I cook with a gas grill. For smoking, I usually soak some applewood chips and wrap it in tinfoil then just punch a few holes in it. Always does the trick.
what I do with my smoker, I make an horseshoe layer of coals with a big rock inside the curve, then 2 or 3 chunks of wood atop the layer. I start the coals by dumping between 15-20 hot ones at the end. this layer can last at least 6 hours but I want the wood chunks close to the starting line to get the smoke to the food in the first hour, nothing more.
I agree that simpler is better:
a little salt on my NY strip with olive oil.
get my Lodge Logic indoor griddle up to MH.
4 minutes each side.
a little pepper as it rests on the "cool end" of the griddle.
Comes out a perfect medium every time.
Better than mid-level steakhouses and just a notch below the premiums like Ruth Chris at 1/5th the cost.
Great wine to finish off of course.
My favorite game day meal.
For the most tender tri-tip you will ever eat....Sous Vide for 36 hrs at 57.5 C then sear on the BBQ for a couple minutes per side to get a nice crust on the outside. Best. most tender tri-tip you will eat.