I'm new to the site, but I've been smoking for a few years now. I've always been using charcoal, usually lump.
I've always enjoyed good BBQ, but really got into it when I met my wife and her family. They come from South America, and have "Asado" very often. Her cousins that live nearby here in Southern Ontario, Canada, are all great BBQ and smokers.I've learned a lot from them, but they're still better than I am.
My father in law made me my first smoker, a charcoal oil drum style. I've used it for years now doing everything from multi-hour smokes for roasts, ribs, and turkeys, to super hot fires for steaks. I grind down any rust spots each spring and repaint it. It's got a 1/4" steel plate on the bottom of it that the charcoal sits on, so the bottom of the drum still is in good shape 7 years later.
I then found a cheap vertical water smoker on the side of the road one day, and it works fine too. I also have a natural gas BBQ for basic stuff. The side burner on that is also very handy for getting the charcoal chimney lit up without lighter fluid.
This week for Christmas my wife gave me a Master Forge propane smoker from Lowes. I've only used it twice so far, but made a very nice center cut pork roast yesterday, and today I smoked 2 spiral cut hams (about 12 lbs each) for 4 hours at about 185, and they turned out excellent. This was for a family gathering and I got lots of compliments.
I typically use apple wood for smoking, as we have an apple tree in our back yard that I have to prune every year anyway. I'm hoping to plant a cherry tree next spring as well, so I will have Cherry wood in 5-7 years as well.
In that photo, the far left one is the one by father in law built, then the natural gas, the vertical smoker, my mothers charcoal grill (she never uses it so I "borrowed" it), and my new propane one.
I'll probably end up cutting the hose on the propane smoker and adding a quick disconnect coupling so I can swap it between propane and natural gas. I won't bother drilling the oriface as it gets plenty hot enough already, so I'm not worried about losing a bit of heat.
I've not settled into any set style of rubs/marinades yet. For ribs I often just put on some hot sauce (Brazilian brand my inlaws bring when they visit) and salt. One of the best turkeys I've made was brined in an apple-cider and salt solution for 24 hours, and then smoked for about 4-5 hours, basted with apple cider every hour. Steaks I prefer simple, just salt, pepper, and then a bit of butter when they come off the grill. The hams I did today were coated in Honey mustard then rubbed with brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary.
Well that's about it for now, hope to learn lots more on this site.