Hey, what's up ya'll?

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Original poster
Apr 23, 2007
Maumelle, AR
Hello, my name is Matt. I'm 26. I'm from Maumelle, AR, which is about 15 minutes NW of Little Rock. I use hardwood charcoal and hickory. I love BBQ, but I don't like the prices they charge at the restaurant. I recently bought a smoker from Academy Sports. It's a New Braunfels Hondo Smoker. Didn't know anything about them, but I picked the one I thought looked the best. Are they any good? If they are not really any good, what should I, as a beginner, have bought or had someone build? I've cooked on it and it seems to be working ok. What does everyone else think though? Is it a good one for the beginnner? As I get more experiened, what should be the next type of smoker I buy? It's hard to keep the temp somewhat adjusted. That may be my fault though. Like I said, I'm just beginning. So far, I've cooked two pork butts and country-style ribs. The ribs have been awesome both times! They fell apart in my hands. The first pork butt also fell apart. It was great! The second one, I was a little disappointed with. It didn't fall apart, but it tasted ok. I guess it depends where you get your meat. I got them at separate meat markets. I guess I know where I'll be going for my meat.. I've also used the firebox as a regular grill for hamburgers and such. Is that ok or should I not do that? I think I will try to tackle a brisket next time or maybe some different types of ribs.
Looking forward to your respones.

Matt (mdoverstreet)
Welcome to the forum. Hope you continue to share your adventures and while you are here don't hesitate to take or ask for advice. Most of all have fun.
Welcome Matt, you've found a great place to learn a lot about smoking. As far as equipment I think the more you read here you'll soon discover that it's all about individual preference. The posters here use everything from several thousand $ stainless rigs to trash cans. I too am relatively new to this hobby and I am absolutely hooked. I think you are going to find that each time you fire that baby up you are going to learn something new. Unfortunately they aren't always what you anticipate but that's part of the game. 3 things I personally would suggest is to take Jeff's 5 part e-course from the main page, it's free and extremely helpful for newbies, keep a log everytime you do a smoke, and last, always smoke twice as much as you intend to and bring half up to Mountain Home, I'll give you directions to my house or meet you, either way.
Welcome mdoverstreet. Glad to have you with us. There isn't a right choice for a smoker. Use what you have and learn to control the temps and the smoke.. you'll be fine. It'a all about what comes out of the cooker, not the cooker itself.

We are having a gathering in Clinton Mo June 15th. We'd love to have you there. Check out the threads in the Events section of the forum. PM if you have questions.

Keep Smokin
welcome to smf. i buy my meat at 2 different stores, and have good luck with both. do you have a meat thermometer? that is an essential. also, what temps where you running in the smoker? plus, make sure your smoker thermometer is right.
Welcome to the SMF my friend. As far as smokers go, there are so many to choose from and there are many here who have made their own. Smokers are like guitars, one will be awesome for someone and for someone else it might not be the one.

Read through the threads here and always try new things until ya get it just right. This is a great place to meet fellow smokers and learn a bunch!!
Welcome to SMF. Glad you joined up! This is one of the friendliest forums around. Any questions will be answered by the folk here.

I personally don't know about your particular smoker, but someone else will be along who does. Browse through all the forums. Sign up for Jeff's 5-day ecourse. Enjoy!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


Hey there,welcome,sounds to me like your doing pretty good if your meat is falling apart,thats what your looking for.Just keep trying different things and dont be afraid to ask lots of questions,thats why were here.We really like pictures too.Welcome,David
Thanks for the welcoming!

If I have any questions, then I will not hesitate to ask. This is a very informative place. Glad I found it.

Ozark RT-- Sure will do, but you may have to give me directions. LOL!! I do spend a lot of time in Searcy County though. All my family is from there. Never been to Mt. Home.

I sure would like to join your get together, but I just started a new job, and I don't think they would take too kindly to me taking off so soon, and it's hard for my girlfriend to take off work. Maybe I can make the second get together no problem.

Again, thanks to everyone!

Welcome to SMF.
I know nothing about your smoker. But if you can smoke in a paper bag or a garbage can, I'd say you can smoke in anything.
As far as meat quality goes; my feeling is that a home raised slab of muscle tastes best, but the beauty of "low and slow" is that you can take just about the worst cut and make it good and tender. Brisket is a good example of what I'm talking about. Without a low and slow method of cooking brisket, it's only good for throwing to the beagles.
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