Hey,and welcome to the SMF
You are going into a wonderful area of culinary fun. I was a Chef for several years(school of hard knocks) and have smoked for all my life.I introduced smoker food to more than several Restaurants I served . The French Quarter in Perrysburg , Ohio being one. Chef, Doug was very pleased with the Salmon I created. Smoked on the stove in a buffet pan and a steamer pan topped off with foil and a lid to contain the smoke, and Cherry chips.
It's a fun and rewarding adventure, at home you can practice new ideas and prefect winners. Work offrers a multitude of challenges, this helps give another avenue of choice!
As for which model to choose from? Start(this is my honest opinion) with a rather self producing unit. Like a small vault unit. Easy to operate as a beginner and good enough to offer the product to friends and customers.
I'm writing this as if you were a working Chef.
On off time when you need to unwind, read the post and search the archives. There is a topic for almost any area you wish to paruse.
It is now my retirement fun and I am rejoicing in the fact I can still wow people with my skills!
An other member you should PM is Ront. Used to own a restaurant. Cool , guy and a good member(recently Knighted:)- Congrats Ron).
Look around, locate some post that have a unit you like and ask away.
Just think about the choice and get the ubit that keeps you interested, otherwise you'll be disenchanted and leave the thought behind.
Good luck and if you ever need a question answered, I'm open. And so are the other folke on this forum.
Have fun and SMOKE HAPPY
Stan aka Old School