Growing up in the Mendenhall household we did a lot of fishing and hunting. My dad was all about cooking up his special recipes. Most of them being from trial and error, and word of mouth, to find the best recipe. I really enjoyed watching how happy fishing, camping, and hunting made him, and the rest of the family. Cooking his catch was fun to be a part of. Watching how happy he was in the kitchen getting ready to mix up his recipes. The careful thought and care that he put into it each time truly inspired me. To smell the smoke coming off the smoker all day, and sometimes late into the night, getting excited when we would watch him start heading to the door, as we ran to be by his side as he opened up the smoker, even if it was just to add smoke chips or to check the temperature and to estimate when the meat would be done. I couldn’t wait until we could bite into what he made, and it was amazing. Each and every time. His thought and careful consideration into each recipe ensured his success. I look back on those fond memories, and in my quest to carry on those traditions in my own family have worked hard at perfecting the best recipes. I don’t think I will ever be as good at smoking meats as my Dad is, but it really holds a special place in my heart to carry on special things like this, to bring the joy and excitement into my kids, as they notice how happy I am when I am enjoying fishing and hunting, and how happy I am when I begin to plan what to smoke in the smoker. Most importantly, the joy and excitement of my five kids as the smell of delicious meat cooking on a smoker fills the house. Smoking meats can be very forgiving when it comes to tastes and textures. The recipes are typically strong with seasonings and spices, which makes for a wonderful flavor no matter what your craving. The slow cooking, the smoke flavor from the burning smoker chips, the salty and spicy flavorings added to the meat….Yum! Some of the things to think about when looking for a smoker is to decide what fuel source you want to use, real wood, charcoal, propane, or electric. You also need to buy a smoker that can fit a few full racks of ribs, or whatever the biggest meats, in the quantities that you want to smoke. I prefer the larger smoker, even though sometimes I only cook three to five pounds of meat. The ability to cook a turkey now and again, or enough to feed the family with some friends over, is an important consideration. Pit Barrel Cooker18.5" Classic Pit Barrel CookerZ Grills 8 IN 1 WOOD PELLET GRILL & SMOKERBradley Smart SmokerBradley Smoker Original Electric SmokerMeat and BBQ AccessoriesMeater Wireless Meat ThermometerDisclosure: This post is brought to you by the Mendenhall Outdoors team. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and this does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase.