You seem to know all the things you need to watch/check next time.
If your temp was off, before the next cook you now know you need to check it to ensure what temp it is. if its in fact 30 off you know how to adjust it. But make sure and check unloaded with a good calibrated thermometer.
Yes, I gotta say a bit too much smoke.
Everyone has their own ideas about smoke. Fire burner, propane, and electric all different as well as different beliefs. I tend to agree with you instead of the offered link. I respect all those fine smokers opinions (that's an all star line up of Guru's), but with and electric I tend to disagree. Even sex can be taken past pleasurable. Its my understanding that the meats are most susceptible to taking smoke from 100 to 140 degrees. I am pretty sure I even saw that mentioned by the site owner Jeff. I am NOT saying it can only take smoke at these times, only that the meat is at its most vulnerable then. Everything above and below this has diminished returns. No one has ever said this to my knowledge but...... I also believe that is why the manufacturers recommend soaking the chips. Its to help the smoker/food to come up to temp before applying smoke. Course that's just my opinion. But you never hear someone complain about there not being enough smoke, you only hear a complaint if there is too much, so think about it.
Slow down on the wood chips and make sure you are using a good dry type. If you start with a small amount and see what you think, you can add more the next smoke and see where you are most happy. Besides they don't give those chips away.
Hickory and Mesquite are what are considered hard smokes, they need to be used with care. Pecan, cherry, peach, cob, etc... are all considered light smokes. Heavy smokes need a long smoke or a big piece of meant IMHO, the light smokes can be used anywhere but most specifically fish and fowl. The light smokes are hard to over smoke with, (BUT they can be).
Do not fill up the water tray. You don't need it with an electric smoker. Electrics and fire-burners are two different animals and as the basics are quite similar there are differences. You don't need to add fluid by mopping, spritzing, or saucing with and electric. because you don't have a fire to tend you leave the door closed and the moisture stays in. You will never see a smoke ring on the meat with an electric, or I have not in 30+ years with an electric as well as fire-burners. See a fire-burner recovers heat lose fast where an electric does it slow, extremely slow. Think of a gas stove compared to an electric, which heats up faster? But even if it does recover in say 10 mins. on a 12 hour smoke for brisket that's adding 2 hours to your time table if you only open it once and hour. You need to leave the door shut. Think about doing a low and slow non-foiled 20+ hours cook. LOL.
If you really want to woo your friends, get a notebook to dedicate to just smoking. Use the research function above and do your homework. Then keep records of what you cooked, how you cooked it what you liked and what you didn't. Then research again looking for answers and possible changes you'd like to try. You can also come here and ask the Guru's they are the ones that either have Moderator or OTBS tags by their name. They will help you. 'Course you can always do as you did and just post for help but now next time you'll have your questions narrowed down. Here is a sample to help you decide what is important to you.
No one knows everything because there is no one right way, its all about you enjoying the journey to mastering your specific pit. If you keep notes, you'll get there faster.
Remember, smoking is like a Zen thing, you are supposed to enjoy it, not stress about it. When you are cooking for 5 to 25 hours its mostly prep. unless the wife needs ya to watch the kids, do honey-dos, or pick up after the dog, or run an errand, you really have the day off to watch the smoke and maybe a cool drink. You can always beg off because of the smoke if she gets to intense. LOL
Use the site, use the search, look at Q-views, and take notes. Most of all remember to enjoy the smoke.
Heres another good link for smoke. It doesn't take a side. LOL
Edited by Foamheart - 9/23/13 at 5:32pm