Hi, my name is Winter and I have been a very dedicated home cook and "griller" for many years. I recently purchased a cheap charbroil smoker (with the offset smoker box), so I could start practicing. I tried smoking a brisket (after having one in Austin at a friends house that I cannot stop slobbering over its memory) and BOY...if anybody wants to know how to screw up a brisket...just ask me! I think I used WAY to much wood and mesquite at that. I for some reason, felt the need to keep adding wood...enough so I could see smoke all the time...LOL. I imagine licking an ashtray would have tasted better. eww. So needless to say the smoker has not been touched since, due to my state of frustration and shame. Mind you...I'm a really darned good cook and I never screw stuff up (food). I feel terribly defeated. BUT....this AM, I purchased several racks (about 4 lbs. each) of lovely (cheap/on sale) pork spareribs. I am ready to try this again. eh...hehe...reluctantly... So how much charcoal do I use as opposed to wood? I have a couple bags of some cherry and hickory chips. Should I put a pan of water underneath the ribs? Thank you all so much...any and all advice is welcome and I'll go read up here a bit.