As I read through some of these post, I am getting a little confused. Where do words like dampeners, controls, propane, manifolds and charcoal come into play smoking meat? How many people just build a fire, set the vent so that enough air gets into the fire box so the pit holds a certain temp? Why does it have to be so complicated? I will admit, if I can not find enough dry twigs around the yard to build a fire in the firebox, I will use some charcoal to get the logs going - I am so ashamed and embarrassed about the charcoal though, I am weak. The charcoal is made into a row, with an oak log on each side. But, as I read through some of the post here, there is talk of wood chips in cans and wood chips in foil - why not just use real wood? Wouldn't that just be easier? If you have to "add" wood to smoke meat, why not just start out with wood instead of adding it? To me - smoking does not include charcoal with wood chips, or propane with wood chips, or smoke "flavored" sauce. It aint smoked unless you use a truck load of wood.