I was in Austin recently and tasted some professional smoked brisket and pork. Clearly this was some great meat thats been cooked long and slow by someone that knows exactly what they are doing.
Now, me on the otherhand... I have a gas 2 shelf smoker and have been smoking beef and pork for a while now (hickory, mesquite, fruity chips etc). What i find is that the meats i smoke usually are done within 3 hours. The smoke smells fantastic, the meat has a lovely smoke ring but the taste, although not bitter (i am aware of the creosote...been there and done that) it doesnt have that really rich smokey flavor. I guess it is slightly bitter but not unpleasantly so.
So my question really is, does that rich smoke flavor only come from really long soaks or is it possible in 3 hours and i am simply doing something wrong?