I spend a lot of time here at smoking meat forums. I love the ideas and there are some real awesome pit masters here that freely give advice. I have been pretty successful with my smokes due to you guys/gals. I always enjoy sitting back in the evening with a cold beer and read about the days smoke you guys share. I am going to share what happened to me on friday. I share this as a warning to the guys firing up the smoker for the first time and I want to share it to get the advice of the veterans on how to help/prevent my mistake in the future. Here it goes. Friday morning I had a weird idea. Thats what this place is about right?! There is no wrong way! Baltimore Pit beef was the idea. Wanted to smoke it a little first to add a hint of apple and a touch of pecan smoke to it. Bottom Round dry brined for about 5 hours in kosher salt. Then wiped clean and added my rub (A twist from Baltimore Pit Beef Rub.) Then fired up the smoker to smoke for about a 1 1/2hr, wanted a Internal temp of about 120-125F. Then I was going to toss it on my charcoal grill to get a nice crust on it. Now to the issue. I have a cheap vertical charcoal smoker, I bought it to learn on and was hoping to buy a nice model for next summer to cater to more friends and family. I should have replaced the side door handle to the charcoal pit but I did not. It was windy that day, I went out to check my temps at about 45 minutes in, everything was perfect. I put aluminum foil over my door to help with leaking, a trick I learned early on from help on making great food. Well I assume that when I adjusted the foil I must have accidentally unhooked the door. I have a wireless thermometer in the beef and the receiver on my belt. I walked in the house to see what my family was doing and in a matter of minutes the alarm goes off I look at receiver and it reads 360f. WHOA not good. Rush outside and you know it the door is wide open and the wind took a bite out of the charcoal and fire was blasting out of the side. I remained calm. Was able to close door but I could hear fire roaring inside the Smoker. I carefully yanked the lid and was able to grab my prized beef off the grate. I then was able to use water to calm down the fire and put it all out. I was able to save the beef it wasn't exactly the way I wanted but it was not burnt and dry. My pride, well its still outside laying next to the smoker. Its charred! So my question, how do you folks control your smokers in windy and even colder conditions? I live in Virginia winter is fast approaching and I cannot stop smoking because of weather! And even after my smashed pride I refuse to give up! I will be buying a new smoker a little earlier. And I also thing a good scrubbing I could actually salvage this unit! I am never far from my smoker when I am smoking, this is a reason why. And no worries friends I will post my next smoke and show that I refuse to quit something that I am newly so passionate about! So there is my story, hope everyone had a great weekend. To the Marines, Happy birthday! To those who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, Happy Veterans Day. Its because of you folks I get to sit on my deck and smoke and grill out! Your service is invaluable and I appreciate all that you do! Sadly I do not have a picture of finished product.