The first time I used the smokers i did chicken halves, and got a burnt smoked flavor due to flare ups, I was just putting the wood chips in the pan and I went through an entire bag of chips. The second time I put a handful of chips into high heat aluminum foil packed tight with fork holes and it worked great, I was thinking of a cast iron pan but the foil works great and you can remove easier and place a new packet of chips easier and less likely to burn yourself, I am doing about 12 pounds of spare ribs and 10 pounds of chicken on the 4th of july, I am using hickory and very simply paprika, onion powder garlic powder sugar rub and the questions I have is how do you know you need more chips? When they are grey and dissengrated or black or when? also for chicken should the chicken skin be pulled off? and lastly the ribs I use the 3 hours smoke and then wrap for 2 what or how is the best way to get the barbeque sauce layers on the ribs? Thanks this forum seems great!!!!