Northwoods Cooking By Jim
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Welcome to Northwoods Cooking By Jim! 

I am pleased to show you some of my favorite recipes from my backyard smoker to some delicious dishes.
PROJECTS GALLERY
"I really enjoy cooking on the grill or using my smoker. Many are hesitant to try smoking, but once you try it, you realize it is easy. I have done many ribs, roasts, and even full turkeys in the smoker. I will have some tips and tricks to help beginners.Think of a smoker as a big slow cooker" 
"When I get a recipe, I seldom follow it exactly. I change it to make it my own. With the recipes I share here, I fully expect you to experiment and expand your horizons with these." 
                           - Jim
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About Jim
Cooking for me was always something that fascinated me. How do you take different ingredients, mix them up, and "make" something?? I remember being amazed at my sister being able to make Kook-aid without a recipe. 

I lost my mom when I was a kid, so the only family "cook" to influence me was my grandmother when I would stay with my grandparents. My dad did the basics, for us until my stepmother came into the picture in later years. As with many of my era, many foods where fried in butter, oil, or bacon grease. My recipes might not make the name brand diet centers, but they are good old fashioned tasty. 

Growing up in Northern Minnesota (Grand Rapids), some of my early memories of some foods were from camping, or at hunting camp. I have had many types of meat and fish. Being I am from a long family of hunters I have had deer, moose, buffalo, bear, elk, rabbit, and even beaver. Duck, coot, goose, grouse, pheasant, and such were some of the birds on our table other than chicken. 

As with most from my home area, I come from a mix of Scottish, German, Slavic, Russian, and Native American decent. I have a few "family" recipes that have been handed down. I also have contact with distant cousins in Scotland who have also shared some traditional recipes. I think my use of bourbon in recipes comes from part of the Scots in my family who settled in Appalachia Virginia 275 years ago. Other Scots in my family settled in North Dakota, and were more reserved. 

I started cooking for myself when I was in college. The more I cooked, the more I tried pushing the envelope to try new things. I always enjoyed the challenge to make good food. Some of what I learned was out of need to make my kids 
(first marriage) something good to eat. 

My bride, Ronda, and I have been married for 8 years. When we got together, she was a Food Network fan. Surprisingly, I started picking up tips and tricks, and a few things that were fun and easy to make. Soon my ability started expanding. 

I really enjoy cooking on the grill or using my smoker. Many are hesitant to try smoking, but once you try it, you realize it is easy. I have done many ribs, roasts, and even full turkeys in the smoker. I will have some tips and tricks to help beginners. Jerky made from ground meat is probably the easiest thing to do, that many will be surprised by. Using different wood actually does make a noticeable flavor on meats. Apple, cherry, and Jack Daniels is great with pork and turkey. For beef, I use hickory, Jack Daniels, and maple. Sometimes I mix them.  

My smoked ribs are probably my signature food. I use a dry rub, and do not put the BBQ sauce on until the last hour or so. Even on the grill, add your sauce the last 5 minutes or it will burn. 


When I get a recipe, I seldom follow it exactly. I change it to make it my own. With the recipes I share here, I fully expect you to experiment and expand your horizons with these. 

Welcome to Northwoods Cooking with Jim. I am looking forward to passing along these recipes and tips, and hope to give a laugh too. 

                        ~Jim​
One of the easiest things to do is cook. It mostly takes planning out the meal, so various things are finished at the same time. THAT is what takes practice. 

Coming up with ideas and recipes can be challenging. Surprisingly, many recipes are quite simple. It is a matter of challenging yourself and building confidence in your ability. The more you cook, the more you learn, and the better you become. - Jim