I know I'm the same way... I may start with someone's recipe, but by the time I've made it a few times its miles from where I started. I love the spreadsheet idea. I have a huge three ring binder full of sheets I've printed off the internet that all have hand scribbled notes written all over the margins, and then crossed out and new changes added. Its getting damn hard to figure out what to follow anymore..
I'm just getting into curing more complex meats (I've done ham, bacon, and Canadian bacon along with some other simple brines) and I got this book hoping to learn more about the general processes and science behind how it all works.
YOU WANNA THROWDOWN?
You should! Fun and fabulous prizes await you!*
I have a bunch of stuff that cooks meat outside using some form of combustion.
*Actual prizes may not be fabulous. It all depends on what your definition of fabulous is. You're not going to win a car or anything, so don't get your hopes up. Just trying to give you realistic expectations.