Hey all! Name's Todd. Grew up in East Tennessee (near Knoxville) and Indianapolis, IN. so I've got the country and city boy sides of me. So depending on what conversation I'm in, I might be from somewhere different. ha And to add to the "where you from" confusion, I'm enlisted in the USAF. Been in over 11 years now and been all over. Got my 'start' in grilling at a young age. My dad's side of the family were alwasy grilling any time they got together, one of which is always memorial day weekend (read Indy 500). I didn't get big into grilling until I was stationed in Japan (of all places) and got good friends with a country boy who taught me the ropes. After Japan I got stationed in Texas. Perfect for BBQ, terrible for allergies. I bought a nice Kingsford charcoal barrel grill with firebox on the end. Can't remember the model. To this day though, that's the best GRILL I've ever used for both grilling and smoking. I immediately bought a few racks of pork ribs to try out some basic rubs and sauces. Fast forward a bit and I got a reputation in a very small unit as 'the grill guy'. Thecommunity held an annual brisket cookoff (it IS Texas after all!) and I was told I should join. I'd never done brisket before, but by now I'd gotten my own rubs and sauces down, so I figured what the hey! First one I did, well attempted, did NOT go well. I imagine it's like this for most newbies to brisket. Undercooked, tough, too much mesquite...you name it, it happened! 8lb hunk of food...wasted. Went through a few more before I finally got it *just* right to my liking. As for the cookoff, I think I fared pretty well being one of my first ever briskets and my first ever competition. Let me tell ya, these people go all out! I had my truck, my grill, a bag of coals, a couple bags of wood chunks and chips, a cooler for beer and a couple slabs of ribs (need SOMETHING to eat while I'm waiting!) and my brisket. Ended up finishing in the top 10 out of I don't know ho many, but I had lots of people tell me they liked mine a lot. So that's what officially got me hooked on smoking. I've since left Texas, and being in the military I can't bring my grill with me, so I sold it. Got to Korea, bought a cheapy grill to keep sharp and once I got to Germany, the house I'm renting has a little 'bbq pit' with a grate that's perfect for my grilling needs, so I opted to get a gas smoker. I've got the Smoke Hollow 34". Again for the time being. Once I move again depending on where I go, i'll get something else. (any reccomendations on cheapy barrel type grills are always appreciated). I never stop grilling though. I HAVE to grill something at least once a week. Steak, chops, burgers, chicken, etc (even while I'm deployed I'm the grill guy!). Joined this site to share recipes and experiences, learn to smoke more than just ribs and brisket, diffrenet styles, etc. Looking forward! Maybe once I get back to the States I'll run into some of y'all!