Welcome to the SMF Family...First off the Dealer don't know S#!T. Second Brisket is the hardest piece of meat to get right, as in anything other than DRY and tough. Ribs while fairly easy need some finessing. He did get the Seasoning, burn off of the smoker, mostly right. He should have added making some smoke at the end. You essentially did this step with your first smoke.
Start here... http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/newsearch?search=brinkmann+smoke+n+grill and read. Then read this info about charcoal Fires...http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/85924/the-minion-method-explained-w-tutorial
Next, pick another subject or meat you would like to try, I suggest Chicken cause it is cheap, and run a Search for that. You will get tons of info so Read some more. Here is one of my early, relearning my smoker, Chicken Smokes...http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/109288/leg-quarters-its-whats-for-dinner-yes-with-qview-jj
You need to Learn and Practice with your smoker for several cooks before you start spending good money on meat. Spend some time reading the main page of the Forum. Not all will apply to you but you will learn how things get done and get some ideas for future smokes.
Read the Safety Forum over and sign up for Jeff's, the site owner, 5 day eCourse. Lots of great info for beginners there!
You will have better luck making smoke with Chunks rather than Chips but you can learn with what you got. Asolutely, Positively get either a Dual Probe Thermometer, measures Smoker Temp and Meat temp with one unit. Or get multiple probe thermometers to accomplish the same. Most of us favor the MAVERICK ET-732 or newer 733. Not too expensive and has a remote to monitor what's going on from inside your house. Makes smoking year round and in crappy weather a snap. I could type for days giving you all you need to learn but I Hunt and Peck and we would both be Old Men by the time I finished...
Here is a BONUS...Since you already gave Ribs a shot, I will give you my info on making great Ribs and some of my winning recipes. Any questions you have, post in the appropriate forum or PM me or any other member you have a question for, Lots of friendly people here... Good Luck...JJ
Smoked Ribs as easy as 3-2-1
A full rack of Spare Ribs will take about 6 hours at 225*F...The 3-2-1 smoked rib recipe is a good way to smoke ribs and tends to turn out perfect ribs every time whether you are using the meatier Full rack spare rib or the Saint Louis cut. Baby Back ribs use a 2-2-1 method. The ribs are smoked at 225 - 250 degrees for best results...
The 3 stands for the 3 hours that you initially smoke the ribs with nothing but your favorite rub on them and some smoke with your favorite hardwood such as hickory, apple, pecan, etc. After the 3 hours you remove the ribs and quickly double wrap them in heavy duty foil.. just before you seal them up add some Foiling Juice or Apple Juice and close the foil leaving some room around the ribs for the steam to be able to flow around the meat and the juice to braise the meat which Flavors/Tenderizes it.
The ribs cook in the smoker wrapped for 2 hours undisturbed. There is no need for Smoke at this point... After 2 hours remove the ribs from the smoker, unwrap, saving any juices in the foil, and place back into the smoker for the final 1 hour, with smoke if you wish.This firms them up, creates a nice Bark and finishes the cooking process. You can add a glaze or sauce at this point if you like. The meat will be pretty close to fall off the bone and be extremely juicy, tender and flavorful...JJ
Foiling Juice / Sweet Pulled Pork Finishing Sauce
For each Rack of Ribs Combine:
1T Pork Rub, yours
1/2 Stick Butter
1/2C Cane Syrup... Dark Corn Syrup...or Honey
1/4C Apple Cider...or Juice
2T Vinegar, 2T Mustard and 1/4C Ketchup to make it more KC Style.
Simmer until a syrupy consistency.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes, pour over foiled Ribs and
run your 2 hour phase of 3-2-1. For the last phase return
the ribs to the smoker BUT reserve any Juice remaining
in the Foil. Simmer the Juice over med/low heat to reduce to a saucy thickness. Glaze the Ribs for presentation or service.
For a Sweet Finishing Sauce for Pulled Pork: Make a Double
batch, Butter optional.
Add 1/2 the batch to the Foil Pack or place it in a Pan with your Butt, when the IT hits 165*F.
Cover the pan with foil and continue to heat to 205*F for pulling.
At 205* rest or hold the Butt in a cooler wrapped in towels until ready to serve.
Pull the Pork and place it back in the pan with the pan Juices and any additional reserved Foiling Juice to moisten and Serve...OR... Bag and refrigerate until needed.
When re-heating place the Pulled Pork in a Pan or Crock pot and add reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider, as needed to make up the Juice that was absorbed while the pork was refrigerated. Cover and re-heat in a pre-heated 325-350*F oven or on High in the crock pot to 165*F and Serve.
Note: the addition of the reserved Foiling Juice or Apple Cider should make the PP moist but not Swimming.
Mild Bubba Q Rub (All Purpose)
1/2C Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado)
2T Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)
1T Kosher Salt
1T Chili Powder (contains some Cumin and Oregano) Ancho Chile is same without cumin, oregano etc.
1T Granulated Garlic
1T Granulated Onion
1tsp Black Pepper, more if you like
1/2tsp Grnd Allspice
For more heat add Cayenne or Chipotle Pwd to taste, start with 1/2tsp and go from there. Makes about 1 Cup
Apply your desired amount of Rub to the meat, wrap in plastic and rest in the refrigerator over night.or longer. The day of the smoke, pull the meat out, add more Rub and go into your pre-heated Smoker...
KC Bubba Q Juice
1/2C Brown Mustard (Gulden's)
1/4C Apple Cider Vinegar
2C Dark Brn Sugar
1T Tomato Paste
1T Your Rub
1-2tsp Liquid Smoke
1tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Combine all and warm over low heat just until it starts to bubble. Simmer about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, to combine flavors and to thicken slightly.
Use or pour into a sterile jar and refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.
Makes 3 1/2 Cups.