Z, good advice. I'll have to remember the loaf pan tip. I've been making huge messes lately with all the briskets.
I haven't noticed any hotspots either. It cooks fairly evenly throughout. As a rule of thumb I place larger cuts at the top since it is a few degrees warmer.
For wood, I bought bags of small split logs. Then I split the logs further into smaller sticks about 3/4" this and 4" long. I do this because I'll add a little new wood every hour for fresh smoke. This allows me to add it before all the embers are gone from the previous wood. I used to add all the wood in the first two or three hours, but the wife said the food tastes better this way. And as everyone knows, it's all about pleasing the wife.
When I bought this smoker I opted to get a larger tank. Instead of the usual 20lb I have a 30lb. (the larger the better). If you have natural gas available there are adapter kits. All the food in my photos, up to the 5 coke can chickens, was cooked on a single tank of gas. Over the 4 month period I wouldn’t be able to guess how many hours it burned. This tank I’ll be able to track because of the cooking logs I keep. As BBcue-Z mentioned, the gas lasts longer than the manufacturer suggests, as I cook on medium to keep temps around 225 degrees. You’d burn it up a lot faster on higher settings.
I’ve never had any complaints about the food from this smoker. We’ll see how this Saturday goes though. 150-200 ladies and girls at a mother-daughter banquet will be critiquing my brisket.
Have fun with your new smoker and stick around!!!