Personally, I worry more about the "charcoal stall" then any stall in the meat.
My ECB has been converted to use an electric hot plate under the charcoal bowl. I can fill the bowl with charcoal and wood-chips and will need to add some additional fuel as the time passes. Only problem is, as the charcoal is consumed, the ash builds up. This is not a problem for a cook that only lasts 6-8 hours. But, if the cook takes longer then that, I have to deal with the ashes or the charcoal will not all keep burning and the cooker will begin to cool.
With my setup, all I have to do is lift the smoker off the hotplate exposing the charcoal bowl (I do this to re-load the bowl anyway) and empty the bowl, Then re-load with fresh charcoal and add the red-hot colas from the emptying process.
This is a simple thing, but it is something I have to deal with when it happens.
Other then that, my method is along the lines of what Ron Popeil says with his counter-top oven - "set it and FORGET it"
My method is actually quite simple.
- I prep the meat according to what flavors I am trying for and what meat I am cooking.
- I load the bowl and plug in the hot plate.
- I place the cooker over the bowl and load the meat. (No pre-heating - just put it in, the smoke starts quite fast on my rig)
- I put the lid on and walk away. (That was the hardest thing to learn)
- I check on the heat with the built in thermometer in the lid and re-fill the bowl as needed.
- When I think the meat is close to being done, I check it with an instant read thermometer. If has reached temp, I pull it, wrap it and let it rest.
So far, the family feels that I do it the right way as it is well received and disappears.