Hello all my new friends! I've been here a few weeks and just reading a ton of stuff. I am a chef but never owned a smoker...not a big thing here near the beaches in So CA. However, I am in the fresh sausage business and want to start venturing into smoked sausage, charcuterie, and anything else I can shove in there. On lots of advice I bought my first MES 40 and got it yesterday! My girlfriend sent me a message that she was going to be late coming home and I said "No worries...I'm gonna be busy tonight". She replied "Why are you being so aloof?" So I sent her a pic of the box and she said "See ya in a few weeks". I love her! My buddy owns Sterling Pacific Meat Co. and when he heard I bought the smoker he gave me over 40# of pork belly, navel and brisket. So, it's time for some bacon, pastrami, smoked brisket and maybe some of Bear's beef sticks...those look too good. Oh, and I put my monthly gym membership on auto-renew....cuz I'm gonna need it! Anyway, I'm really stoked I found this forum. I bought Jeff's book and I'm using it this weekend along with a few other recipes I've pulled from all of you. I will post my curing and smoking process. If any of you ever have sausage or other cooking questions, please reach out. I was a pastry chef for over 15 years, studied in Paris and worked in a bunch of great restaurants in LA and Orange County. I'm now in the burger and sausage business and travel to Chicago, NY and SF a lot for the restaurants. I'll be hitting up the community soon for some road trip advice. My son and I are driving from LA to Charleston, SC to take him to college in August...going through CA, AZ, NM, TX, OK, AR, TN, AL, GA and SC...might make it a bbq run all the way if you know of any good places. DAY 1 - The Unveiling Hello beautiful...where have you been all my life? Thankful today for Amazon Prime shipping..couldn't wait more than 2 days after I decided on this baby... Total water works....(slang for I tear drops) We don't have big land out here near the beach in So CA so my neighbors that are about 15 feet away are just gonna have to deal with the delicious smell of smoked meat....maybe they'll be more friendly now.