I just bought a smoker bbq. The drum type with offset smoker box and chimney. I figured, hey, pick up a book or two and I'll figure this out in no time. The more I read the more I find that there is little relation between grilling and smoking. I have the lump charcoal, hickory and whiskey chips and fair amount of cluelessness. Mainly my questions have to do with how to lay the coals and how to maintain an even, low temperature and even smoke production. Does using the offset box contribute heat to the main area or just smoke? I know it depends a lot on what it is you're cooking. I'm thinking of starting with a brisket and slow roast it all day. After reading Hipcheck's posts I'll probably try cedar plank salmon and Chef Paul's seasonings when I get a better handle on what I'm doing.
Feel free to chime in with tips, stories or mistakes that I can learn from.