Howdy all...


Bill Elwell

OK, I know that sounds corny coming from a guy from South Jersey, but I've lived in about 8 States (some more than once) and Germany twice (9 years total).

Currently living back in IL since 2004. I retired in 2010 (7 years active Army followed by 30 years of Federal Civil Service in Weapons Acquisition Logistics, Maintenance and Logistics Assistance Representative). Since I was only 55, I realized I needed of a couple more hobbies. :)

Since then I've taken up archery (before the Hunger Games fad) and smoking...meat. (I quit smoking in 1990).
I've been a home brewer since 1994, all grain, bottle & keg. I usually have two brews on tap and another 8 kegs stored in a keezer (keg freezer). I also employ a home made Son of Ferment Chiller (basically a real "ice box") when needed. I just bottled a 5 gallon batch of hard cider and 10 gallons of Hefe Weizen this week. I’ve also been playing guitar since 1971 (boy, are my fingers tired :rolleyes:). I've also vacationed in 49 States and over 24 countries (some many of times) on 3 continents.

I've been smoking for a few years (just never visited this site) so I’m not a true noob. ; ‘ )

I have a WSM 22.5". Here’s a list of my mods and enhancements since it’s delivery:

1. Mounted the base (legs) to on a dolly (also modified, made larger) so I can move it around the patio easier.
2. A welding blanket, to keep the cold off. I hang it from the bottom of the deck and it works great.
3. A second bottom grate. I added 4 threaded rods to the bottom grate where the 3rd grate mounts as needed. Basically, taking the cooking surface from 700+ square inches to 1000+.
4. A Maverick ET-733. I was pretty pleased with it, but was still getting pretty tired of checking and adjusting the dampers.
5. Last Fall I purchased a DigiQ and it was a game changer.
6. I purchased a Nomex gasket kit about 2 weeks ago. That, combined with the DigiQ, has made the process of smoking a REAL pleasure…again.
7. TBA (To Be Announced) In the quest of bigger and (hopefully) better, I still want to build an Out House-style cook shack (on a dolly) so I can move it out from under the deck and not have to worry about the weather so much.

We asked the kids and grandkids what they wanted for Christmas and 2 of them said they would really like some pulled pork. Well, Christmastime weather was not the best, but a couple of weeks ago we hit 57F, so I went for it. I smoked 3 butts (20# start, 10# end product) and a rack of Baby Back Ribs the day after the gasket arrived. I ended up bagging all of it…after having a meal from it. The kids got the most of it. Luckily, I still have 3 butts, a 13# packer brisket and 5 rack of ribs in the freezer…and another packer brisket I picked up today.

I hope I did this right...

But enough about me…how about you guys?

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Bruce Jr

TVWBB Member
good day! thank you for you service to help me feel and live a freer life! sending a firm handshake to you Sir! i am only a two day member of this site, have read here many times over the years and enjoy to chat between each. i have done some mods to my fleet of cookers, smokers and so on and as you, i do enjoy all. interesting to hear about your ET-733, i have no problems with my devise. however, when the fatal fall from the table finely takes place, i will look into the digi-q under your recommendation. and for that, i thank you! so, along with the others, welcome, enjoy and all the best Sir!

Ed M.

Welcome to the forums, Bill. Looking forward to seeing some pics of your mods and some of your cooks. Thank you for your service to this great country as well.

Bill Elwell

You're welcome and thanks Ed. I'm not sure about posting photos. While I do take photos of damn near everything, I don't (currently) plan on joining any of those services mentioned. But that may change. We'll see.

FWIW, I also have never texted, instagrammed, tweeted, not a member of FaceBook, etc. It's not a privacy issue per se, it's just that I've found that if you don't spread yourself too thin you get to enjoy more of your life. Plus, I've never been able to see any real benefit to them. ( I've seen co-workers go bonkers when they lost their "day books" (yes, I wore a suit at one time)...while they laughed at me for using a simple post-it pad).

I've been a bug. I prefer to be the windshield. ; ' )
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Bob Ivey

TVWBB Emerald Member
Welcome to the forum Bill and thank-you for your service to this great country. I sounds like you will fit in here very well. Posting pics isn't a big deal. I avoid most of the social media stuff also but pics can be helpful. Looking forward to more posts from you.


TVWBB Gold Member
Welcome Bill and thank you for your service. Glad you joined us. Bob is correct about posting pictures. I'm as computer illiterate as they come but the process is pretty simple.

Bill Elwell

Thanks JRA. It's not a matter of my computer savvy, it's just that every site you want to use requires another log in and password and I have a personal limit. If I add a new site I drop off another...basically, my mind operates a lot like RAM. :rolleyes:

Barb D

TVWBB Hall of Fame
Welcome Bill and looking forward to seeing some cooks real soon. Thanks you for your service and enjoy your retirement.

Bill Elwell

Thanks, Barb. Are you in Prescott, AZ? If so...been there...once. I was in Germany (1975-1979) with a guy from Prescott. His name was Gene...can't remember his last name at the moment.


Welcome Bill and Thanks for your years of Service!!!! Great Mods and looks like you are well ahead of the game!!