New Member Cheech

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Dec 19, 2005
Beautiful Grand Rapids Michigan
To introduce myself:

I have had a smoking problem for about 7-8 years now. It started with what I call a silver bullet smoker that I tried out. I then bought a Lttle Chef Electric and found that I loved the hobby but that Little Chef was not satifying my smoking needs. I then built my next one out of an old frigerator. Today I use the refrigerator aka the Wookie (It is big and brown and the kids like Star Wars so it was nick named the Wookie). I also have a Charboil BBQ minus the firebox.

I am in the process of building a real pit BBQ with side firebox.

Married, two boys, 5 smokers, 3 feet of books on smoking.

I make salami (in Michigan we have a ton of venison), sausage, fish, really anything that can be smoked I have or will smoke including bear, woodchuck.

I also am working on organizing all my recipes electronically so that I can easily share the info with this group.

Thanks for sharing this group, your ideas and thought with me.
Thanks, Cheech. Again-Welcome to Smoking Meat Forums. I have probably 2 1/2 feet of various cookbooks and maybe 6 inches of that is my 'Que and Smoke section. I do have it on god authority that Santa is bring me some Smokin' books but I don't know which ones.

I know a lot of the folks here would love to see some of your recipes-feel free to share some with use before you get them all electronically organized.

There are a couple of guys that have or will convert an old fridge to a smoker, I think that they would like to know your set up. (Awesome picture of the Wookie, btw).

My boys are getting interested in the Smoking Art so we will be building a unit or two come spring (at least that's what THEY are saying). I can't get them to pull their heads out of a carburetor long enough to get interested in anything else, but when I bring my smoker on line, it seems that I can't get them to leave me alone long enough to get anything done. I even threatened to put a hasp and lock on the smoker door just to keep the thing closed during smokes!!
Thanks for the welcome.

I will keep an eye out for those that may be looking to convert an old Frig.

I have posted a recipe and will continue to put them out there.

Hey I have one for you. I had a recipe that took some brown sugar, some salt, some cloves and some cure rubbed it on a pork loin and basically created Canadian Bacon.

I lost the recipe (hence the reason for trying to get them electronically) Do you know a recipe or where I can go to get that? None of my books have the info. I originally got the recipe from my brother in laws father and he has passed away.
Cheech, I don't know of a recipe off hand, but I'm sure someone here may have a dry rub recipe that might come close to it. Commercially, you might want to check out Hi Mountain Jerky. They have a kit for making "Buckboard Bacon" (bacon made from the pork butt instead of the slab) that you can use on a pork loin.

Check this link: Buckboard Bacon Cure
Cheech I'm gonna chime in here welcoming you to the greatest forum going. Lots of nice folks and plenty of info. While my smoking experience is limited my food experience is pretty deep with both domestic meats and wild game. Glad to see that you appreciate woodchuck! Never smoked one but have roasted many over open fires and in an oven as well! Great stuff!
I am also one of the folks who will be converting a fridge in the spring. Vermont winters and my present occupation do not lend themselves to smoking too much presently!
I am looking forward to learning from you and hope that you enjoy our group not only for its common thread but also for the fun and the camaraderie!
Well thanks, just so we are clear I did not eat the Woodchuck but smoked it for others. (I will smoke just about anything, just not sure if I will eat it)
When you get ready to build it let me know I will help in anyway I can. Mine can withstand the coldest Michigan winters (currently around 20F). It works great. The only to do left is build real shelves. But it is currently functional.
Thanks for the offer of help, Cheech! And you should have tried the woodchuck!
My not smoking has nothing to do with the Vermont temps. I work for the Vertmont Agency of Transportation Highway Maintenence. On call 24/7 this time of year. Sorta crimps the social thing. And I live alone to boot!
Looking forward to your posts!
Cheech,I hope this will help you out and a big welcome to you.

Canadian-Style Bacon

For 25 lbs.

5 quarts ice water 38-40 deg
1 cup 2 Tbs. powered dextrose{corn sugar}
1/4 cup Instacure #1
3/4 cup salt


Chill pork loins to 30-40 deg.Trim off all fat till you have nothing left but lean meat.


Disolve all ingredients in cold water.After the brine is made inject the loins with 10% of thier green weight.Place loins in leftover brine at 38-40 deg for 4 to 6 days.Remove and wash under a shower of hot water.Let drain and stuff very tightly into a synthetic casing.***** any air pockets to let air escape.


Place into a preheated smoke house at 130 deg with dampers wide open and hold for four hours without smoke.Increase temps to 150 and close dampers to 1/4 open,hold for 3 hours,with smoke applied.Increase temps to 160 until internal temp reaches 142.Remove from smoker and cool with cold tap water until the internal temp is down to 110.Let hang at room temp until casing is dry.Put in fridge overnight and enjoy.

I have never tried this but all recipes I have tried from The Sausage Maker have turned out very good.
Cheech,I believe your woodchuck is what we call a groundhog here in WV.Ive not tried one but have ate several racoons and have to tell you they are very tasty.Its just so darn hard to coax them into the smoker.
Hey Cheech,

Just thought I'd also give you the welcome aboard. I'd be interested in kowing how the bear came out. A buddy of mine killed one this year and he wants me to smoke it for him. Quite frankly I haven't a clue how to do it. Maybe you could let me know how you did yours.

Hey Cheech,
Wanted to also extend my welcome to you. Sorry to have been so late but I've been pretty busy. Anyway, with five smokers and three feet of books, sounds like you are ready for most anything. Add that to two boys (I also have two ... they've left the nest now but we still absolutely love to get together) and you have the formula for some wonderful times.

Welcome aboard,
Fl Bill
Hey Mike,

For the bear what I did was make some jerky. I believe (my memory is not what it once was) I used some Hi Mountain seasoning and formed them in sticks. Everyone was talking about how good it turned out. My take on it was that it is very greasy.

I was told that bear is in the same family as pigs so that would explain the fatty part. If done again I would smoke at a lower temp. I learned that fat melts at around 165F so this way I would avoid melting the fat and it would not drip so much.

I would most likely make a salami out of it instead and put some venison in there so that it is leaner. Beside bears eat venison too so there is most likely some venison in there already.

Let me know how it turns out for you.
I believe you are correct. We too sometimes call them groundhogs, still not interested in eating them. Never thought about the coons but I suppose that day will come.

It is amazing how meat just seems to show up with just anyone once they learn that you smoke meat. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.