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Yep, we are coming up on six years of sharing information about Q. I'd like to give a big pat on the back to Smokin' Okie for his relentless contribution as moderator. And another pat on the back for you members who are generous, kind, and fun. Without you, obviously, there would be no forum.

I'd like to ask anyone who wants to contribute to post a message with a bit of bbq wisdom, or the best thing you have learned from the forum. We will publish this later and it will be available for all to see.

I would welcome suggestions for new directions that the forum can take.

And finally, we have a great group of people here, and I would like to think about how we can plan some get togethers around the country. Who's in?
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Hi Donna, all Cookshack employees, and SmokinOkie. I floundered for YEARS making what I thought was the best Q and grilling around. Then I got to reading about this Cookshack and I liked all I read.. so I bought a 008. My cooking skills took a HUGE leap and opened my eyes to what I could have been making all these years. A little more than 18 months later, I bought a second CS... my 050. Same fine cooker, just taller. After more honing my skills and cooking umteen lbs of meats, I an finally getting close to where I want to be.. feeding the general public.. for money. Smiler I am starting to cook for a local restaurant this week, 1 nite a week!!

My first bit of advice for newbies OR those looking to buy. Read. Learn to use Search, and do the searches. And again READ. After being on this Forum for a couple of years I still go back over old posts, and read on how-to. Mini refresher courses if you may. Just an excellent resource!

As for a get together.... I hope there is one in or near Iowa so I can participate. I would offer to host an event but not sure if there are enough of our smokers in Iowa to make it worthy of an event. If there are, I would LOVE to host an event!

You know.......seems like it was just yesterday there was mention of the 5th year anniversary. Time does go by pretty quick!

One of the biggest things I've learned here is that BBQers, pros, comps, & amatuers alike, are much more giving of there knowledge & secrets than any fishermen/ women I have ever come accross.

I'm also open to a Qin' Meet & Greet.

Thanks CookShack, Donna, Smokin', and all the rest of you great folks!
I sent the annual email to Donna and told them it was the 6th anniversay. Wow, 6 years of this. Pretty amazing when you think about it.

The best part is the large number of members who jump in and help everyone.

The sad part is the larger number of members who have moved on once they got some basic knowledge and we don't hear from them.

I'd like to ask anyone who wants to contribute to post a message with a bit of bbq wisdom, or the best thing you have learned from the forum. We will publish this later and it will be available for all to see.

I'll have to think about this...I have a few thoughts after 6 years and 6000+ posts Big Grin

but that's my story.

What's yours?
I purchased my CS because of this forum. I'm still not sure that this is not all a marketing ploy Wink I rave about this forum and CS to anyone who wants to talk BBQ to me. How sad am I, I even have the CS wallpaper on my work computer? I don't believe I have ever used so many I's before. I too feel my BBQ has stepped up notch, even though we ten to disagree every now and than. Thank you all.
Originally posted by Donna:
I'd like to ask anyone who wants to contribute to post a message with a bit of bbq wisdom, or the best thing you have learned from the forum. We will publish this later and it will be available for all to see.

This is serious.. the greatest thing I've learned is.. ta da..

"It's done when it's done"

Q'ing has taught me a bit about chillin and trying to forget formulas.. try new things and drink a few beers while the meat is developing a little bit of love.
Originally posted by jimfromweymouth:
I'm still not sure that this is not all a marketing ploy Wink

"Marketing ploy" sounds a little pejorative. Like maybe there is some deception involved. Those of us at Cookshack are not smart enough to lie because we wouldn't be able to remember what we told to whom and we would get caught. Big Grin

And, hey, you get on the forum, learn stuff, have fun, make friends, and talk about your smoker. Can we help it if other people read what you wrote, and want a Cookshack of their own? LOL
Hi Everyone Smiler

I have learned lots from all of you who post, and I try to help others.
Keeping good notes of what and how you smoked including times weights and temps.
I have spent many late nights reading this forum for almost 4 years now.
SmokinOkies 101's have a huge amount of information.
The incredible staff at Cookshack who are knowledgeable and friendly.
My first CS was a Smokette then I got an Amerique then 1 year latter got a SM150, and still wanting to even bigger.
My friends want me to open a resturant.
If you can go to the FEC class at Cookshack, I did it was great so much fun and lots of information.
I got to talk with SmokinOkie and Fast Eddy and the very cool Cookshack Staff.

Thank you,
Brian E.
Aside from this being a great forum, from which I've learned a lot by reading old posts and recipes, credit is also due the people behind the scenes, those who are responsible for Cookshack's wonderful customer service and the owners who have a genuine pride of ownership of their company.

How many cooking equipment company owners would go out of their way to personally thank a customer for lavishing praise on their product on another forum (namely, Chowhound)?

