Just joined and introducing myself. I am a civil engineer in North Dakota and I enjoy cooking and I BBQ year round. My current flagship is a Memphis Advantage pellet grill/smoker (among my Weber Genesis Gold, Champ Chef grill, Smoky Joe, Weber Go-any-where, and little chief smoker). The Memphis works really well and pretty much does all the work. I smoked ribs at minus 27 deg with a 30 mph wind this past winter (that is cold) and constantly use it at the minus 0 temps. Being able to use a grill/smoker at minus temps and wind is pretty much a requirement in North Dakota. Because if you wait for good winter weather in ND then you will go very hungry. I run through lots of pellets at those temps but it keeps the heat and there is nothing better that BBQ in the winter!
Since I like to cook, I want expand my tools a bit and am in the planning stages of a reverse flow patio build and a "mini" for camping. I studied thermodynamics is school and have been "analyzing" the math behind many of the builds on the forum to get a full understanding behind the why and theory of what works well and what doesn't. I also spend lots of time in a canvas wall tent with a "pipe" stove for cooking and heat, so I'm really comfortable with using a wood burning stove. I like cooking on the pipe stove to the point were I don't even use the propane grill to cook on anymore while camping.
The patio build has to be able to function in a cold and windy environment cause well that is just life in ND and cause where the house sits I can't build shelter to protect it from the wind. Getting good hard wood can be an issue at times (I have to go to another State and bring a load in) so the ability to use charcoal is must as well (its hard getting pellets at times as well, I usually have to "import" them too). What one has to do for good smoked meat........
So I am developing some insulated concepts that I am sketching up with CAD. I have been searching for used propane tanks but they are like white unicorns around here even though the scrape yard has hundreds and hundreds. They don't sell to the public and their 10 foot fence with razor wire makes a statement! I do have a possible link on some thick walled pipe at a wrecking yard but I'm waiting till the snow thins out so we can find it. In the end, I may just have to purchase a new tank of some kind or some new pipe. I have one metal vender that "may" sell a short section of pipe but with all the "oil stuff" going on around here getting them to take the time to cut a short section of pipe is iffy. Although with the prices down I may get a short window where they may remember to serve the little guy. Once I get my hands on some steel then I can zero in on the design.
So with all the challenges of a building, you may ask "why build a smoker". Well because I want one and I'm an engineer and need to satisfy that drive to design and build my own.
This is a great site with lots of great information and I hope to learn and share some of my experiences with others.