Things I learned from my first smoke....
1) The most important thing i learned was when adjusting the smoker for temp. treat it like a race car. make ONE adjustment at a time. don't adjust all three vents and burner at the same time!! the first hour i was constantly fiddling with the smoker trying to get the temp right. after i got where i thought it was a good temp. i didn't play with it anymore except when i had the door open entirely to long. for the most part my temp ranged from 224 - 239.
2) Don't worry if you don't see smoke... if you smell the wood burning it's all good.
Common sense things I didn't think about until after I started...
3) Remove the grates your not using... they just get in the way.... plus it's more to clean later!
4) Setup your smoking area to be efficent. a table next to the smoker is a smart thing. even smarter if the table is on the door opening side of the smoker and not on the hinge side.
I made sure i did something away from the smoker. I am by nature an impatient person.an occasional glance at the remote thermometer and a task at hand kept me from checking the smoker every two minutes. I made my bbq sauce, did some work around the house, and watched tv. As they say if your lookin your not cookin.
Plan out what your going to do, make sure you have everything you need when you start. i forgot a spray bottle to mist apple juice.
I did have burgers ready on stand by!!!
Things i think to improve my next rib smoke....
I would like to try to pair the rub and sauce better. it seemed that the combination was a little off.