Thank you, Donna. You probably don't realize how much your email meant to me.
What a wonderful run this forum has experienced. We have learned how to BBQ, smoke, cook and eat with friends, food that can be obtained only here in the good old USA - transplant smokers somewhere else, excepted.. Smiler In addition to the learning experience, we have developed five new personal friends from the forum where we have shared different smoking woods, food, cappuccino and knowledge from their competition experiences. Their experiences have helped with my home BBQ efforts.

I want to thank those that helped me learn to BBQ - Donna for the forum, Stuart, Smokin', Tom, Twogreyhounds and all those that helped with first hand experiences.

I have one regret, I missed the first three years of the forum and worse, all the years I didn't have a CookShack smoker.

Since we're asking for stories, I'll tell my first one:

Back about 8 years ago, Mrs. Smokin bought me a Smokette at the Oklahoma State Fair because she was tired of me standing out by the offset all the time stoking fires (nobody else hears that do you?).

So now, with the Smokette I could spend more time socializing and less time smokin'. That's no fun, I liked standing next to the offset.

Few months go by, and I started visiting the old forum. For a hoot, check out this link, it's still there:

Old Cookshack Forum

I started sharing advice back then and after a while I sent Donna an email and asked if she'd mind if I moderated. At the time, the one guy from CS that did it was basically recommending CS sauces and rubs but he wasn't really answering the questions.

Slowly it started, but the old forum was the thread type that the information disappeared after a time. So we updated it to another forum before this one that allowed us to "save" the valuable information.

Along the way, we've had a lot of memebers. Some stay, some go. Lot of fun stories along the way.

For me, the forum is unique in that we don't allow "attitude" about others and their views, that it's all about helping others. It's GREAT to see the forum members jumping in to help others. In the early ddays of the forum, Tom and I did most of the answering. Now,it's the forum members taking care of each other.

The stories of shared knowledge and helping others to gain a better knowledge of Q is my motivation. It's great to see the stories of why you ended up here.

I moderate this forum as a way to share Q'in knowledge and LOVE IT when I hear some success stories. Pretty easy motivation.

Heaven help you if we ever have a gathering and you get me started TALKIN' this stuff. Tom and I in the same room talkin' Q is pretty funny.

Keep the stories coming (just not telling any of my stories, I'd rather read yours).

Congrats to CS on 6 years of this forum and of over 8 years of helping their owners. There isn't a finer group of employees than CS and if anyone has a problem, they'll always get a person on the other end of the phone. It's that sprit as a company that first got me involved and what keeps me around today.

Happy Q'in and Happy Anniversary.


And finally, we have a great group of people here, and I would like to think about how we can plan some get togethers around the country. Who's in?

I am in. Most natural place for a get-to-gether would be at a BBQ event. I would suggest you purchase a big tent, paint Cookshack on it, and we will bring our cold "beverages" and snacks. That should get us started.
Like Smokin' says,we had to pay closer attention to the forum a few years ago.

We didn't want anyone to feel like they got the cold shoulder.

Not that we always had "the answer",but he taught me to help direct the questioner to where ALL of us could find it.

Now with the wealth of Smokin's writings,his management of the archives,and all the knowledgable and willing paricipants,if we don't come back for a day-it is graciously handled by many.

The other premise that the company is built on and Smokin' assures is the attitude of the forum.

Many, that haven't spent time around other major forums,think they all probably operate with this civility and encouraging atmosphere.

I'm just grateful that the powers that be,have enabled Smokin' Okie to lead us to where we are today.

Just my sincere $0.02
A friend of mine, when we used to go to lunch, always liked to go to some type of BBQ place. I slowly got hooked and saw an opportunity to do meat,as a now deceased uncle Jerry used to say, "Gooder than downtown."

I had smoked salmon in a converted refer with a hot plate for a number of years, but it was impossible to keep the temperatures down to cold smoke, not just hot smoke, or grill the fish, which passes as BBQ up here.

I had been looking at smokers, mostly of the commercial size for about a year, for I also wanted to make my own jerky, and potentially someday maybe do a little catering. My dad bought jerky from a backyard smoking operation when I was a kid.

I really had not heard that much about Cookshack, but from my salmon smoking days, I knew smoke and heating are not mutually dependent. Then I saw a used 105 advertised on EBay and it was in nearby Port Angeles. Anyway I began by checking out the Cookshack website and was impressed especially because they were electrically fired.

I purchased the 105 and soon realized that it was way too big for testing out recipes, so I bought a 009 for just day to day cooking. At that time I bought a cold smoking baffle, just to check it out. Truthfully, I did not think it would really work, but I wanted to know for sure. To my amazement it actually worked to perfection. So much so I bought one for my 105 last summer.

