Although I have a friend who I would consider an expert, and have enjoyed many delicious cuts of slow smoked meats, I finally took the step to get into smoking. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. Retired last year from the Department of Defense, and more than several years ago from the military. Hobbies are golfing, fly fishing, and traveling. Now would like to add smoking meats, fowl, and fish to my short list of hobbies.
Did my first smoke yesterday on my gas grill of a Boston butt (with some pointers form the friend), which I've been told is one of the easier cuts of meat to start with. It actually turned out pretty tasty for my first attempt. My son gave me one thumb up. Want to get good enough to earn two thumbs up. Learned a lot. Decided to go buy a smoker. Stumbled across your website. Here's a few opening questions and remarks:
a. purchased a Masterbuilt 30" single door propane smoker Model 20051713, which is the very basic model. I haven't assembled it yet. Will this work as an entry level smoker for the novice? I've read many mixed reviews, so I'm now unsure whether I made a good buy.
b. most of my smoking will be done, at least for now, around 225-250 degrees. Will this model work at and maintain that temp range for long periods without extensive mods?
c. I stumbled across your mod thread. What's a needle valve? Are they easily purchased locally and where?
d. What is and how do you seasoning of a smoker?
I would appreciate any answers, and look forward in getting "educated" in the craft of smoking (because it is a craft).