Originally Posted by ---k---
I recommend this book:
Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons
It is written for either a Weber Kettle, Weber WSM (I used it with an ECB) or an offset. 5 very easy, step-by-step lessons. If you master the lessons in this book, you will have the foundational knowledge to experiment and try things and understand why they work or don't work. I think this book will answer all of your questions and more without overwhelming you like the internet can
I was about to say the exact same thing. I started smoking last summer and I had ZERO people to help me out locally and the internet has a million great ideas (that when combined complicates EVERYTHING). SO I purchased the book and have learned a great deal from it! It teaches you to avoid using times and temps as a crutch but more as a guideline and to use your intuition instead. NOW after completing the book's lessons I can AND DO go online and read everything and make my own decisions about what to try.
If you click on the link you can see the first chapter for free.
Also I would recommend a weber kettle then a UDS or WSM. I own a WSM but that's only because I couldn't find any without the interior liner. IF you can find a 55 gal drum without the dreaded red liner on the inside then by all means go that route. That being said, the WSM is by far the easiest for any beginner because you don't have to tweak ANYTHING. You just focus on temp control and rubs etc.
No matter what you chose you MUST take photos and share with us