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New-Guy Greetings From The Pacific Northwet

tedr

Newbie
3
10
Joined Dec 19, 2016
Hello All,

I've been lurking off & on for about a year, figured it was time to hop in. So here goes...
 

THE PAST:
Several years ago I was given a Smokehouse Big Chief (a PNW standard for decades); it served me well, pretty much exclusively for salmon.
But it always left me wanting better temperature control.
Then, 2 years ago I bought a lightly-used MES 30 from a friend who was relocating cross-country and didn't want to schlep it along.
I ran a few loads of fish through it, then life got busy, as it frequently does...

THE PRESENT:

After a few years of frying turkeys, I wanted to spread my wings. So I did some research, and found this site while looking for an online MES owner's manual.
A few days before this past Thanksgiving, I dusted off the MES, and test-smoked a whole chicken. It was a "quick & dirty" test, but it was pretty darned tasty IMHO.
So I went all-in, and applied a bit more care in brining & smoking a 12# turkey for our family gathering. It turned out perfectly and was a HUGE hit!
Having control over the chamber temp (plus a digital meat probe threaded through the top vent) was an absolute game-changer...Oh, the possibilities...

What next?  Bacon of course!  More research, then a trip to Cash & Carry (PNW-based wholesale restaurant/grocery chain) to pick up a 14# frozen pork belly; I promptly felt like I was In Too Deep. Calm down...deep breath...more reading...make a simple, basic plan...execute plan.

After 8 days in a PP #1 cure brine, it went into the smoker yesterday afternoon. Nervous as heck about ruining $30+ worth of meat, but I stayed with it.
HOLY COW!!! It turned out amazing!  And still a LOT of room for tweaking/dialing-in the process...

The cherry on top was we quickly prepped some raw almonds and tossed them in when the bacon was done...they are amazing too!  And just in time for a Holiday Party tonight! 
I'm very pleased with what I consider a lot of success in a very short time frame.  I think this is gonna be a very fun & fulfilling ride.

THE FUTURE:
My current project is a remote smokebox for cold-smoking capability. I scored a small Magma stainless steel marine grill (like those used aboard pleasure boats) for $5 at the ReStore.
I also picked up an A-Maze-N smoke tube during a recent holiday sale, and some 3" flexible duct tube. Haven't got it fully sorted out, but I'm close.

Sorry for the long-winded first post.  Looking forward to more participation on this board.

Cheers, Ted

.
 

SmokinAl

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Staff member
Moderator
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
44,550
6,252
Joined Jun 22, 2009
Welcome to the forum Ted!

Glad you finally decided to join us!

Al
 

devildog89

Fire Starter
65
24
Joined Dec 1, 2016
Welcome Ted, I am fairly new here as well and live in Washington. I have been looking for where to get pork bell, guess I will be heading to cash n carry. 

  Once you get a set up that you can cold smoke with you have to try cheese, my first batch will be opened this weekend.
 

devildog89

Fire Starter
65
24
Joined Dec 1, 2016
Welcome Ted, I am fairly new here as well and live in Washington. I have been looking for where to get pork bell, guess I will be heading to cash n carry. 

  Once you get a set up that you can cold smoke with you have to try cheese, my first batch will be opened this weekend.
 

dirtsailor2003

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
21,606
3,322
Joined Oct 4, 2012
Welcome Ted from another PNW smoker!

Cash & Carry is my go to store for most of my smoking supply's. If you have a Costco near you check them
For bellys for bacon smoking. Usually a bit better quality than the frozen ones at C&C. Surprised you were able to one. My C&C only sells them by the case.
 

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