Hey everyone, So I finally got a smoker, its a MECO smoker that I found through the classifieds for $20. I figured its good enough to experiment with my first few times. One thing I don't know about it is that it doesn't have a proper thermometer with temperature values on it, it just has a range of warm, ideal, and hot. http://0.tqn.com/d/easteuropeanfood/1/0/P/W/-/-/smoker.jpg So I have a few questions about what I'll be doing.. 1) This is a charcoal-water smoker but I'm not exactly sure what the water is for. What purpose does it serve and is it necessary? 2) I'm cooking a 5lb brisket and I read somewhere that I would need about 7 hours to smoke it at around 220 F, but since my smoker doesn't display the actual temperature on it and only has an ideal range, I'm not sure how long to smoke it for. 3) Since I have a charcoal smoker how do I regulate the temperature? Do I just add/remove charcoal from the tray? 4) I want to use wood in the smoker as well but I'm not sure how much and if I need to soak it. My smoker came with a few decent size chunks of hickory flavoured wood and I also have mesquite wood chips, so I can use either of them. 5) I know a lot of people use displosable aluminum trays to place the brisket in so I want thinking about doing that too. But does it make the meat watery at all? I'm trying to mimic the smoked meat from the Schwartz deli in Montreal so I want the texture to be similar to that. So, I know this is a lot to ask but I'd really appreciate some help. I'm planning on smoking my first brisket tomorrow and I really want it to go well. Also, if anybody has any other ideas that they'd like to share I'm open to them all. Thanks a lot!