I've been pursuing this site for a few weeks and reading tons of useful information, decided to say hello since I got my feet wet yesterday.
I recently purchased a 18.5 WSM and used it for the first time yesterday. I smoked some St Louis style ribs for about 5 hours (3-1-1 using Johnny Triggs recipe) and some baby back ribs (1.5-1-1 with only rub and sauce) and they came out pretty good. Yesterday's temp in NJ was pretty warm and the smoker was between 230-245 basically all day with a few adjustments with the vents throughout. I had trouble getting it up to temp initially but I removed some water from the pan and it rose quickly! I was kind of surprised how much charcoal I burned through in those five hours. I filled the pan and used the minion method with about half a chimney of hot coals and we we off and running. The smoker got down below 225 for a few minutes but I poked the coals a bit and opened the vents all the way and it went back above 225.
Anyways, I owe my first successful smoke to you guys... as I said in the opening, I read a lot of helpful tips before I attempted my first smoke. Here is a picture of my ribs, I was pleased with my first attempt. On the left is the St Louis style and on the right is the baby back. Next time I'll take some better photos. Looking forward to some jerky and brisket soon!