Good morning all! My name is Chad, I am a traffic engineer in the Inland Empire region of Southern California, and I would consider myself an amateur chef/semi-pro baker (I partially owned a cafe where I made cheesecakes which are my specialty.)
Like many I received a new smoker as a Christmas gift this year! I received a Traeger Junior and two bags of Traeger pellets (mesquite and applewood) from my in-laws. I was anxious to try it so I built it on Christmas night, but didn't get around to the initial burn-in until Saturday, and finally was able to get some real smoking in yesterday!
I smoked 2-2.5 lb. tri-tips with mesquite for about 3.5 hours. I tried to keep the temperature in the 200-225 range, but that smoker only has smoke, medium, and high settings, with the smoke setting being a little too cold, and the medium setting being a little too hot. They offer a digital control for setting temperature, and I will definitely be purchasing that upgrade soon!
I also got the idea from the little cookbook that came with the smoker to smoke some onions, which I combined with cherry tomatoes and bacon to make a sauce for some fresh pasta that I made with the other Christmas present I got from my in-laws, the pasta rollers attachment for my Kitchenaid mixer! Sorry, I don't have a picture of the whole plate, but the onions turned out amazing!
All-in-all I was very happy with my first smoking experience, and I can't wait to do some more!