I am such a newbie it's not even funny. What I have is some great luck. I use a smoke hallow and have done a bunch of chicken quarters, ribs twice, once was AMAZING,stuffed peppers, and a prime rib that made me quite proud. I've read Jeff book, cover to cover twice, and a bunch of Internet articles. I have a few friends that smoke and I get thier I put as well. I've been using a grill for over 20 years, and a smoker since the day after Christmas. So that's my resume My plan was to do my first brisket tomorrow, it's a 4.5ish lbs cut. Not much of a fat cap, it was an impulse buy when I was at the butcher getting my prime rib. That plan has gotten bigger with another impulse buy, two slabs if ribs. My thought was mid smoke I'll put the ribs in, simple enough. What I wasn't expecting was my son to be invited to an elite basketball cp from 8 to 1 tomorrow, so I will be gone 7 to 2. That feels too long to be away if I put it in while I am gone. Putti ng the ribs in at 2 is fine, but the brisket, I don't know. What I have found in my limited smoking is everything is done faster than expected. The prime rib was 4.7lbs tried and done to a med rare perfection in 3 hours. My last rib smoke was in the dead of winter and they where done in a little over 3 hours. Chicken quarters in just under 2 when they it says 3 hours. I am using a verified accurate dial thermometer for smoker temp (check it every time I open the smoker door with an infrared temp gun) and calling the smoke done based on meat temp. That's a lot of back story right? So as I see it my options are Cancel the brisket, which means I have to freeze it. Put it on before I go and hope for the best (if I go this route do I drop the temp, maybe smoke at 180 while I'm gone) adding the ribs when I get home. Start when I get home, and if the brisket isn't done till 10pm I have a bedtime treat (beats ice cream). Get everything ready, have my wife start it around 11, so it has only had 3 hours when I get home. What say you?