Re: New to the site and smoking!Well Skip, first of all, let me welcome you to our little slice of Heaven!
Let's start by making some modifications to that bullet smoker of yours. Remove the charcoal pan and drill about 3 to 5, 7/8" holes in the bottom of it (space them out) and 4 or so in the sides with a Unibit or Hole Saw. Next find or fabricate a grid/rack that will elevate the charcoal a few inches off the bottom. Your type of smoker is referred to as an ECB, and they inherently (by poor design) will snuff themselves out by lack of oxygen to the heat source.
Next, DO NOT go by what that thermo in the lid says! Go to Home Depot and get a 3" Dial Thermometer. Simply drill out another 7/8" hole in the lid and mount it (real simple!). They're not the absolute best, but for $20, they're worth it.
When you are cooking, keep your temperature between 210* and 250*, I usually smoke at 220 - 225*. What you cook will determine your internal meat temps. With ECB's try not to open the lid very often, that can add up to 30 minutes to your cook time!
You add your charcoal when you see the cooker temp start to fall. How much and how often is more or less a learning curve you will have to fiigure out as you get to know your Smoker. Use wood "Chunks", not "Chips" to your unit, as chips will burn up too fast. Remember, all you want coming out of your smoker is Thin Blue Smoke. If the smoke is bellowing out, you're using too much wood!!! This is by far the #1 mistake made by Newbies to the Art of Smoking!
Personally, I would hold off on doing jerky until you're comfortable with your success at smoking and knowledge of your unit. Try doing a Boston Butt (Pork Blade Roast) in the 6 to 10 Lb. range. They are very forgiving to Newbies as they are marbled with fat (so they don't turn into shoe leather) and don't absorb smoke the way beef or poultry does.
If you require any more help, just go to a Topic and post a question. Hopefully, this will get you started!