After years of viewing bbq pit masters on TV I decided to try my hand at smoking meats. I use a Brinkman Gourmet electric smoker and Cowboy brand hickory, mesquite wood chunks and apple, hickory, and mesquite chips both purchased from Lowes. In opposition the the Brinkman's instruction manual I don not put the wood directly in the lava rocks in and around the electric element. Instead, the wood is placed in a heavy duty, square metal cake pan. Then the cake pan, with the wood inside is placed directly on the heating elements. At first I tried soaking the wood. It did not impart smoke flavor to the meat. Next, I tried placing the dry wood directly into the cake pan. Now the food is overpowered by the smokey flavor. Also, I add more chunks after the old chunks are reduced to ashes and smoldering coals. How can I get the smoke just right?