So I found this forum a while back, looking into a propane tank smoker setup. Very impressed with everything Ive read here. I've been messing around with what I thought was BBQ for 25 or so years, then we got an actual Southern/ Western mixed styles BBQ restaurant here 7 or 8 years ago. I was wrong about what BBQ is. Found a few other places, some good, one great, and a few others terrible.
Anyway, my name is Alan, I'm up in Maine, work for the DOT (been there 15 years), and don't want to do that anymore. They messed with our retirement, and other benefits that used to be the reason why we were underpaid. Enough about that though. For the last couple years, I've been working on recipes, and sharpening some techniques, in hopes of opening a food truck/ and or trailer. My Wife is also very interested in this idea. She has worked in banking, and now finance... so there's our accountant/ second cook. She has some cole slaw recipes that will nearly knock you down. Not to mention her braised beef tacos. Sides and desserts are her "thing" though, and grilling/ smoking seems to be mine. I am FAR, FAR, FAR, from being an expert at this, but I have been impressing everyone who has tried my goodies so far. Hopefully things will begin this coming spring.
I happen to live not even 500 yards from our town's fairgrounds, which now houses a yearly rodeo, very large turnout last year, and I hear the food was terrible. Also 3 bluegrass festivals, and a few other events besides the regular fair. So we have a local sort-of hotspot to start in. (crossing fingers, I just talked to some people in the fair association last week.)
As far as my cookers, I have an old Char-Griller offset/ propane on my deck, used 3 to 4 times a week, year round (guess with the latest news report we'll both have cancer next week). Built a couple old drum smokers when I started trying larger cooks. They worked, but didn't last long in the weather. Now I have a like new 320 gallon propane tank that we traveled into the mountains of NH to pick up free. Total cost so far: $50 worth of gas and a Mcdonald's value meal for my brother in law. Im thinking about a standard offset for my first big smoker, little more heat on the firebox side if I need it...
I laid out my door locations today, I haven't filled it with water yet, its getting cold at night. So maybe next weekend I can haul it to my buddies heated shop to let it sit a few days, then drag it out and cut my fire hole out, and start welding. I've been collecting tools for years, to help with my original hobby/ money pits: my old cars. My building stuff sickness started with a Chevy Nova, then came a stead flow of muscle cars, vintage Japanese racecars, a couple old FJ40s. Now I have gas cutoff saws, a mag drill, plasma, mig and stick welders, grinders, pretty much a mini machine shop, but without the shop. All my work is done in the driveway. Which is where 97% of the smoker build will be done. Ill get some pics of the beginnings of this, and of course a whole thread on my concession trailer build, from buying it raw to the first health inspection. I look forward to asking and answering questions on here, (lots more asking ,probably, some of the engineering I've seen and read here is mind-blowing).
Thanks to anyone who read this mini-novel. Alan