I started grilling on gas grills when I was probably only 12 (we called it bbq back then because we didn't know any better). When I was in my early 20's I was introduced to Traeger Wood Pellet Grills. After reading almost every recipe in the Traeger Cookbook that came with the grill, and many hours of research on the internet, I finally realized the difference between smoking, barbequeing, and grilling. I was more than intrigued.
Over time I managed to, in my mind, perfect the art of slow smoking meats on a pellet grill. Whenever I shared my Traeger BBQ with family, they all raved about it.
After watching the first season of Barbeque Pitmasters on Netflix, I decided that I had to try competition BBQ. I talked with a few acquaintances of mine who have competed in KCBS events.The consensus between them seemed to be that pellet cookers were not really in the true spirit of competition BBQ. So I decided to build my own water smoker (very, very loosley based on Myron Mixon's Smokers) out of a few old 55 gallon drums we had laying around (I will share some pictures soon).
I finished my water smoker only 8 days before the local KCBS competition. I did one practice cook on it, then headed to the comp. I was very unorganized, had no idea what to expect, and did not know how my smoker really cooked (having only cooked one pork butt on it). The entire competition was a hectic mess and I finished only one spot above last place (over another first time comp team), but it was the most fun I have had in a long time.
That comp was in late September of 2013, towards the end of the BBQ season. Ever since I have been working with my smoker, cooking brisket, pork butt, ribs and chicken, tweaking recipes and smoker features. My water smoker is far from perfection, but I will have it out on the BBQ circuit for Spring and Summer, (maybe Fall) 2014!