After reading several newbie articles about their first smokes, I decided it was time for me to jump on the bandwagon. I live in northeast Ohio where it just snowed 5 inches last night, but tomorrow its supposed to be 45 & sunny, so I decided to try out the new Christmas smoker. I went down to the local meat market today & picked up a 5.5lb beef brisket. When the butcher cut it, he left on a piece of the bottom that doesn't have any fat on it. Not sure if it rolled over on him when while he was positioning it in the slicer or what, but hey, it'll all be good in the end. If not, I'll just cut it off & throw it in with some baked beans. ;-) I know that smoking in cold weather will take longer, but hey, if its all done in time for the Giants/49er's game, I'll be happpy. I'll be using my new Camp Chef 24" Smoke Vault to smoke this little beauty. I was lucky enough to do the seasoning last week so we're primed up for tomorrow. Here is the brisket I got from the meat market. I have already rubbed it up with a Texas/Southwest rub I found online. Top View: See what I mean about the meat flap? No fat there but what the heck, its all good. Side & angle views: I'm going to put the wireless temp probe right in that nice beefy part to the left. On a side note, the fat cap was thicker than 1/8-1/4 inch. Was more like 1/2-2/3 inch thick. I didn't trim it as I thought that with a smaller piece of meat that the extra fat would help to keep it from drying out along the way. I also didn't use the mustard rub before the spice rub (my wife didn't want me to do it) so I just rinsed it off, patted dry with paper towel, then gave it a rub down. Don't that rub look pretty? For anyone interested, I used the following rub recipe: 5 tablespoons paprika 3 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 2 tablespoons onion powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon dried parsley 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/4 teaspoon hot chili powder I've got it saran wrapped & in the fridge now & will take it out tomorrow morning. Should be in the rub almost 18 hrs. I plan to take it out about 7:30-8:00am & let it sit for an hour to get closer to room temp. Will fire up the smoker & let it get to temp during that time. I plan to use hickory chips for the smoke & am going to add my leftover Great Lakes Christmas Ale for some extra moisture & added flavor. Want to keep smoker about 220-225 degrees & plan for a 7.5 hr smoke. I plan to pull it & wrap in aluminum foil at 180 & let sit until 190-195, then slice & eat. Will post some addditional pics after the smoke is completed.