Trial by Fire:
I purchased an offset smoker and couldn't wait to use it so I picked up a whole chicken and a small pork butt to try and cook simultaneously. I then bought a large bag of kingsford charcoal and a small bag of char-broil apple wood chips.
Last night I put a dry rub on the pork butt and barbeque sauce on the whole chicken and put in the refrigerator overnight.
I woke up early this morning and got started right away. I put several wads of old newspaper underneath a pyramid of charcoal, lit it up, waited about 30 minutes until the internal temp of the cooking area got up to 250 and the charcoal had changed color and ashed over before placing my meat inside the main cooking area. After that I added a handful of wood chips on top of the charcoal and waited. The temperature peaked up around 275 and then has been fluctuating but I'm trying to keep it around 250. When it drops below I'll add a few charcoals and another handful of wood chips. I put my meats in at 8am this morning thinking I would have all day only to discover I have to leave at noon for something that came up so now I'm trying to figure out what to do. I'm thinking I'll keep the temp around 250 until 11:30 (3.5 hours), then have to figure out a way to put out the fire before I leave my place. Then when I get back later maybe I can finish it in the oven? I feel like I jumped into this too quickly and turned my first experience into a bad one so any advice to salvage my current predicament or help me improve next time around is much appreciated.
In summary: 1 small pork but with dry rub & 1 whole chicken marinated in store bought bbq sauce smoking at 250 for 3.5 hours, then the fire has to be put out and I've got to go. When I return in the evening I'm not sure what to do.