Years ago, when I lived in NC and had a native hickory tree in the back yard, I'd pick up the nuts and drop them on charcoal when i was grilling steak. Even in those days, before learning anything at all about smoking, I was using the offset fire to control the sear and cooling temps. I found that the nuts added a great taste to ribeyes and NY strips. IME there are 2 different kinds of hickory nuts. The one with the really tough shell and almost no meat is the one that worked. A friend gave me a bag of the other kind and they were not good for what I was doing.
Now that I've gotten into low and slow, I was thinking that hickory nuts sprinkled through a snake weave might be a good idea. I don't have a source for nuts here in TX and don't know if there are even any of the right type of hickory trees here. I was thinking though that a lot of you guys living in the eastern hardwood zones might have tried the nuts and could report on results.