The good quality smoker is definately the key. We used a Good One Rodeo offset last year in comp, great smoker, great product, fuel consumption was a nightmare (80-100lbs per comp of lump). At home I was using a Char-Griller Smokin Pro moded, but tended it every 45-60 minutes. Recently myself and my teammate both picked up Superior SS-2's (verticals) and we're both thrilled so far. Great smoker, little fuel consumption, and make some great que on what he and I have each cooked so far.