Oh, I forgot to add, the thing that really was the deciding factor to spend the bucks at Cookshack was the forum. The people seemed to be real people and they discussed issues, sort of like family. If you want some help, or at times just to know you are not alone in the world, you can just drop in and ask a question or make a comment. I suppose it should relate to makin' Q in some context, but when you think about it, the real world has centered around good Q throughout all human history.

So in summary, I don't look at the forum as a marketing ploy, but just a wise extension of customer service. That type of attitude is what makes America the greatest country in the world. Sorry to say, many businesses are now trying to forget that, to the their own detriment, and to the detriment of the rest of us.

Red Face (I think that icon means that I am blushing.)

And a big thank YOU for the salmon recipe on chowhound. I ordered some sides of salmon from just so I could try it. Now that I have the salmon, I can't find the recipe again! If you wouldn't mind posting the link or the recipe, I would be very happy! :-)
Hey, Donna.

The salmon recipe is very simple. Just make a glaze with Dijon mustard, maple syrup (the real stuff), salt and pepper. I sometimes add ancho chili powder to the mixture.

Brush liberally onto the salmon, and smoke at 200F for 90 minutes (I've tried hickory and apple, and I prefer the hickory - about 1 ounce).

It's amazing both hot and cold. I sometimes make an accompanying sauce using mayo, sour cream, chopped capers, minced onion, Worcestershire sauce, chopped fresh tarragon or dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Well, I've been coming to this forum for about 4 of those 6 years, and I have to say it was one of the best things I ever did.

The second best thing I did, was buy a Smokette. After a couple of years here, this forum sold me on the idea, and have to tell you, I've never been disappointed.

I was a rookie when I started, and since then I've learned volumes about BBQ from everyone here, and have had so many compliments about the Q that I've turned out over the years. I owe it all to this forum.

I've also passed on what I've learned to my son in Florida, who now gets those same kudos for the Q he turns out. Makes a dad proud I tell ya.

I think over the years, if I could put my finger on one piece of advice that helped me more than anything, it is this, "it's done when it's done". Patience. BBQ is almost an artform, a labor of love.

Happy Anniversary Cookshack Forum !!!!
Happy Anniversary Q!
I am a new owner of a Smokette and have to say that I love it and have already turned a friend onto the love of smoking!! He just purchased one last weekend. Keep up the great work that everyone does behind the seens of the forum. It seems like a big happy family here!!


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY COOKSHACK! i have had my 08 for about 3 years now and love it. i was going to buy a differant smoker untill i ran across this site, hung around awhile and changed my mind and glad i did. i have a brisket story to share. some one making brisket around these parts are unheard of. after reading posts about brisket i had to try one. so off to the butcher shop i went, picked up a 12lb. god awfull looking hunk of beef. i rubbed it down with a 50% cs rib rub and 50% cs chicken rub, in the 08 at 8:00 pm, stabed the probe in it and let her rip. pulled out next afternoon, foiled and in cooler for a couple hours. removed from cooler, sliced and put it on plain burger buns, stuck it in my mouth and WOW! FANTASTIC! i was very supprised, this is to good to believe! well since that 1st brisket there have been many to follow and with requests.oh ya, the briskets have gone up about $1.00 a pound from that first brisket. i drove my family and freinds nuts those first months after the 08 arrived, i was smoking everthing! every couple days! i had hand surgery last week and can now lower my hand below my heart with out a lot of thumping pain so i am makig a list of things to try in the next few months while im off work. i have worked this fine machine alot the last 3 years and am still amazed at its preformance. i want to say thanks to all at cookshack and all forum members, you have helped in many ways. paul Smiler
Happy anniversary to the CS Forum. I appreciate everyone and I enjoy the sharing of ideas with everyone. I treasure the wonderful knowledge provided by Donna, Smokinokie, Tom and all the many others.

Like many of you, I have gone through tons of different smokers and tried may ways to make the best food possible. Since buying the 055, I have sold or trashed all my other smokers.

Last April I drove my 055 from NC to AR for a family reunion and to visit my mom who was suffering from cancer. She was not eating and very weak. As always, the 055 created the best ribs that any of the family had ever had. My mom ate more ribs and fixin's than she had in months. She told me that was the best meal she could remember. Unfortunately, she passed away 10 days later. I will always rememeber our final time together as one of the happiest of her last two years.
Hey Donna! Congrats on the Anniversary.

I've got a big back yard and would gladly sponsor a New England area Cookshack event. Perhaps a contest of smoking an unconventional item, such as Maine Lobster?

I could probably get a few local sponsors (along with Cookshack) and raise a bunch of money for the local food pantry.

How about it?

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