Randy - New Member

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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 a 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. What would be good tempature 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,
Hi. Randy. I can't tell you much about a gas smoker. However on refreezing meet I worked at a couple of european deli's back in the day and refreezing was a common practice but still a last resort. AS you may know the thing about freezing and thawing is that during that process there is a temperature range where bacteria multiplies rapidly. If you are going to thaw something do it slowly(in the fridge). Prepare your meat as soon as it thaws I would definetly cure and smoke it right away. Now having said that I wouldn't thaw it until I was going to prep and eat it. In your case you are getting fresh stuff to smoke I would smoke the fresh and freeze it. Then it's ready to go from freezer to reheat after thawing. Smoked meat even if not cured has a longer freezer life if it is not cured. You will for sure get more detailed info here. Oh and by the way welcome aboard you are going to enjoy this site. Gary. Gotta go light my fire. Todays menu smoked venison sausages and pepperetts
Hi Randy, Welcome to Smoking Meat Forums. Lots of info to be found here. The GOSM widebody is one of the better gas fired smokers on the market. It's also the one I use :mrgreen:

Having been a Meatcutter/butcher and having been asked the "Is it ok to refreeze. . .? question so many times. . . Yes, it's alright to refreeze meat-the disclaimer here is that the quality of the meat diminishes with repeated refreezing and thawing. It's also ok to freeze cooked/smoked meats. Again the quality will deminish with repeated freezing and thawing.

Hey butchers are human too and sometimes we goof :D Treat you sliced side pork like you would jerky. Soak it in a simple brine of 1 cup non iodinez salt, 1 cup sugar and one gallon of water. Soak overnight, drain and lay your slices out on the smoker racks. Smoke at 230 degrees using hickory wood. Since this is a whole lot thinner than jerky meat I would keep a close watch on it. Say check it after the first hour and every half hour after until it reaches the desired "doness" that you like. Bundle together in 1 pound batches and place in "Freezer type" ziptop bag and force as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing. If you have a vacuum sealer, use that as it will do a better job of getting the air out. Put it in the freezer and us it as you need it. A lot of the Commercial Smokers like Hormel are selling "pre-cooked" bacon slices and this is basically what you are doing.

Howdy Randy. I have owned a total of 4 GOSM (CFM) Smokers, 2 small and 2 wide body.

I cook bacon in my smoker but it's the store bought kind that's already been cured. Never tried it with uncured pork so I'd follow Earl's advice.
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