Well I finally bit the bullet and tried my first cut of beef. It took a long time to locate one in the right size range but now I know where to look. Local supermarkets don't carry fresh brisket's (only corned beef) and the all the Wal-mart's around here didn't have anything less than a 14lb'ers, so I checked out BJ's and found em' from 4 to 10 lbs. I grabbed the best looking one which was a 5.3 lb piece and headed home. I scored the fat cap, slathered some mustard and applied rub Then I wrapped and refrigerated overnight. Here it is in the box the next morning at 10am. Notice no water pan...? Well I was reading a post a couple of days ago about smoke rings and how they get there so I wanted to see for myself. Plus, my box maintains 2 different temps according to the side mounted therms. and where it should be warmer on top, it's actually warmer down by the water pan...this led me to believe that the pan of boiling water had something to do with that. For this session without the water pan, both therms read almost the same with the top actually being hotter. Back into the house and I start on my 2 fatties. The savory one is stuffed with onions, green peppers and colby-jack cheese and the sweet one is the "Aloha" roll that Richoso1 so generously shared his recipe for http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/for...?threadid=7898. I used fresh grated coconut and crushed macadamias though. About 3 hours into the brisket time, I went ahead and put the fatties on. Thinking about the pork and it's drippings, I went ahead and foiled the water pan and put it in there to catch the drippings...but I still didn't add any water. After 2 hours, the fatties hit 170* so off they came The brisket hit 180* about 30 mins later and off it came I spritzed and foiled the brisket, then wrapped it in a towel and put it in the cooler to rest. By that time, the fatties had cooled so I anxiously sliced them. The savory one sliced easiest but the sweet "Aloha" roll took some patience with all the nuts crumbling off. Savory: Sweet (Aloha) Both rolls had their own distinct tastes, but my fav is the savory, with the peppers, onions and cheese. Mama-Fokker liked the Aloha. I'm definitely getting in to the fatties now. I posted a few weeks ago saying that I wasn't so hot on fatties and quite a few suggested that I try JD brand. Well, I didn't think it would make a difference, but this time I rolled JD and I sure as heck will not be buying anything other than Jimmy Dean rolls from here on out . And now the star of the show...the 5 lb. brisket all sliced up after a good 4 hour resting period. The brisket took a total of 5 1/2 hours to cook to 180* and came out pretty tender. I made up some packaged Au Jus and mixed the juice from the foil pack in with it. Overall taste was excellent. I used Apple wood this smoke and I'm glad I did. The Hickory I've been using is good, but a little more overpowering compared to this Apple smoke. I'd still like to get my hands on some Pecan and give that a whirl as well. Smoke ring you ask...? Well, I could barely see any evidence of a ring on this smoke venture, so I'm left to believe that the absence of the water pan was the culprit. Humidity/moisture inside the box is my friend from here on out....well, that and the Captain...!!