Guess I should'a filled this out a week ago, but just came across it (been too busy reading all the other good stuff on this forum).
New to smoking, but not grilling. That said, all my BBQ up until now was done in a crock-pot (I know, that's probably sacrilegious
here!). So While looking for a new charcoal grill (tired of watching those expensive gas S/S units rust out on my deck) I came across an offset smoker. A grill and a smoker, how convenient, eh? Yeah, like I'll ever grill anything again...!
Picked up a Medina River offset..., without realizing what I was doing I ordered the "Small Patio" unit (and budget played a role here - would've gone for one of the more common options I've read about had I gone for the larger size). And it is definitely small. That said, I used it yesterday for the first time and had very consistent temps, both across the chamber and for the duration of the smoke (2 slabs of baby backs - 5 hours). This was with no mods..., I had fashioned a tuning plate but during my morning burn-in, found it made no difference in temperatures and pulled it before the pork went on. It was easy to keep it fed and in the 220 range on the grill. Since it's just my wife and I, this is big enough for now. (But based on her comments after coming home yesterday afternoon - oooouuuh that smell!!! I may soon have neighbors dropping by.)
Oh, and the ribs were amazing! I used the 3-2-1 (221) method and the only thing I'll do differently next time is to keep them in foil until the last 20 minutes or so, give them a chance to firm up but not for the full hour.
Also, before I forget, I got a great deal of help from the folks here, both on which smoker to buy and how to get through my first smoke. That and I "lifted" enough information from this site to fill a small binder (recipes, tips, mod-ideas, etc.). You all have my deepest appreciation for the help..., and I hope some day I can "pay it forward."
So, enough about me and my grill. Southeastern Virginia offers many things, and I spend my spare time shotgunning, fly fishing (west of Charlottesville), kayaking a little, and play a little (very little) guitar. Have been in Virginia for about 25 years and now consider myself "a suth-u-nah," despite a prior life of bouncing around as an AFB (Air Force Brat). I enjoy the surroundings and hope to retire here in another 5 or 6 years.
That's it in a nutshell. My plan for the upcoming Veteran's day weekend is to smoke 4 Cornish hens (again, thanks for the "how-to" I found here). I love Cornish hens and believe this will be the best way to fix them. I may try pheasant one day (of course, the only pheasants in this region are in the frozen meat department at your finer grocery stores...).
I love the site and plan on visiting regularly. Feel free to send any tips or tid-bits that us newcomers need (but don't know we need).