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Noob Checking In

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    Noob Checking In

    I have been lurking on this site for about a year now and finally decided to join. I Grew up in the southwest and was given charge of the grill as soon as I was tall enough (dad wanted the bbq but would rather watch the game). I eventually figured out how to make cheap cuts tasty and how to make the most of a good cuts. I grew up and went off to the Marine Corps and traveled around Asia a bit, sampling lots of wonderful foods from festivals and street vendors and such.

    I got out of the Marines and joined up with a hunting group back in Arizona made up of friends and relatives. We all shared in the bounty no matter who filled their tag, with the choice cuts going to the established members. I learned a lot about grilling meat with different levels of fat content and took up making jerky.

    I was introduced to the low and slow world by a girlfriend's uncle we went to visit for Thanksgiving in Texas. We stayed up all night drinking and carrying on while the uncle was smoking a big turkey in a small, cheap capsule smoker. The result was magical and I was hooked...

    Got my first capsule/water smoker for my birthday one year (I think it may have cost $35 at one of those dollar stores) and started experimenting with turkey and brisket.

    When that guy turned to a pile of rust, my next (and current) rig was the inexpensive Char-Griller with the side box. I have been cranking out some pretty decent BBQ with that thing for the last 12 years, replacing parts as they wear out and making little tweaks for different kinds of BBQ.

    I now live in Northern Virginia (NOVA) in a neighborhood with lots of free smoking wood! We had a tall tree die a couple of years after moving in and it turned out to be a cherry tree that I now use in the fireplace and for friends who love my cherry-smoked spareribs. Big storms are always knocking down big red oaks and the occasional hickory, so I am always very well stocked by the neighbors who know they will get some good BBQ in return.

    I am now at the point where I want to go beyond what my faithful Char-Griller can handle. The block parties, the work get-togethers, the gatherings of friends and such are getting bigger and it is tough to do more than three racks of ribs. When I do even that many, the quirky (okay, cheap) nature of of the Char-Griller really keeps me on my toes. People look at it and say "those delicious ribs came out of THAT thing?"

    I think it is time to make the investment in a serious unit. One that can really take advantage of the wonderful wood I have available, fit four racks of untrimmed spare ribs, and that won't have me desperately fanning at flames when I shut the dampers just a little too much and my fire dies. I am already narrowing the field and hope to make the plunge soon.
    Last edited by NOVABONZ; September 17, 2015, 10:18 AM.

    NOVABONZ, Welcome to the Pit, The thing about Money is its not worth anything until you Spend It. May as well use it on something you Enjoy! Dan


      NOVABONZ commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, Dan. It will be good to have a real BBQ grill.

    Welcome to the Pit NOVABONZ and thank you for your service to our country.

    As far as what smoker to recommend we will have to know what your budget is.

    You can cook 4 racks of ribs on a $400 upright vertical smoker or if you want to spend some serious coinage there's the Lang smokers and many other options.

    I'm sure you're going to get lots of help on this question but having a $$$ figure you want to allocate to buying a smoker will help.

    Enjoy learning on the Pit my friend.


      Welcome Aboard NOVABONZ

      ​Yeah give us some parameters like Breadhead suggests... we give you lots of ideas!


        Welcome NOVABONZ! We're glad you're here. Thanks for your service. Prior USAF myself. Let us know what cookers you're thinking about. We'll help you spend your money!


          NOVABONZ ...

          While allocating coinage for this smoker buy make sure to add $$$ for a good temperature controller and a meat thermometer. Those items will make your smoking journey much easier and successful.👌


            Hey Nova!


              $1500 max budget
              Grill and smoker
              Rotisserie availability
              Room for a 20 lb turkey or four racks of untrimmed spareribs
              Lump charcoal and/or wood chunks (I chop/split the wood into butter stick sized chunks)
              Solid construction
              Easily removable ashes
              Easy to add additional charcoal
              Good airflow for the duration of a smoking session

              I don't know whether I want another sidecar smoker. I do know that I do not want any gimmicks - I enjoy tending the fire.


                Have you looked at The Good One? That's a brand name.


                • NOVABONZ
                  NOVABONZ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That may do the trick. Kinda looks like a big toolbox (in a good way)

                • Max Good
                  Max Good commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The Good-One makes some really terrific combo grill/smokers. They say a rotisserie may be used with their cookers, but it's not necessary because the heat is already evenly distributed and it will cit your capacity in half. TGO says, "We feel it's unnecessary. We worked hard on the design to make sure heat was even, efficient and easy to use. There are no outside dependencies aka electricity or motors that eventually will fail due to external forces of heat & grease."
                  Last edited by Max Good; September 18, 2015, 09:51 AM.

                Welcome to The Pit!!


                • NOVABONZ
                  NOVABONZ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, Spin

                I'm a Big Green Egg guy. You can do four racks of ribs, and I have done 40# of Boston Butt on my large BGE ( not with the ribs ). You wouldn't be burning the wood, but rather using lump charcoal and wood chunks for for smoke. For me the great thing about the BGE on a long slow cooks is the ability to set it and forget it and sleep through the night. Good luck on your search! All the guys on this site can make their cookers cook. Maybe if they weigh in on what they like most about their cooker it will help you decide.


                • Breadhead
                  Breadhead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  LA Pork Butt ...

                  I just did a 16 hour brisket cook on my large BGE. I started the fire and installed my DigiQ Dx2 and set it to cook at 225°. I put the brisket on and went to bed.

                  I woke up 8 hours later and the BGE was chugging along at exactly 225°. I went and had breakfast with some friends and did some errands and when I got home it was at exactly 225°.

                  The larger BGE and the DigiQ Dx2 combination is a blessing from the BBQ gods!

                • NOVABONZ
                  NOVABONZ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks, LA. I'll definitely look into it.

                Belated welcome to The Pit NOVABONZ! Nice intro post, glad you're with us.

                Since this is your first post, please check out our homework assignment post for new members, it contains a few how-tos and please-dos.

                Also, it's very important that you add the domain AmazingRibs.com to your email safe list in case you are ever drawn as our monthly Gold Medal Giveaway winner!

                Hope to hear & see more from you!


                  I finally pulled the trigger on purchasing a new grill. I bought the Good-One Open Range from FireCraft. I would definitely recommend them for their great service and thoughtful advice.They even threw in a bag of lump charcoal so I could get it properly seasoned before the first smoke. Iam doing a pork butt tomorrow using the tested recipe.
                  Has anyone ever tried a low temperature smoke on the Good-One? I was thinking of doing some smoked fish when it gets colder.



                    Welcome to the Pit and thanks for your service! Check out HBT Smokers via Google and Facebook.


                      Welcome Aboard, NOVABONZ !!! Dang glad yer here!
                      Thank you for your service!

                      "Semper Fi, Teufelshund!"!!!
                      >Ol' Air Det Seabee<



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