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SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
Original poster
Staff member
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
Jun 22, 2009
Central Florida (Sebring)
Well, Judy & I were vegetarians for 30 years, until one day we were in Sam’s & they had a MES 40 on sale. I said why don’t we buy one, and Judy said, “ What the hell are you gonna smoke? LETTUCE? I said no, why don’t we buy some meat. She just looked at me like all the times that I come up with some crazy idea, and just rolled her eyes. So we bought a MES 40, a couple of racks of spares, wood chips, and a butt. We came home & I started searching the net for a recipe to smoke a rack of ribs. Of course SMF came up & I got on & went to chat & a real nice lady gave me all the instructions on how to smoke ribs & she gave me a coleslaw recipe that I still use to this day. Then from then on I just learned how to smoke, cold smoke, make sausage, dry cure, and on and on. I have made a bunch of friends on here over the years, and hope to make many more! I was just wondering what brought the rest of you here. Oh, and by the way that first rack of ribs was awesome, only because of that nice lady here on SMF, and as I said earlier, her coleslaw recipe is the best I have ever had!
years ago i built a cinderblock smoker for my brother who was using a charbroil offset at the time, he gave me the old offset , i think the first thing i smoked was ribs which if i remember right they came out edible. then i tried chicken, my thinking back then the more smoke the better so i had smoke billowing out of that thing like ya wouldn't believe waiting patiently for what i thought was going to be the best chicken i ever had! one bite of that proved me wrong, spit it out threw the chicken away not understanding where i went wrong i starting searching why my chicken turned out so bad and i ended up here. luckily everyone straightened me out, so basically most everything i learned about smoking i learned here and still learn things today. so thats basically how i ended up here.
I had been with The Virtual Weber Bullet site for many years. I than joined Facebook Texas Recipe Club. The guy running that is a total control freak and gets his kicks from banning people which he does constantly and with any notice. He has a long list of rules that are crazy. The people there are really nice though. You can only make posts with pictures and recipes. Can not discuss anything but a recipe. Someone posted a recipe that used a kit for making chili that was hard to find. I found one at Market Street and took a picture of it and where found and posted it thanking the person you recommended. Next thing I knew I was banned. I did not post a recipe with pic! I could not even send him a message. I sent one of the other people in forum a message who talked to him and got me back in. I was the only person he did this for I guess. Later on in one of my recipe post I recommended an oil sprayer in the post. You can't talk about equipment I guess and he banned me again. Thing was he has to approve every post and he approved mine. I did nothing wrong and was very upset as I really enjoyed the people other than him! Started looking for other recipe clubs and found this one.
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I generally join forums for all my interests, even joined a snow blower forum while researching which one to buy. I belong to Triumph car forums, corvette forums, Subaru and Jeep TJ Wrangler forums. I bought a used mes propane smoker and totally destroyed a turkey and then found this site. I found another smoker an electric and added a pid thanks to this place. People here have been great (unlike some on the Corvette forum). Like my Jeep forum this place likes to spend my money but at least I have some great meals to show for it.
If I remember correctly I was looking for summer sausage recipes and stumbled across this forum.. Sure glad I did! Ive learned a lot of things here and I'm thankful for that because its something I can share with my sons that will stay with them. Met a lot of great people and made some friends!
In 2010, my wife and daughters bought me an 18" WSM for Father' s Day. When researching recipes and how to use it I found TVWB. Learned a ton at that web sight and eventually joined TVWBB forum. I enjoyed the people there so much that I was looking for more. I just lurked at a number of other forums for a long time, never signing up. I was loyal to TVWBB. Then came a YouTube video by Jeff and the rest is history. The people here are every bit as nice and helpful and I have to say that I have made more friends here but I frequent both forums daily.
I needed instruction on how to smoke trout (that I had caught) on a cheapo Brinkman water smoker which I found at a flea market for $15.

The rest is history. . .I made many faceless friends here as well.

Here is an idea. Why don"t we have a thread where members can post a picture of themselves so we can put faces with Avatar names.

What do you think SmokinAl SmokinAl ?

It took you 30 years to come over from the dark side?. . .LOL!

I found SMF while looking for recipes, ideas, and to generally just learn more about outdoor cooking. I joined, but didn't participate for 2+ years, I just watched, read, and "borrowed" ideas. I didn't realize that I could do all of that without joining. Then about a year ago, I decided that I wanted to step up to a bigger, custom offset and started participating more seeking advice and info about what offsets to look at.

