I'm 32 year old male who loves BBQ. I am originally from North Louisiana, though I've been away since 2006, living in Front Royal, VA, Harpersville, AL, and now Oakland, TN (20 minutes due East of Memphis).
I've been in and around steel fabrication and erection nearly my whole life, starting when I was 3, burning my hands on a trailer my dad was building in the backyard. I was a certified MIG welder at 13. By 19 years old, I was a journeyman pipe fitter, ironworker, structural welder (MIG, Fluxcore, SMAW). At 23, I got a chance to get in the office, and became an estimator. I am currently a Senior Project Manager / Sales Manager (fancy titles considering the amount of grunt work) for a large structural steel fabricator. Enough about work...
I always liked BBQ, but I didn't really begin to love it until I moved to Alabama. After living there 3 years, I began to realize that I wouldn't live there much longer, and I feared I might relocate to an area that was void of BBQ. I had become so addicted to the sloppy, sweet Alabama style of BBQ, that I truly was afraid that even if I stayed in the South, I still wouldn't be able to satisfy my craving.
I decided to build a smoker, which I did beautifully, and I started figuring it out. Every Sunday while I mowed for about 3 months, I'd smoke a half rack of spare ribs. I ruined a lot of meat. Too much smoke was a constant culprit. Too much oak wood. After about 6 weeks, I got good.
I'm still pretty good, though my menu is rather limited. Ribs and pork loin are my specialty. Chicken, I'm alright at. A brisket or a butt.... I'm too scared with my current smoker, as it is too fuel hungry and inefficient. I did a pork shoulder last year for 11 hours, and it came out way too tough... I was up all night trying to keep my smoker hot. It needs some major renovating for the long haul smoking.
Recently, I decided to use my steel fabrication skills to help out a buddy who cooks on a competition team here in Memphis. I built for him a 60" tall vertical reverse flow smoker mounted on a trailer. I will share some pics.
I'm here to learn a few things about BBQ, and be critiqued on my smoker builds and ideas. I'd also like to help other's with their ideas about building, if possible.