I just stumbled upon this site, and new I wanted to join & share & get tips from fellow smokers. My name is Jim, and I was a line cook for around 10 years before I moved onto other areas of work. I have always enjoyed cooking, and started smoking ribs, and other meats about 7 years ago. So I am not new to smoking and cooking but I am not a pitmaster by any means, I am always looking for tips. I typically fire up the smoker on my deck overlooking my wooded lot 1-2 times a weekend during the Spring, Fall, & Summer, it is my favorite way to spend a sunny day, sipping beer & tequilla, listining to some White Sox baseball, and smoking some meat for hours. Living in Illinois does not lend itself to many opportunities to fire up the smoker in the winter. As I mentioned I am from Illinois, I live about 75 miles sw of Chicago. I use a basic Char Broil offset smoker, and it is about 2 years old, and does a pretty good job.