Ok, this has been talked about over and over and over, but hey, this is a forum and things always come up again. Haha. So here is my observation. Tonight while at the fire pit, i put on some apple chunks. Ok like 8 of them. Tons and tons of white smoke. then 5 minutes later big flames no smoke. So here is my observation. If we want thin blue, there must be a ratio of wood chunks to hot coals that produces tbs with out ignition of the wood. We all know tbs is a by product of hot, clean burning wood right at the threshold of flaming up. Now flames are not bad for stick burnes but for virtical cookers such as wsm, pbc, and uds cookers, flaming wood is not the best. Haha. So my notion is that the smaller the chunks are, the less tbs you get because the wood must be at a specific temp (wish i knew) to get tbs. By the time those smaller chunks are at tbs, there is not much wood left. If to big of chunks, it takes longer to get to tbs so prep time will vary. But you will have great tbs. So the key is a nice hot bed of coals, then add the wood chunks to the coals and wait for tbs.
So with uds type cookers, i put wood chunks on top of me unlit coals and then dump red hot ones right on top. That gives great tbs. Also remember that if you see no smoke, thats a good sign to. When wood is on fire, there is still smoke and flavanoids.
Just my two cents. Feel free to add more to this post. Thanks. Hope this helps out the new smokers out there!