Happy Holidays everyone from wet and windy Seattle.
I discovered the difference between BBQing and grilling about 8 years ago and have been in love with the products of the former ever since. Heralding from Britain I hadn't a clue how to use an outside grill and a smoker was a social outcast relegated to the last carriage on the tube. Imagine my surprise to find BBQ wasn't code for burnt!
My early attempts at BBQing involved gas grills. The less said about those sad affairs the better. Fortunately I soon came across references to the Weber Smokey Mountain in various "How to Cook Ribs" books and decided to give it a try. Well that was an eye opening experience which firmly established my love affair with smoked food and DIY smoking. I've had that WSM for 8 years now and smoke with it year round come rain or snow. The only complaint I have with it is the lack of insulation. To compensate I built an insulated box which folds up when not in use to take up less space. It's ugly but turned my WSM into a practical year round smoker. A couple of months ago I came across the insulated, 30" Mastebuilt electric smoker in Lowes and decided to give that a try as a neater and lower maintenance solution for those wet and sometimes cold and windy days we have in this part of the world from November through March. Smoking on the MES isn't the same as on the WSM but I've been able to make some great Q. Clean up time is about the same on both, which was a surprise, I thought the MES would be less messy. Temperature control is easier on the MES (as expected) while the WSM produces more traditionally tasting Q. At least in my hands to date. I've a ways to go before being dialed into the best ways to use the MES so that could be the sole cause of this difference.
Right now I'm working my way through the recipes in "Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book". Pineapple Sweet Ribs tomorrow (p193) with Stuffed Red Bell Peppers (p109) and Chicken with 30 Cloves of Garlic (old french recipe). It's a gathering with friends and I expect we'll be cooking and browsing all day.
Life can be good :-)