Well I got my smoker... , read the e-course, bought Jeffs recipe (good), got a rack of ribs and jumped in. I used hard maple for the fuel. Here's what happened. I started the fire and after 2 hours finally got the smoker to level at 225. (That's the temp Jeffs recipe said to use for ribs) I calibrated the thermometer with an infared scanner so I know it was close. I cooked the ribs for 6 hours like the recipe said and the came out very burnt and SMOKEY! Way too smokey for my taste. I had the vent on top of the smoke chamber open all the time and regulated the heat with the draft on the fire box. The parts of the ribs we could eat after peeling off the burnt stuff was good but we ended up throwing 3/4 of it away because it was not edible. I placed the ribs as far as possible away from the fire box when smoking. They sure smelled good when cooking but the end results were lass than delicious. I have some chickens I planned to smoke after I brine them this weekend but am hesitant because of the heavy smoke taste and burning. What did I do wrong? Do I have to use charcoal instead of all wood? I'm sure I'll get it but looks like there is a learning curve with this as there is with everything!