I am new to the smoking meats thing. As a matter of fact, I am new to eating meat again. I was a vegetarian for 18 years before I ran into some medical issues that made meat-eating a necessity (and a joy) again. I'm still mad at all my friends for not forcing me to eat bacon at some point and bring me back to my senses! I bought a Char-Griller Smokin Pro with a side firebox. I have done ribs, chicken, briskets all with great success in flavor. I have had some issues with keeping temps consistent. Not quite sure how to maintain a proper fire yet. I start with a chimney of briquets and usually pour them on some unlit coals after they heat up. I then add the wood and work on getting the smoker to temp. Usually takes AWHILE. Is that normal? Then when I go to add wood, I have been leaving the door to the side firebox open to burn the wood or else I get a lot of white smoke which I understand is bad. Cresote or something. Should I be letting the wood get to full flame and then closing it up or am I doing that all wrong? (Let me throw in a note, I take criticism real well, so fire away ) I have tried a variety of wood (logs) including mesquite, peach, apple and pecan. Also hickory chips. I struggle keeping a constant temp. Any help here would be appreciated. I did a Q-View a couple smokes ago. I lost the pictures in the Great Computer Crash of '08. I think I have some somewhere so I will post them tomorrow. I'll start here and see where it goes.