Hi all, thank u for all the kinds welcome messages! I'm brand new to smoking meat and my wife is buying me one for my birthday (may15th). I love in Southern California so it's relatively summer all the time! I am currently playing around with smoke on my grill! I was wondering which smoker I should get? I'm leaning towards charcoal. Opinions on that? Basically just looking for weekend smoking for small groups(8at most), relatively inexpensive $500 max! I was planning on getting the Weber smokey mountain 18' but after reading around on here I need input! Please help!!