I got the exact same on last year for Father's day and have had great success with it. Looking to upgrade soon, but it will certainly get you started. The biggest challenge to smoking in a unit like this is maintaining a steady temp. Don't plan on getting too far away from it for the duration of cooking. The temp indicator on the unit I have found to be reliable enough for chamber temp, but am currently in the process of getting a Maverick ET-732 so I can have remote access to chamber and meat temp.
As far as the charcol......well first, natural wood only. Don't want to add any chemicals or off flavor. Not sure if you got any smoker wood(I got some down state last year, pretty reasonable....also in CT btw). If the size of meat allows I take the grate out of one side and make that the fire/smoke side and the other side for smoking/cooking. I keep a can handy for the removal of some fuel if the heat starts to climb too much and a can with water for the smoker wood if I have to take it off for a few mins. Soaking it helps slow it down again and produces more smoke(which is good). When I upgrade looking at one of the units with the firebox off to the side and the ability to raise and lower the grate to mutiple positions to help control the heat input.
It's a little trial by fire....red meats are a little more forgiving because fear of leaving dangerous bacteria around is a little less than say chicken or pork(you might miss your goal "done-ness" if you will, but it will still be really good). You definitely need a good probe for the meat itself. Something that can take the heat and that is within say 5 degrees or better. The box temp is the box temp, but the internal meat temp is the measured result. Leave yourself a little extra time so you can get the fire up and going and settled in. If you have a 6 hour cook time and you are just lighting up at 6:15 to go, you are asking for trouble. Also, it doesn't take nearly as much charcol as you think to maintain say 225 or 250F. The first time I used it, I stoked up some charcol closed her up and went away for 10 mins. I came back to a glowing chamber, a pegged Brinkman thermometer at 700F and some missing paint...lol. You really only need a couple of handfuls of the heat charcol to get started and then one piece of the smoker wood(I use hickory, apple, and cherry).
Hope that helps for info. My first post, but not my first piece of meat.......good luck and Happy Fathers Day!!!