Have grilled a lot but got my first smoker as a Christmas present this year - a Masterbuild gas/charcoal vertical cabinet. One of the first sites I found was yours, Jeff, and I quickly got your rub recipe (which we love) and some of your instructional material which is very helpful. I have been having great fun with it and so far have done pork butt (and have one in now for the game tomorrow), chicken in a lot of different forms and almonds in several different flavors (only problem with these is that everyone eats them as quickly as I can make them). My main question is about temp. control. With the gas, I can keep constant temp pretty much anywhere. But, whenever I add wood for smoke (usually either hickory or apple chips so far) to the charcoal pan which is located right above the gas flame per the insturctions, I get a wild swing in the temp. If I have the temp held at 220 and add chips, I'll get a surge up to as much as 300 until the chips are consumed, them the temp will drop back down and hold until I add more chips. Yes, I am soaking the chips.
Is that a problem? Is there a way to control the chips better than just putting them in the charcoal pan which is just on top of the flame?
Looking forward to all the great experience (and advice) you all have and the recipes - so many recipes, so little time.