I found a charcoal side smoker at the side of the road on garbage day and dragged it home. I started my 8 day dry cure after finding Prague Powder #1 on Amazon.
I made all the rookie mistakes possible.
I bought a whole chicken for a test run.
i thought the smoke did the cooking.
I couldn't get my charcoal to heat the cooking chamber high enough.
I used half a bag of hickory.
My smoke was almost always white.
It took 5 hours.
Worst chicken ever.
I bought a $50 two door propane smoker. I was done with charcoal.
Sold the free smoker/bbq for $50 to fund the old 2 door propane smoker just in time for the Saturday smoke.
I found out from a friend that the smoker is just a low slow oven and you WEIGH THE WOOD and just use a "small amount". This was after filling my Civic backseat with apple wood from an orchard 45 mins away. Found out I have a lifetime supply of apple wood (or two years if I smoke a brisket everyweekend) :)
Got up at 5am as I had to leave by 2:20pm for a Canadian Thanksgiving meal.
used 16 oz of apple wood (after cutting it in small slices) and they don't tell you that apple wood is full up fence wire since they train the branches on the wires for a better yield.
steamed it for 3 hours to an internal temp of 200F today and then sliced it for a dinner sandwich.