Hi, My name is Randy and I live in Minnesota. I have always loved cooking on the grill but so many things at the butcher shop get bypassed simply from me not knowing what it is or how to prepare and cook it. All grilling is done on a propane IR grill, but I decided to expand my knowledge by starting with a smoker. I purchased an Oklahoma Long Horn offset, ordered some hardwood charcoal from Amazon, and decided to jump in using briquette charcoal smoking a whole chicken and country style BBQ ribs. I ran two dry test runs and read for several weeks everything I could find on the internet, but first attempt was a total failure. Charcoal ash choked out my fire after three hours, chicken never rose above 140 degrees and was finished off on the grill, and I was waiting for the country style ribs to begin falling apart but they only turned to jerky. I know I'm green at this, and my wife ate my somewhat dry breasted chicken complaining it still had some pink near the bones.and she would not partake in eating any left-overs. The pork was tossed in the trash. I know this smoking meat opens many new possibilities for me to enjoy preparing food, and after failing so badly with my first attempt it was tempting to just stick with grilling... However, I will get back on my feet and try again, hopefully I will be a bit more prepared the next time and will visit this forum trying to absorb the wealth of knowledge and experience available from others. I may be more of a lurker since I do not have much to offer while I plan my second attempt at smoking. I'm thinking of trying a whole chicken again so I can get that right before moving on.