Whats up guys, been reading information from here for about a month and I've found some good information so i figured id get signed up since i still think i need some help from some of the veterans here. Anyway about myself: I am 27, I've been cooking/baking since i was young(like 8 for baking) i can cook pretty much anything(notice i didn't say smoke lol). I recently purchased a mast-built XL and did the a couple mods to it, got rid of the small water pan and i use a large foil pan, and i smashed the vents closed in the chip pan and i put screws in the bottom to adjust the height, i normally line the pan with foil as well to prevent flames from hitting the chunks. I use a pampered chef digital thermometer. Things I've smoked so far: 2 Sausage fatties, one with provolone and spinach other with Swiss, sauteed green pepper, onions, shrooms Chicken Ribs and a tiny brisket Out of everything i think the only things that came out good were the fatties. The others i think i had entirely too much smoke. The brisket and ribs were a lil tough i think i i must not have had them in long enough or something. Current projects: Just bought a nice sized pork shoulder i think it was about 9 lbs and about a 10lb brisket from Sam's club( you guys have a term for these i forgot what it was) Questions: How long do you soak your wood chunks? For this smoker would i do fat side up or down for the brisket? In a Foil pan or put a foil pan under it? If using a foil pan would i just cover the pan at 165 or foil the brisket outside of the pan? How in the world do you acquire that awesome bark you see on the cooking shows like Anthony bourdain, Andrew Zimmerman, and man vs food? Is there a problem with smoking meat that's been frozen? Or is the preferred method to smoke only fresh unfrozen meat? I have more questions but i don't wanna overload! I am like a sponge right now so I'm trying to soak up as much info as possible since smoking is SOO much different from cooking or baking. Its much harder and i give you guys credit for that! Looking forward to some great talks with everyone!