Hi all. I lived in Texas in the 1970s and got real spoiled eating mesquite smoked Texas BarBQue...Brisket, Spare Ribs, Hot links etc were a weekly (or more often) staple when I was in school at UT. The local pit would custom smoke anything you wanted for %0 cents a pound so my friends and I had fabulous smoked turkey on Thanksgiving several years in a row. After college, I moved to the Los Angeles area where I currently work in the entertainment industry. Altho' I've found a few decent BBQ joints here in L.A., the prices are outrageous and I still haven't found the perfect one. I've always wanted to learn to smoke my own meat and friends from Texas who I stay in touch with have always told me how "easy" it is. The most popular type of home smoker in Texas (at least back then) was a 50-gallon oil drum sawed in half and hinged with a grill inside and a chimney attached to the top half. Obviously this is a wood or charcoal smoker and I just didn't want to have to babysit and mess with this totally manual system, especially since I'm a beginner and. I know it will make fantastic BBQ, it just wasn't for me.
For the past 30 years I bitched and moaned and spent a small fortune trying different local BBQ restaurants, but as I said, I have still yet to find the one that makes the kind of smoked brisket that I remember (and occasionally eat when I visit Austin). About two years ago I purchased an Old Smokey electric smoker which I read good reviews of. I used it 4 or 5 times and just never got the hang of the right combination of skills that this unique unit requires. It should have been easy and many people have gotten excellent results over the many years that its been on the market, but I finally gave up on it and for the past year and a half its been gathering dust. I was pretty discouraged and figured that I was just not gonna be a smoker-dude.
For some reason, I started lurking around this web site and the various forums and its seems that an awful lot of beginners have had very good luck with the MasterBuilt Electric Smokers, either 30" or 40", especially when combined with the A-MAZE-N Products smoke generator. Well, the bug bit me again and I bit the bullet. The other day I ordered the MES 40" which Amazon is currently selling for $308 with free shipping and also Kit #3 from Tod Johnson's A-MAZE-N site which includes the AMZNPS, 4 bags of pellets and a torch. I even found a coupon here in the forums for $10 bucks off thru the end of April. Unfortunately, Amazon's price is so good on the MES-40 that they are back-ordered and claim a shipping date of sometime in mid-July. I spoke to one of their reps who said it probably won't be that long, but at that price, I'll wait, and wait...and wait. I got some recommended rub by Plowboys and the A-MAZE-N package also arrived today.
As soon as the smoker shows up, I'll give it a go and report back. I'm dreaming about it already! This is almost worse than waiting for Christmas.
Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this ridiculously long post.
Talk to y'all soon!