I have been really happy with the overall feel of this forum, the positivity, the knowledge and willingness to share it, and the amazing generosity of someone here that I've never met. More about that to come a little later...:emoji_wink:
Can't remember for sure why I joined but guessing I was trying to learn how to do something and happened upon this site...just never left! Glad I didn't...have learned a ton and met some awesome people! And still have a ton of things on the things to do or try list! I'm really glad a couple vegetarians joined a long time ago.. SmokinAl SmokinAl And his wife Judy...made some mighty fine racks of ribs, some awesome pickles, and some really good buns from Judy!
Smoked lettuce...that's funny!

My father is awesome, but BBQ/Grilling Cook was not something he ever really got into to teach me technique. When I moved on and joined the Marines I bought a Weber Kettle and winged it for years, but one random day I was at Home Depot and, on impulse, bought a Weber's Real Grilling Cook Book. Reading through the introduction it was the first time that I was introduced to techniques and recipes for BBQ/grilling and the change was huge. Using that book literally changed my life, It was the first time I was really proud of the food that I prepared for friends/family and how I met my wife. I started getting cocky and bought a Bar-B-Chef offset when Box stores had offsets that were actually heavy duty. Then disaster, I screwed up bad on was a Brisket that I absolutely destroyed to the the most atomic charcoal level. It was unsalvageable and that terrified me to ever spend that kind of money and ruin a cook again. But, returning from my third Iraq deployment a Cajun friend in my team showed me how BBQ was really done, and when my new Bride and I got orders to the Mojave Desert, I was motivated to get back on the Brisket horse. I asked Google and came here and the change was once again dramatic. foamheart foamheart took pity on a Marine and worked with me and taught me a ton and became a great friend. noboundaries noboundaries was the first to message me. chef jimmyj chef jimmyj was also a big help, and so many others. After my hiatus, due to life and work, its been so great being back on and make more new friends with the same passion. Whenever I get compliments on my BBQ or cooking I refer people here.
A few years ago, I acquired an old grill that my grandfather had built for parties and family gatherings. He passed away several years ago so I wanted to restore it. It was totally rusted through and really should have been scrapped. I came here and found daveomak daveomak and he helped me through the calculations and advised me on turning it into an rf smoker. It took alot of work but today it turns out the best food I've ever made. Many here have helped me dial it in and I'm forever grateful.


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A member who left us in the past year was the first to welcome me to the Forum.
I was looking for ways to smoke tuna and on came Gary S rest in peace my friend.
I still have to make his bake beans at any family smoking event.
There is so much available knowledge on here it's almost unreal.
So glad I found this forum.

In 2010 I had a ton of vacation time I had to use or lose. Took 3 weeks off, got bored, and went to the big orange store and bought an $89 throw-away smoker. Absolutely destroyed a couple racks of ribs. Was chatting with a friend and he turned me onto SMF. I had not participated in any sort of forum for a LONG time due to every one of them becoming toxic. I lurked here for a long time just reading and familiarizing myself with some of the regulars. After reading thousands of posts I realized that the environment here was anything but toxic and the folks were so nice and helpful. Finally got some decent Q going and got up the courage to post it. The horizons have expanded beyond belief for me and I've made some extraordinary friends here. No doubt, this site has been a life changer.

I grew up in California where BBQ was hot n fast grilling of burgers, dogs, and steaks. In my teens we moved to TN where I tasted actual BBQ for the first time. Wow. I was hooked. Then came a duty station in South Texas where a whole new flavor of BBQ found my tastebuds. It became permanently imprinted in my brain.

After getting stationed back in Cali, that Texas flavor proved elusive. I'd charcoal grilled but never smoked meat. A few trips to the Reno Rib Cookoff as an eater rekindled my love of Texas smoked beef and pork ribs

A detour into propane grilling was convenient but disappointing in flavor. I decided to see if my early generation Weber Performer gathering dust on the side of the house could be used to smoke meat. A few Internet searches and I found SMF. Out came the Weber, and with the right wood chunks, that Texas flavor returned. Six months later I added a 22" WSM. Both gave me exactly what I craved, and SMF was the guide.

Happy Smoking, All,

I had been paying the butcher to make my sausage and summer sausage from my wild game for years and I had always requested that they only use the meat from my buck and not mix other improperly cared for meat with it and they always lied to me and mixed up with gut shot deer and you can taste it .Plus they always stole some meat . So I wanted to start making my own and I was searching the internet and this site popped up and I joined it and my waistline has blossomed significantly and I have made some great friends . If I have a problem or need a question answered there's always someone here to save my day.
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