Okay, here's the deal. I have a 1 year old lp smoker. I have used it a total of 3 times. It's a nice smoker, I just don't know enough about smoking. I tried ribs right off.... did the whole apple juice thing, with apple wood.. BAD results. The ribs were tender, but had no taste or texture. Then, I did a couple of meatloaves.... BINGO !!!! They were awesome. That leads me to today. I smoked a rack of ribs and 2 meatloaves. I just used a dry rub for the ribs, and a regular meatloaf recipe for the loaves. Everything turned out great !!!! My question is..... I started my smoker, after soaking my hickory chips 1-1 1/2 hrs. I waited about 1/2 hr, until it warmed up real good and was really smokey smelling. I smoked my ribs and meatloaves about 4 1/2 hrs..... and by my thermometer, they were done.. real tender... and GOOD !!!! THEN...... I turned off my heat, and went into the house. In about 1/2 hr., my smoker had some awesome smoke that lasted an hour or so !!! Did I put my meat on too soon ?????? Should I wait for this really thick smoke, or was I right in putting my meat on after it smelled smokey ???? I'm confused now. I know that you don't want to smoke too long, but did I wait long enough for the best smoke?? I had some smoke and even temps, but no nearly as much smoke as later... after I took all the meat off !!!!