Hello from Glendale Arizona.....
Been reading for a while now and thought I would join in ... At age 45... I have grilled for many years..... A while back I was layed up sick on the couch one weekend and stumbled upon BBQ Pitmasters.... I ended up watching every episode that weekend....twice.....I got to thinking and without knowing any better.. I modified a cheap old $89 propane grill (that I was going to just give away at one point) that I had sitting on the side of the house (took out the flame guards and stole a bake pan from my wife)... I threw in some chips and devised a water pan with a roaster rack to sit atop the grill..test fire was a success...My wife of course asked me what the hell I was doing...lol...I read about 5 million web pages of brines, rubs, and sauces.....(and a tip to soak the wood chips in water)...quick trip to the store for many a spice and a couple bottles of juices and a 9 pound bone in pork butt...another quick trip to Cabelas (right next to my house) for a Maverick 732 and I was ready to go....followed all the ingredients and measurements exactly....(not even sure anymore what site I ended up getting the recipe from)...There was a lot of fighting with the grill...opening and closing the grill cover to get the heat down...and I had to remove the meat from the grill so I could remove the grate so I could add wood chips...I did manage to get the process down to under 20 seconds.....somehow with a lot of beginners luck it came out pretty darn good.
stepped up the next week to my bigger grill...with the left side grate removed and a flame guard flipped upside down as a "easy access" wood box used only the burner next to the now make shift wood box.......modified the brine... rub...and sauce to my likeing based from the first one....this one came out real good.....well at least good enough that I was asked to smoke one for a in law's party "Hawaiian style" .....pressure was on!!....Modified the rub and sauce to my guess of what Hawaiian style was.......After the comments I got at the party...I was hooked!!!
Decided I needed more room....Thanksgiving is right around the corner and a Turkey would be a real tight fit in my grill...I told a friend I was on the look out for some cinder blocks..he told me he had some....The pit was already being built in my head...Removed the burner from that $89 grill...made it into a stick burner that would reach into the pit (correctly) planned out bottom venting for flame out possibility... opening to add wood to wood box...thick oak plywood (that I had in my garage) as a cover....that weekend It was up and running...I did few runs on that and did a chicken as a trial run to a turkey...all came out good (but I suspect due to all the venting it used a lot of propane and I was getting an early stall on the pork butts)
Well I was going to get a lid, grate, chimney, etc. fabricated...but I won $300 playing pool on the side and decided instead of doing all that I could just buy a VPS...After reading good bad and indifferent reviews on pretty much all of them and being a bit short on the price tag for pretty much any of the reverse flow smokers... I settled on the Smoke Hollow Pro 44 from Sams Club....I figure if I can get good meat out a modified $89 el cheapo grill or a pile of bricks...I can make the SH44 work...(still waiting on its arrival)
My latest smoke on the grill was about a 12 pound beef round tip that was given to me for my birthday...It was a pretty darn lean piece of meat and I thought I would turn it to leather for sure.....I threw on a rub the night before and wrapped it...cranked the heat a bit for the smoke and let er rip...did alright for first time beef smoke....
Other than that....I drive a route truck by day for Frito-Lay...play pool on the side...and smoke on the weekends.
I for sure look forward to reading about rubs and sauces...I won't do store bought...I think I have to much fun making my own creations.