Good morning world!! My name is Robert and I live in cedar Park, Texas, just northwest of Austin. I have been a "grillmaster" of sorts for many years but had never smoked a piece of meat in my life. I'd say that 5 out of 7 meals we eat are cooked on the grill but smoking had just never been anything I'd delved into until about 6 months ago. I decided that I wanted to give it a try but was reluctant to drop a ton of $$ into it until I found out if I was going to enjoy the process and the food. Of course I have eaten a ton of BBQ from the commercial joints around the area but we all know that's just not the same as doing it yourself. I went out and bought an El Cheapo $89 Char Broil offset and a few accessories to get started. I was provided some good information and the link to this site by a friend who is pretty adept with his smoker. This forum has proven to be an absolute wealth of information and I have taken advantage it. My first effort on the smoker, although good, wasn't what I was looking for. I made some adjustments and voila!! I've managed to turn out some fantastic food even on that little cheap stick burner. My wife (and a bunch of friends) have fallen in love with this so two weeks ago I pulled the trigger and bought a much better unit. Certainly not top-of-the-line but a far better unit than the Char Broil I started with. I have now done three meals on the new smoker and all have come out fantastic. I couldn't be happier with the results and have all of you to thank for that!! I bought an Old Country Pecos unit from Academy after reading through a ton of information. There are those that loved it and those that had issues but the issues noted didn't seem to be anything I couldn't overcome, and it was within budget. I have made a few mods to it and it's working better than I would have ever imagined. One of the mods was done after an all-day war I had last weekend on a very windy day trying to keep the temperature where it needed to be. I'd have to say that this is one of the most creative modifications I've come across, even with all the cool stuff you folks have written about. I'll post about that in a different thread though as it may get a bit lengthy....but God it works GREAT!! :-)
That's all for mow but I thought it was about time to jump in and say HI to everybody who has been such a huge help in getting me off to a great start smoking meat. Thanks everybody!!