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Bill here, checking in for a first-timer to this forum.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Some folks refer to me as Wild Bill, others, Strickey, and my students call me Prof Bill.

I am retired, work part time as an editor, as a professor of English, and nearly full time as Opa to five wonderful grandchildren: 2 granddaughters 3-months apart--now 11 months and 14 months. Another granddaughter 3, and two grandsons, 5 and 7. When I am bored, I garden--primarily red raspberries and blackberries for myself. I share with the grandchildren liberally. At my age, I prefer they pick--berries are right at their eye-level. Strawberries are for the kids and I plant only non-light sensitive plants so we have berries from June 1st thru the first hard freeze.

The oldest grandson wanted me to plant him some sweetcorn; I did it only because he asked. It's out there, growing... but, well, grandpas do things for the kids, right!?

Some years ago, my dad built himself a smoker--too big to haul from the Salton Sea back to central Indiana when we settled his estate. Years passed, then my youngest son bought a smoker to make pulled pork--youth does have its idealism and he bought one that used charcoal and wood chips--every 20 minutes. He moved back home and along came the smoker! Well, I converted that unit to propane. That worked ok, but it was too top heavy and tipped over one day while smoking ribs.

Meanwhile, a month ago, my extremely extended family had my grandchildren for the day, a day that I picked them up and Wallah!! He had an electric smoker and was smoking up some wings. I stayed long enough to try some. I noted that smoker had smoke coming out everywhere EXCEPT the vent. A Smoke Hollow brand, cheap, and I was certain I could find a slightly better built model. I settled on a Masterbuilt 30" electric model. Price was under $200 and it seemed to have what I needed for my household. It has one glaring flaw: the water pan sits right under the hole to drain the drip pan grease/fat. Some engineer failed to figure out water does NOT evaporate when covered with a layer of grease at 200-ish degrees! But alas, I figured out that aluminum foil makes a quick homemade tent over the water and shunts the grease away from the water--allowing normal evaporation.

Since recipes abound--as many as there are readers in this forum--I figured I'd sign up and "sniff around" for ideas and tips. The web via Google searches all center around BBQ, NOT specific to electric smokers--I guess we are a minority?


post #2 of 8

welcome prof Bill

post #3 of 8

Hey Wild Bill welcome to the SMF. Man have you arrived. There are some many different tricks and tips around to get even the cheapest (in most cases, affordable) smokers. I myself use my Brinkmann ECB that has been a bit modified and I can't part with it because it is just like the one my Dad and I had when I was a kid (minus the mods). 


You will find a lot of smoker builds and tinkering going on here and I think you will enjoy this. Smoke up some chicken or a Boston Butt for pulled pork and you will have them eating out of your hands. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 



Yes, memories with my dad smoking salmon and other fish is one that I cherish. But before I retired, I really did not have time to take "smoking." Too many other interests. Now, I have some "free" time and I like to eat! But I am bored with the past 70+ years of same-same. 

I based my time allotment to smoking on Dad's experience with fish--2-3 days or more--before he had the "right" level of smoke; his version was cold-smoking and, well, keeping the smoke going was always a problem that he made do, regardless how long. He had built his own unit and used a 100-W light bulb at the bottom of the unit. He added a propane pilot light to keep the wood chips smoldering. His grates were fancy 1-inch chicken wire stretched on wood frames. One caveat in his favor was that he lived on the low desert, South of Palm Springs and much closer to the Mexican border. Summers there run normal at 110-125 F. He really didn't "need" the light bulb! He used a Weber BBQ to smoke the turkeys--needed more heat--and his smoked turkeys are dearly missed these days.

So enter the world of electric smokers, some extra time on my hands, and here I am, knife and fork in hand! :)


post #5 of 8

Hey Bill welcome check out the MES group lots of good info. I have a MES40, runs 25* off most times but using extra therms I can regulate it. Enjoy


post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I like the picture. Obviously you and my late dad would have much in common! He lived to fish. I only fish to live. He taught me all I know and made me successful at it; he failed to impart a love for it--Like President Lincoln once penned, "My dad taught me how to farm but he never taught me to love it."

I did impart all my fishing knowledge to each of my children. They know how--like me--no love for it. If I were to live next door to you, then I would accompany you--but so far, I am not close to anyone who loves it. What I see in your picture is a halibut--I once landed a 20 pounder--thought I had pulled the plug out of the bottom of the sea off the Santa Barbara Channel Islands, CA. Yellowtail, albacore, and bluefin tuna are my choice to catch--but believe it or not, mackerel is really fantastic and I love to catch them--sporty, tasty, and NOBODY knows how to prepare them--like carp back here in the Midwest. 


BBQ and smoking are something I grew-up with, but now in retirement, I can dabble in hobbies that formerly I had to put on everlasting hold. I see your bio includes Nam: I was there June 69-70. I was USAF, stationed in Bien Hoa. We had a large Army Airborne unit attached to our South border. Met lots of soldiers and I made up my mind to make the most of my duty there. I grew up in the Army with a grandfather and father; our combined years of continuous service = 64 years. Our country has changed since I first enlisted--with all this UN stuff, not to mention the moral decline of this country--my grandpa is probably turning over in his grave twice or thrice daily!


So I plan to smoke, but not to an extreme. Seems too much scare tactics come from the medical establishment about ingesting smoked food. Well, retired, 70+, what the halibut are they gonna put on my death certificate? He died of what!!? Eating good food!!! Oh my, what a way to go! :) --Bill

post #7 of 8

Bill Thank You for your service and your family. Smoking meat and eating the smoke won't kill ya it"ll be the over eating enjoy. Just finished pulling the last out of the smoker. Have to edit my earlier post.


post #8 of 8

Hello Bill, welcome to the forum


Gary S

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