I might be one of the best resources for you, I have 4 smokers to use experience from. If you are using this on a wooden deck be careful with charcoal units, I would use caution. I have two, Weber Smokey Mountain 22" charcoal smokers, probably the best ones I have but they are $399 usually. I have a Bradley Digital, don't waste your money on one of those, over priced and I've had lots of problems with mine, customer service okay but it keeps breaking down. I also have a Smoke Hollow propane smoker, this was my favorite until I bought my Webers. You can get a very nice Smoke Hollow Propane smoker for under $300 and have some $$ to spare to buy wood chips. Don't let anyone talk you out of the propane smoker, I won a rib contest last year using my smoke hollow. For starters, go with the smoke hollow, you don't have to babysit it like the charcoal.