Well, I've been a lurker here for awhile now and finally decided to join. Name is Alex and I'm from Minnesota. Even though I've been a long time fan of indirect grilling, I just started smoking meats this year. I guess it was just a matter of time before the smoking bug bit me, and bit me really good.
My gear is probably some of the worst around. I started out with an old gas grill that I converted to a stick burner. It actually made very nice spare ribs but considering the size of the grill I had to do 1/2 a rack of ribs at a time. No good. So I managed to find a 55 gallon barrel that had a lid, but the bottom was missing and rusting out a bit. After minimal work with the help of my 5 year old son it's now my primary smoker. Sometimes charcoal, sometimes only wood, sometimes both. Since the bottom is missing, I control my air by shoveling sand around the bottom and changing the size of 'sand holes'. Pain in the butt for sure, but it smokes very nice and it will have to do until I can get my hands on something else. I'd love to make my own offset one day but right now I'm just keeping my eyes peeled for a better barrel to make a little more efficient/convenient UDS.
So far I've done several spare ribs, beef plate ribs, beef back ribs, a 3 pound pork butt, chicken, some venison and lots of smoked eggs (for potato salad, or just smoked deviled eggs). I'm saving the brisket until I can get a new cooker that I don't have to goof around with so much, but so far everything has turned out wonderful on my old rust bucket. Eventually I'll get some pictures of it posted, and actually start taking pictures of the food!
Everyone in my area loves to eat BBQ, but nobody (that I know anyway) seems to like actually doing it so I thought I'd join the forum to be able to visit with people who share the passion. Well, that's my intro. Looking forward to meeting some new people!