After returning to the US of A (North Carolina) in 2008 from years overseas, I got the smoking bug and purchased a Char-broil with side burner. That thing leaked so much, I had a heck of a time getting the temps right. I tried fireplace rope and sealers and even put an insulation blanket on it when smoking. The first piece of meat that I smoked (ever) was a brisket. I had mixed my own special rub and slow cooked it the best I could. I started the smoker at 2am and stayed with it until it was done. I wrapped it in foil, plastic and bath towels and placed it in a cooler until time to eat. Had my two daughters and their families over and they went crazy over the tender, tasty brisket. My son-in-law was raised in NC thinking that the only BBQ was pork, so he was really surprised. After that, all he wanted was my brisket. My grand daughter, at the time was eating mostly veggies and didn't consume much meat at all. After trying my pulled pork butt, she asked me to smoke a pork butt for her birthday. I left my smoker for them in NC when we moved down here to Florida, but wanted to smoke my own BBQ, so I purchased a little charcoal burner. It was too small for everyone that started migrating to our home when the smell enticed them, so I decided to get something larger again.
Yesterday, I purchased an Oklahoma Joe's Highland smoker. I didn't realize how heavy it is. It looks to be a great improvement over my last smoker, especially for the money. Got it at a Wally World. Lowes had them but had sold out by the time I was shopping. I plan to hit up Ace Hardware for some hi temp caulking before starting to assemble the smoker. I ordered some nomex tape from Amazon that should arrive Monday or so. Plan to use the nomex to seal the doors. After reading a bit on this forum, I think I'll search for some Flax oil to season the smoker BEFORE attempting my first smoke.I also want to seal up any possible leak points before firing it up for the first time. I'm glad that I have stumbled upon this forum. It seems to have a lot of good info.
Can't wait to fire it up and start cooking. I've got two racks of spare ribs and two racks of loin back/baby back ribs in the freezer, just waiting to be introduced to the hungry masses. Last time I smoked beef ribs and standing rib roast, I had stepped outside to bring in some ribeye steaks from the grill, and found that they had left me only one rib out of the three racks I had prepared. Don't ever turn your back on good "Q." It will be gone when you turn back around.