Hi everyone, Please help!!! I'm new around here and to the art of smoking. My wife and I recently received a silver smoker for our wedding. I made the recommended mods and set out looking for a few "beginner" recipes. I've done 2 test runs with the smoker and both times were failures. I need some help before I subject any of my friends to my finished product. First time I smoked a few whole chickens (applewood) and just yesterday did a flank steak (hickory). I think I'm pretty good at maintaining a good smoke temp (approx 215-225) but as far as I see it, I have the following 2 issues: (1) getting the cooking time and "doneness" of the meat down.....I relied on the recipes I found to tell me the approx cooking time and both times I've had to cook for several hours more (while my wife stares at me hungry and like I'm some sort of idiot). Yesterday I did a 2 lb flank steak. The recipe called for 2 hours at 225 but after 3.5 hours I still wasn't even at 150 degrees for the meat temp. Am I doing something wrong or is it normal to allow for a lot more time than a particular recipe would recommend?? Do I need to get the smoker temp up more around 250? (2) Smoke flavor of the meat > I was satisfied with the smoke flavor when I did the chickens using applewood chunks. But when I did the flank steak using hickory it turned out way too smokey. I used about the same amount of chunks as I did for the chickens. On average, what do you all recommend in terms of how much wood chunks to put on. I'm using lump charcoal, wood chunks that have not been soaked in water and I'm putting them just off to the side of the coals. How many chunks on average should you use or will that depend on the flavor of the wood being used? I appreciate any help. I've got a lot of good info on this site before but am a little frustrated with myself right now. I usually can pick up new cooking methods quick.....but not so far with smoking. Thanks!