question: ***how much does wind affect the smoker? we had gusting winds to 30 mph. it was difficult to keep the temperature steady, but if watched closely, not impossible. ***how does the vent affect the temp? is the vent something i can simply set and forget? understanding the qualities of this particular smoker's gonna take awhile, but i'm willing to learn. changes in method: fell- i was able to remove the fell with ease this time. rub- simplified rub, used a whole lot less, and no massage. wood- pre-heated & preburned the wood. oak/hickory blend, not just hickory this time. coal- used 'genuine hardwood coal' as bed for wood and to regulate temp a bit temp- i controlled the temp & did not allow the temp to skyrocket like last time. sauce- i altered a Q sauce & applied for final 20 of hi heat. baby back ribs and a whole chicken Sunday was delicious: chicken- it was tender, juicy, and gone as soon as margaret cut it. the leg/thigh combos were the only chicken to hit the table the rest was devoured immediately. ribs-very tasty. still a bit on the tough side. family said tasted great, BUT, still not tender enough in my opinion. good rub, add garlic. next time, start earlier. i want to thank everyone who's responded to my questions these last few weeks. the quality of our meal was directly influenced by your suggestions. mike next time.......... ribs, pork & beef, chicken will probably be a requirement every time now!