Greetings all. I've been lurking around for some time, but finally decided to muster up some "smoking bravery." I'm at an empasse since a lot of people are saying to start with pork butt b/c it's "forgiving." Unfortunately for me....we're a non-pork household (every time my wife eats it, she gets ill....even if she gets something w/ pork in it @ a restaurant w/out her knowing it's there)....so pork butt (nom nom nom) is out I have one of the 3-grate Charbroil barrell grill/smoker things like this (only 1 vent, far right bottom + chimney): I tried a brisket in here once....and lets just say it was the best leather i've ever gnawed on (dogs had a good day). I'm sure part of it is my noobness (was my 1st smoking attempt ever). I will say that I sliced it and next day put it into a microwave on defost setting in a sandwich bag and it tenderized up more....heck, may have been undercooked, but I swear my instant read was @ 187* when I pulled it. I know temp > time, but what I need help with is placement & technique and hoping you fine folks can help out. It's got an adjustable charcoal pan in the bottom that can lift up or down based on needs (I usually keep it in the bottom). I've read about this "Minion Method" which I'm still not 100% on understanding, but think I have a basic idea. Will that work in this? Should I buy/fabricate some sort of charcoal "box" or just pile as much as I can on the left side (opposite of vent) and add the 3/4 chimney on top and hope it reaches the rest of the fuel? Water pan? I'm considering placing a water pan under the meat but that will be between the vent & the fuel...will that matter or will the air make its way around it naturally? Sorry for all the noob questions...but really trying to avoid either spending more money than I have on a "real" smoker or spending that money on really good dog food.