I posted this in the "How did you start Smokin' Meat" thread on the General Discussion board, but it was suggested I add it here to say hello to everyone. Well, I’m new to the forum and just discovered this site today… Glad to be here. Here’s my story. I started doing my own grilling after getting married in 2000. Was exclusively a propane guy for ease of use, quicker grilling time, etc. I built my first house in 2004 and my Dad bought me a mean stainless steel propane grill, so the streak continued… Fast forward to 2007… now recently divorced and looking for new ways to rebuild my life as a single man on a new path. I definitely turned to grilling. I spent a lot of time in my back yard grilling, listening to music, drinking some good booze, and just learning how to enjoy spending time alone for the first time in my adult life. But, at this point it was still just throwing burgers/steaks/chicken breasts on the propane grill. Then 2009 got here and things changed for me… I met Nicole… She’s the quintessential Okie like me. She loves OU football and her favorite food on the entire planet is smoked brisket. She’s also 12 years younger than me and beautiful, so the time we spent dating was most definitely the proverbial “feather in my cap.” We dated only briefly, but have remained what can only be described as best friends. We spend more time together now than we did when we were in dating mode. While the situation isn’t typical, she has definitely been a God-send for me as she has been invaluable in helping me recover my life following my divorce (as the divorced peeps on here can attest isn’t a joy ride). But, the first thing she helped progress was that since meeting we have dedicated ourselves to tailgating at all the OU home football games. In designing our tailgating experience, I made the very crucial decision to turn to charcoal grilling. As y’all know, this is a huge step. Lol. It takes merely one time using the charcoal to realize that I have wasted the better part of 10 years and innumerable cuts of meat previous to that moment. The second thing Nicole did was light my fire for smoking. Being that her favorite food is smoked brisket, it seemed not only appropriate, but mandatory that I learn how to smoke meats. I started with a Brinkman smoke and grill last summer and have done about 10 briskets to date. And while it was a good place to start, I felt very early on that it wasn’t quite what I was looking for when it came to the true bbq experience. Just last night I bought my first Weber Kettle (22.5) and I also have a Smokenator on the way from Amazon. I think eventually I will get an offset box smoker, but right now I’m still just trying to get my sea legs, as it were. But, a day spent in the backyard smoking meats is quickly becoming one of my favorite things… For me it’s time to relax, reflect, and accomplish. BBQ has as much to do with my outlook on life and the blessings that I have in my life now as it ever has to do with dinner. That is how I came to start smoking meats AND why it’s such an enjoyable and important thing to me. I am glad to have found this site and I look forward to sharing my experiences with y’all.