Growing up, I never experienced smoked meats or BBQ. In my family, BBQ was chicken cooked on a gas grill until it was dried to a crisp - then slathered with artificially flavored supermarket sauce. My first experience of true BBQ was years ago at a KCBS sanctioned BBQ fest benefiting our local hospital for children. My wife and I tried everything under the sun. I couldn't believe my taste buds; this is BBQ?! Not so coincidently, that was the same day my wife gave up being a vegetarian! That first experience spoiled us. For years, my wife and I have searched all around for great BBQ and have found very few places that serve what we've come to expect. This lack of great BBQ in our area has led us to making our own. We just bought our first house and had a little money set aside for additional expenses. One thing my wife wanted for the new house was a smoker. Back when we lived in our condo she would say, "Promise me when we move into a house, we'll buy a smoker." I haven't heard of too many wives saying that so I didn't argue. We went with a Traeger. Personally I'm more of a DIY UBS kind of guy but the one main requirement had to be ease. My wife didn't feel comfortable with smokers that require lots of attention. And plus, I really wanted her enjoy this as much as me and not feel intimidated to smoke meats when I'm not around. The push button simplicity of the Traeger seemed to fit - plus, the results. Excited to have found this site - I expect I'll be learning a lot from you all!