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 that you would like to use, whether it is 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, to eliminate having to run several runs of smoking enough meat. 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. Lastly, if you are in the market for a new smoker, I highly recommend the new pellet grills, as not only can you do some bbq grilling, you can also bake, smoke, and so much more than you can do from just a smoker, or just a regular bbq. One unit can do it all. Traeger, Camp Chef, and many of the higher end models from are the newest style pellet grills that can do it all. Some are wireless capable, so you can get an alert on your smartphone that your meat is ready, or ready for your next step, you an adjust the heat, adjust the smoke, and monitor how the temperature is doing on the grill.Top Grills and Smokers from TraegerWOOD PELLET GRILLSExperience the evolution of fire with Traeger’s next generation of pellet grillsThis new lineup brings unrivaled wood flavor to the table, unlocking your food’s true potential. No matter which grill you select, Traeger’s 6-in-1 ability means you can grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, and bbq with pure, hardwood flavor.•Traeger Pro Series Pellet Grills•Traeger IronWood Series Pellet Grills•Traeger Timberline Series Pellet GrillsTop Grills and Smokers from Camp ChefThe Woodwind pellet grills brings easy and delicious BBQ right to your back patio. Grill, smoke, bake, roast, braise, or barbecue with incredible wood-fired flavor. With features like our patented Ash Cleanout system and temperature settings from 160° F to 500° F, outdoor cooking has never been easier or more delicious•Woodwind WIFI 36 Grill with Sear Box•Woodwind WIFI 36 Grill with Sidekick•Woodwind WIFI 24 Grill with Sidekick•Woodwind Wifi 36 Grill with SidekickBest Selling Smoker Grills•Traeger Pro 575 Pellet Grill Smoker•Traeger Pro 780 Pellet Grill Smoker•Camela’s Pro Series 24” Pellet Grill Smoker•Cabela’s Pro Series 36” Pellet Grill SmokerClassic Backyard Smokers•Horizon Smoker 24” Marshal Backyard Smoker•Horizon Smoker 20” Classic Backyard Smoker•Horizon Smoker 16” Ranger Backyard Smoker•Horizon Smoker 16” Classic Backyard SmokerBest Selling Smokers•Bradley Smoker Original Electric Smoker•Masterbuilt Adventure Series MES 1405 Digital Electric Smoker•Smok Canyon Vertical Smoker with Offset Firebox•Masterbuilt Adventure Series MES 140S Digital Electric SmokerPit Barrel Cooker18.5" Classic Pit Barrel CookerZ Grills 8 IN 1 WOOD PELLET GRILL & SMOKERBradley Smart SmokerCamp Chef Smokers•Smoke Vault 24” Smoker•Smoke Vault 18” SmokerMeat and BBQ AccessoriesMeater Wireless Meat ThermometerDisclosure: This post is brought to you by the Mendenhall Outdoors team. 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