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Reply to "Lessons for new users"

What I learned:
1. Start with a cold smoker and cold meat.
2. Do not get all fancy with marinades, rubs and finishing sauces. It disguises the good taste of BBQ and won't help bad BBQ anyway.
3. Keep wood down to 4 oz or less if you are cooking under 20lbs of meat.
4. Don't open the door. If you want to monitor meat temperature, stick a couple remote thermometers in there.
5. Rest the meat in foil, towels and ice chest to finish it off and for the juices to reabsorb.
6. 40 to 50% of the meat, by weight, will be reduced during the cooking process. Plan accordingly with portion size to the # of guests you will be serving.
7. Vacuum seal meal portions for future use and reheat in boiling water to retain the fresh flavor and not get it dried out by recooking it in a pan or giving it that awful microwave flavor by reheating in a MW oven.
8. Cook fat side up.
9. For God's sakes eat something before removing the finished meat or else it won't make it to the table.
10. It's done when it's done. Never go by time, one brisket may take 20 hours and another 12 hours. Keep an eye on internal temperature and test the meat at 195+* for that hot-knife-through-butter feel with the temperature probe. Probe from the top down, not through the side.