great thread boshizzle.
i have to disagree about the oven tho.
if you're cooking in the oven, you're practicing RECIPES.
if you're cooking in your smoker, you're practicing BBQ.
i suggest the newbie and veteran alike practice BBQ.
the difference between cooking in the oven and cooking in the smoker are too great for 1 technique to translate to the other successfully.
you'll just wind up doing everything twice.
just my 2 cents, maybe less.