Hello, I am born and raised in Norfolk, Va. My family is from North Carolina and ever since I can remember they have been about back yard bbq. I now live in Providence RI. I have begun researching smokers to determine which one is the best for me. I am a beginner. I want to eventually get to the stage where I can compete in competitions. I know I am a long way away from that goal but I got nothing but time. Any information, advice or suggestions are welcome, so coach me up.
New to the game.
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Welcome to SMF strengthcoach7! Have fun doing the research on what type smoker you want to buy and eventually compete with. I'm not a competitor but watch just about every BBQ show that has been made, including online content. This time of the year I can easily watch 2-3 hours a night especially when the Sandman just won't show his face.
If you have time to save money then buy something at first that will last a long time, something you can use later to extend your main smoker's reach for different temps or smoking times. Avoid cheap if at all possible. Most competitors I've seen use stick burners or charcoal/wood smokers so they don't have to worry about electricity on site. Since you are on the east coast wood shouldn't be a problem like it is here out west. If you buy a small, quality stick burner or charcoal/wood smoker to learn on, those skills transition easily when you get your competition rig of the same type.
Whatever you do, have fun! Lots of great folks here to answer questions and provide any guidance you request.