Had to take about a week away from the forum for some recurrent training so I was glad to get home and back to grilling and smoking. Bought 5.3 pounds of NY Strips from Costco on Saturday and had been planning to grill today when I discovered there was only small amount of charcoal left. With about 3 inch depth of charcoal in my starter I decided substitute some small pieces of mesquite for the rest of the fuel. The mesquite flavor really came through great. I don’t usually buy the NY Strips because I haven’t had much luck with the flavor or tenderness, but the price is usually pretty good. Using mesquite wood for probably over 50% of my fuel here. Weather was drizzling and threatening rain but as you can see that didn’t slow me down. Buddy always helps me on the grill. We have to taste everything before we let anyone else try it. His taste is far less discriminating than mine. Knowing the mesquite was bone dry and would burn more quickly I only let it go in the starter til it was about half done. I could have used water to slow it down but I didn't want to risk getting behind on the heat on such a humid, very wet day. These steaks were nearly 2 inches thick. Using the smoker to grill on really helps the flavor especially when I add wood. When it flared up closing the chimney helped cleared the flames while retaining heat and mesquite smoke flavor. Had to protect the sea salt from the rain. The smoker itself was dry because it had been covered. Buddy is always ready for treat cut just for him! Time to eat!