I was happy to stumble on this wealth of information here. I decided last week to learn to smoke meats so I read lots of information here to help me get started. I wanted to do a homemade style smoker so I built one from terra cotta planters and a hot plate. It works like a charm. Really holds the heat in and isn't subject to wild swings in temp.
I smoked a chicken last week with some pecan and apple wood chunks. I went a little heavy on the smoke and will cut back next time. Yesterday I smoked a pork butt for some kalua pig. Quite a tasty treat but the cooking temp was around 245-250 average for about 5 hours reaching an internal temp of about 190*. I think next time I will shoot for a bit lower and see if that won't make it even more fall apart tender. I am quite happy to have found a new hobby. Thanks for reading.