My name is Mat. I am a Personal Chef in a north of Dallas, TX suburb. Obviously Cook Smoke and TX should always relate to each other. I have always had the love and respect. I always swore that at some point I would work at a BBQ joint just to get the basics. Never did though. I have smoked with indoor electric box smokers, smoking pans, ect. But I have never dealt with the big boys that do it right. It is a goal of mine, to own a several thousand dollar massive smoker on a trailer so I could really do some catering damage and stuff. But I just don't have the experience or funds to make that happen now. Anyhow, I bought a little Brinkman Gourmet smoker. It is $80 new but I got it slightly used for $40. It is straight up, plug in coil, lava rocks on the bottom, water pan, and 2 small racks with a lid and a door. I picked it up, swooped up some mesquite (large 3"+ chunks) on my way home, bought a whole brisket and I was on my way. I figured, "im a chef, I know what the hell I'm doing". And off I was. I trimmed off most of the fat leaving about 1/8" and cutting out the big rivers of fat between the muscles leaving me with 3 chunks of meat and a little fat. I plugged that sucker in, threw in some chunks, added the meat and let her rip. It smoked like hell. I checked the temp a couple times and it was staying about 250 so I let it go 4 hours and was finished. When it was cooling a little, I tore off a piece and blah! It was bitter and made my tongue numb. A short internet search told me what the problem was. Creosote. No worries because I shaved off the blackness and the meat was suitable for sandwiches, tacos ect. But I'm here to educate myself and figure out how to rectify my problems. Creosite Anonymous. And of course, I hope to learn a whole lot more now that I'm here. Thanks guys.