TexLaw We love the PK100, it is by far the smoker I use the most and I find that when you do something big like a ham, bacon, brisket or pork butt I actually think it gives better color than the big Pro Smoker 500T we have here! I know Austin agrees with me as he is the one who pointed it out. Now, that probably had more to do with us being able to properly set up the PK and not being all that skilled with all the functions of the 500T! The PK100 was already nicely broken in by the time I started working with it…anyone has thoughts on if a smoker needs to season before it gets going? That doesn’t make sense from just looking at it but maybe there is a reason that someone else has thought of. The cure ring will absolutely work, TQ and sure cure aren’t the same thing as the TQ has both nitrates and nitrites BUT you can get a similar cure ring with sure cure but I’ve never tried it after just rubbing it and letting it sit for an hour.
Doing a brisket totally sous vide (what? the sous vide cooker was new and we wanted to play!) with a cure ring was eye-opening. And not something I am thinking of repeating, way better on the smoker, at least for a few hours to start!
Glad to have you here man! Houston had the second best food of any city I have ever lived in but man you’ve got a LOT of people down there!