to get away from the snow (wife had cancer and me with a bad back - neither could shovel any more!). But, I still do my own home cutting and smoking for the family and our sons' families, making Italian sausages, breakfast link and pan sausage, bratwurst (couldn't live in Texas without those!), summer sausage, franks, pepperoni, etc. I have a 1hp. grinder from Cabela's (we have a store 1/2 hour away) and a Cabela's smoker (the green 'bullet' smoker with 3 racks, electric). For the amounts I smoke that works just fine. I just ordered a 15lb. upright stuffer from Northern Tools that was rated very highly, metal gears, stainless steel, etc. on sale for $169, reg. $289. Comparable models run $399-$499 - I'll find out what a good deal it is or isn't in a couple weeks. I'm accustomed to full sized meat processing equipment, so this is just a lot of fun in the kitchen with the tools I've accumulated! The boys and their families plus my wife all enjoy the home made product vs. store-bought - it's fresher, seasoned better, leaner and more flavorful!
At my dad's store he had two Koch full size smokers. The bottoms had a door that let you get to a slide-out cast iron pan to put your smoke product in, then slide it back in over a gas burner which would heat and smolder the product. He always used crushed corn cobs - this was back when farmers shelled their corn and the cobs were left and they'd take them to the grist mill and get them ground. Then, at the top of the smokers were large doors where 2 rows of 3 pipes were to hang your meat product. Each smoker could hold either 300 lbs. of pork bellies for bacon or 36 hams. We had a pickle pump and brine cooler that we'd keep the product in in 55 gal. barrels, after pickle-pumping (to put the brine around the bone in hams so they didn't spoil), cover with brine and let soak for 30 days. We'd rotate and pull the product every week, sacking the hams in stockinette and hanging so they didn't touch, 6 hams per bar x 6 bars. Bellies soaked by themselves for 30 days and were hung with bacon hooks. He'd cook the bacons at 160 deg. for 9 hours with full smoke, let cool then hang in a drip cooler, then into a storage cooler. The hams smoked for 12 hours, then cooked for another 24 hours until fully cooked, at about 150 degrees, then dripped and cooled. He sold them to people all over the world as they were flavorful and tender, utilizing a long brine period (most are 24 hours) and a very long, slow cook time. Unfortunately the business died with him, not willing to let loose the reins.
If anyone has any meat questions, don't hesitate to ask, I'll be glad to answer anything I can!
post #2 of 12
WELCOME POPS. Now you know some stuff. Glad ur here. We like pointers, tips and everything in between when it comes to meat. Look forward to your expertise.
post #3 of 12
OH boy, Our Ham and sausage savior has arrived!PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

Glad to have ya with us here. I bet you will find alot of questions to answer. Very informative roll call post. Hope ya find alot to read about and share with us while you are here.

post #4 of 12
Welcome, Pops. Good to have ya here;we'll be shooting the questions to ya soon I'm sure.
post #5 of 12
Holy sausage! An expert has arrived. What an extensive intro for a new member. Welcome to the forum. I am light years behind you but look forward to learning from someone with your knowledge!
post #6 of 12
Great intro, Pops. I look forward to seeing your knowledge on the this site.
post #7 of 12
Welcome to the smf.................Glad to have you here.......................
post #8 of 12
Welcome to the SMF. Looking forward to sharing smokes, jokes, and good Q with You!
post #9 of 12
Welcome to the SMF. I look forward to your contributions.
post #10 of 12
Welcome to the SMF Pops!
It's great to have you aboard. With your background and experience, we can all learn lots. Look forward to your posts.
post #11 of 12
Welcome Pops!
What a great background you have...well I am looking forward to learning from you!
post #12 of 12
welcome aboard pops
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