Hi all, I'm a newborn to the world of smoking, having bought a Brinkmann Gourmet Electric Smoker (yes, I know some will say boo!) . Last night was my first run at it where I smoked salmon fillets having soaked it in a brine then using a dry rub on it. It seemed to me that it too a long while to smoke the 1.5lbs of fillet. Now several errors I committed was that I had the smoker exposed to the cold weather which further reduced heat and that I had probably used too long of an extension cord. In doing my homework, I know I need a thermal blanket for it, plus probably use a heavier gauge extension cord. Also read that I could add sand to the pan. Question is, can l layer the sand, then lava rock, then the element? Also saw a video that added extra lava rock to cover the element. Is that good or bad? And I know I need to add a temp gauge on it. Is that easy to do? Looking forward to the responses.