Hi there, just joined the other day and finally got around to confirming and whatnot. I first started playing with smoke in '84 when at the ripe old age of 12 we got a Coleman gas vert water smoker for the house. We lived in So Cal at the time so heat loss and whatnot was never an issue. Moved to Denver in 94 and went over to a new friends house one day to find he had some 20 q's in his backyard, all lined up like belles at the ball. Amazingly enough, he had my old Coleman model as well, and when I remarked about it to him he gave it to me on the spot. I carried that one around the country with me for another ten years. When I got married the wifey already had a grill, so I was forced to use that until I made enough cash to not have to justify what I wanted anymore. That took a while, eh? And the Mrs. did'nt hold a very high opinion of smoked foods, she's kind of highbrow. One of the hazards of marrying up, I guess. That all changed after the second time I made chicken thighs on my new brinkmann gas vert water smoker. I think she thought the first time was just a fluke! Anyways, she still loves me even if I smell like a texas brush fire. We have two boys, 6 and 1 1/2. Thomas (the older) had a funky heart issue when he was born and had open heart surgery when he was ten days old. Jack has Down Syndrome. These two things have driven my wife and I into being supporters of multiple charities in Denver. We support Children's Hospital, Cardiac Kids, Play for a Heart, The Mile High Down Syndrome Association, and The Denver Adult Down Syndrome Clinic. My goal ultimately is to be able to pull off great barbecue for fundraisers for these organizations. My most succesful item now is Turkey Breasts, brined and smoked, but after reading Meowwy's thread on basic pulled pork something good might happen.
I somehow heard about Dave Klose and started seeing the higher quality end of things and started working in that direction until a friend politely suggested I buy a cheap offset smoker first to see if I liked it. So I picked up a chargriller duo and added the offset box. That has been a real steep learning curve for me to deal with. I tried to smoke two full turkey's for Thanksgiving family dinner (42 people!) last year and had a terrible time of it. They came out all right but so much stress was involved I dont think I want to do that again. Main issue was heat loss. So i have started to mod my duo to make it a little better until I can make my next step up. I installed a vaporizer bar / wood chip holder smoker on the grill side, added a lower level to the smoke box and threw in a layer of lava rocks ( not the best idea but I am trying, maybe should have used soapstone?), bought a Bayou Classic outdoor fryer burner and took it apart and mounted the burner for that under the lava rocks. I threw out the old charcoal tray and mounted a replacement grill to give it some more height.
I saw on here that someone had installed an oven gasket to the inside of the unit, that will be one of my next steps, and the method of lowering the stack by sliding a pipe from the inside is very cool. I figure I will have this thing all tricked out just in time to buy Klose's Caterer's Combo. Although I have been very intrigued with Old Country's insulated units, living in Colorado we can have wild temp and weather swings. If i want to buy a Klose because it's airtight and holds temp really well then an insulated unit would be just that much better, right? Does anybody have any experience with either or both?
Anyways, thank you for havign me on this forum, I promise this is the most I will ever write at one time. You all seem like a great bunch of people.
Oh and the Brinkmann vert? I converted it to mount to a drawbar for the hitch on my vehicle and be able to be staked down when I go camping, of course!