My oldest son’s family was coming for dinner on Sunday and I had it in my mind to fire up Puffy and wow them with my smoking culinary expertise. The menu was a bit aggressive but I convinced myself I could do it. Sunday was beef day – beef bologna, a chuckie, and a brisket. Conventional wisdom here also dictated that if you fire up the smoker, make sure the grills are covered – don’t want to waste any of that good smoke. So, I added Dutch’s de-Wicked Bake Beans (I’m a heat wuss as is most of the family) and an egg, potato, and cheese fattie. Got up bright and early only to find I was short a couple of ingredients so I had to make a dash for our local market. I was annoyed mostly by my own lack of attention to detail but I have a long term solution. Got all my prep work done and got started. This is the beginning of my set-up. It’s my first time with both apple wood and lump charcoal. I was amazed at how easily the lump charcoal fired up. So, back to the kitchen to finish the prep work. I used Jeff’s rub (a first) – the coffee was for before noon and the long neck for later. I was going to put the chuckie (a first) (on the left) and the brisket (a first) in first. They’d take the longest so it seemed to make sense (key word here is seemed). I then did the bacon weave and put together the fattie (a first). I thought I had a picture of it finished but I guess not. The bologna (a first) got scored then a sprinkling of rub then both the fattie and the bologna went into the smoker. Next up were the baked beans (a first) – I really thought I had a picture of them also but I guess I got so wrapped up in what I was doing, I plum forgot the camera. Half way through the baked beans build I realized that the smoker was full – no room for the beans. I fired up the Weber and used the indirect cooking method (not a first) with hickory. It really looked like everything was coming right along. Puffy was holding right at 240. After a couple of hours I went to check meat temps when I realized my first mistakes. One, not enough thermometers and two, the meat that needed them most was on the bottom rack. It wouldn’t have been a problem if I had inserted probes before beginning but I didn’t. Mopping was also a chore and you know what? A 240 degree grate is pretty hot to the touch. I did what I could and kept my eye on everything. But, it’s wasn’t meant to be – things started unraveling – beginning with the gasket I used to seal Puffy’s (my ECB) leaky lid. The high temp glue somehow separated from the lid and it leaked like crazy. So, long story, shortened…… This is a shot of a blackened bologna and fattie. Both were actually tasty but since presentation counts, I’d sure have liked a do-over. Both the chuckie and brisket had a great taste but both had the texture of discarded tires. Finally, Dutch’s Baked Beans were wonderful. The Weber really came through. My wife and daughter-in-law (son had to work) were so polite – they raved about Jeff’s BBQ Sauce. For the foreseeable future, I’m scaling back to one entrée per smoke. I’m not the most confident right now.