Ham & Bacon

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Original poster
Jan 12, 2006
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Hello all!

I am going to give my best shot at smoking my own pork. I have a half of an organic pig coming in two weeks. I want to cure and smoke the hams. I have been looking at the CFM Home Products 36 Inch Extra Wide Gas Smoker that is on sale at Gander Mountain for 149.99. Does any one have any suggestions for a beginner on using this type of smoker? Would you buy another temperature gage for the inside to see if the one in the door is accurate? What would be good temperature for smoking hams with this smoker and how long would be best to smoke them. I have my hams in 3 to 5 lbs cuts. Also I had purchased a half pig in late fall. I have the four hams frozen. I know that I can thaw them out and smoke them. What I need to know is can you refreeze them after smoking? Also the butcher made a mistake on the bacon. He cut up the bacon in slices instead of cutting the slab in 3 sections. Is it possible to cure the strips and smoke them? I would think that smoking the strips it would take less time since the bacon is cut up. I would like suggestions on what to do with the bacon strips? All the information would be appreciative for a new comer at smoking meat.

Thanks All,
Randy, Defiantly get another thermometer. The one on the door works ok for when the outside temp is warm but when used at night or in cold weather the temp can be off by as much as 15 degrees. Some of us use the Maverick ET-73 Smoker thermometer. It has two probes so you can monitor the internal smoke-box temp and the internal food temp. This is a remote unit so you can be doing something else (within 100 feet) and monitor the temps via the remote unit.

I use one and I really like it. I wish I had known about it a long time ago- the ones I did have worked a couple or three times then quite. I could have save me some major bucks.
Randy,start your hams and bacons at 100 to 120 degrees,hold them there for a few hours till the surface of the meat dries .Introduce smoke and hold them for eight to twenty-four hours,depending on how smokey you want them.The longer the better for me.I take it the hams have been cured.As far as re freezing the hams,no problem with that.If I was you on the bacon Id mix up your cure,waller the bacon strips in it real good and let them sit four or five days then lay smoke to them for bout eight hours.Ive been eatin ham and bacon for bout two weeks like that,nicey nice.Theres complete details on this site bout curing and smoking hams and bacons,just dig in a little and youll find the info.Thanks,David
You told me to do my hams at 100 to 120 below in your answer. First Dave I see that you cure with dextrose and nitrate. I will not be using nitrate in my brine. I only use organic sugar, pickling salt and water. My question for you is can I still smoke ham and bacaon at this low temperature if I do not use Nitrate in the brine. And if I cannot use these low temperatures without nitrate, what temerature should I use and how long.
Thank your for all your help.

Randy did you buy the CFM (Great Outdoors) smoker? If so, how do you like it? There is another board member looking to get one too.
I just put it together last weekend. Kind of disappointed about the door. They have one of the door hinges off a bit so the door sags down on top left. I just lift door up after shutting and it stays there. I have not had a chance yet to smoke with it. If the door is shut I look along the hinge side the gap is wider on bottom than top. I hope this does not affect the smoker. I am going to try this weekend to burn it in. It is going to be pretty cold this weekend in Wisconsin. I do not know how it would be to smoke meat in 20's and the teens. Maybe some one can reply to this cold weather question. I do like the smoker, but it still could be built better. The left side metal seems weaker than the right side. I hate to take it apart just for the door problem. I might ask Gander Mountain about the problem and see what they say about the door problem.

The first two GOSM smokers I purchase had minor problems.

The first was the propane model from Lowe's. It had a bad thermometer in the door. When I called them they said they were out of that model but they allowed me to swap the door with their floor display so that I didn't have to return the whole smoker.

The second one was a floor display charcoal model from Wal-Mart. I called Great Outdoors (in Missouri before CFM purchased the company) because a few parts were missing and they promptly sent new ones at no charge.

I would check the owner's manual for their customer support phone number and give them a call about the door.
I've been extremely disappointed that CFM hasn't published a website specifically for GOSM products with product information, specifications, pictures, FAQs, and documentation. We live in the "Information Age" for goodness sake! The GOGRILLS website disappeared and promise was made, at first, that it would be replace. However, I've been very happy with the smokers.
I just spent 15 minutes talking on the phone with Olivia at CFM asking them why they didn't have a website for Great Outdoors. She said the had a meeting yesterday about expanding their product line's information on the corporate site but could say if Great Outdoors was one of them.

The guy to contact is Glenn Page [email protected] to "encourage" CFM to support their own product. He is the V.P. over Customer Service. I will certainly be contacting him and hope that other GOSM owners and potential owners would urge Glenn & CFM to make information available online to include (but not limited to);

Great Outdoorsâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji] entire product line
Detailed specifications
Loads of high-resolution pictures, inside & out
Downloadable owner's manuals
Frequently asked questions / Knowledge base
A list of retailers online and local that carry which products
List of accessories & sources for availability
Illustrated parts break downs to identify needed replacement parts
Warrantee information
Possibly even recipes & anything else you can think of…

I will post this on other forums that I frequent. If ya'll would spread the word too, CFM needs to know that we NEED to know!
Bob, thanks for posting the contact info. Okie-I think you're on the right track about contacting CFM. I think that if those of us who use the CFM product line would contact them and give them our support and share our testimonials of and for their GOSM, it just might be the jump-start they need to make their website a reality.
Well, my first encounter with Mr. Page was pretty much a corporate brush off standard answer.

He still hasn't answered my last email assigning responsibility to him and his company. I don't believe he plans on replying because I laid down a lot of facts about the way the company was run in the past and how CFM is has handling the product line since acquiring it. He's pinned to the wall by an educated consumer and is out of his comfort zone.
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