First off, this site is great! I have wasted almost an entire morning of work just reading up on smoking. I was recently given a small smoker and was going to give brisket a shot this weekend, but I am a little nervous and have some questions that I have not seemed to be able to find the answer to quite yet. I did some ribs last weekend and they turned out great but I honestly think it may have been dumb luck, so any answers to these questions would be very much appreciated.
1. Should there be a lot of smoke coming out of the smoker during cooking. This is probably a stupid question, but during the ribs, I saw little to no smoke coming out of the smoker at all.
2. How much of the wood chips should I be using? I made up several small tinfoil wrapped packs that I put in each time I added more charcoal, maybe 2" by 3" in size. Since I have never smoked anything before, I am not sure how much I should be using. Like I said, the ribs were very good, but I wouldn't say that I really got the hickory wood coming through all that much, but maybe subtle is ideal.
3. Do you recommend dry rubbing or putting BBQ sauce on the brisket, or both. I cannot seem to get a feel for if I should be doing one or the other, or both.
. Should I be putting something on the piece of meat before I put the rub on it? I was confused by some postings talking about smothering it in mustard but then later talking about their rub and mop they were using. Is that a 3 step program that is recommended?
Thanks in advance for any suggestions and help.