I started smoking 9 years ago with a cheapo Charbroil Silver Smoker from HD. I had worked at a BBQ restaurant in high school where I sometimes ran the pit, but I was a little lost on how to run a backyard smoker (plus it was a LONG time ago). I was looking for help and I found the BBQ FAQ on the Internet. It became my bible. It is old (last updated in 1998 I think), but it has a lot of good info. I have a printout of the FAQ in a binder with lots of stains.
With the FAQ, I learned how to properly modify the SS to minimize hot spots and improve airflow. I also learned a lot of other techniques and recipes. I have my own recipes now, but the base for them was from the FAQ. Using this info, the BBQ I have made has been praised by my wife and friends. In fact, one friend from Bama claims my ribs are second only to Dreamland in T-Town. That is high praise from a Bama boy!
I have recently found this site and it has been a big help as I am now moving up to a BWS Party (being delivered next week). The FAQ does not have anything about this type of smoker, so I am leaning heavily on threads here to learn how to cook with it.
Oh yeah, my wife was the one who insisted on me replacing the SS with the BWS Party. She loves my brisket (and I am talking about what I cook on the smoker
) . My recipe for the marinade is based on one in the FAQ. So the trick is to make sure your wife loves what you produce and you get free pass.
The link for the FAQ is http://www.eaglequest.com/~bbq/faq2/