Well, I use a smoker, but I pretty much follow recipes from the books.
I generally put a butt on top, and some hours later put a chicken or chicken pieces, and pork chops, on the lower level. They cook much quicker. Make maximum use of the heat. The smoked pork seems to hold forever. The chicken and chops I might freeze into lunches.
I use a Weber bullet, but hope to one day get one of the Kamados, but not the BGE.
I no longer use briquettes, it's true they produce too much ash and burn too quickly. Natural charcoal and wood for me.
I've put apple juice in the water pan, but that makes a huge mess from the sugar content.
Now that it's getting warmer, I'll go back to doing ribs, too. I once did a goose that came out quite well. Later on, the fat drippings from the water pan caught fire. Now THAT'S an untapped source of energy!
I'll do turkey again, too. But I don't think I'll do duck again.
Alton Brown had an episode on Good Eats (Food Network) last night about ribs. He talked about dry rubs from a thoery standpoint. He said that the formula for most dry rubs is 5-3-1 +1. That is 5 parts brown sugar, 3 parts salt, 1 part chili powder plus 1 part of whatever feels right. He used a combination of pepper, cayenne, jalapeno powder, Old Bay, thyme and onion powder.
His point was that what separated all the good rubs was what was in that last part.
I keep smoking through the winter, although I haven't done anything now for a couple of months. The only problem during the winter is that when its down around zero or below is that my smoker takes more attention, and fiddling, to keep the temp where I want it. Last Thanksgiving I was having my whole family over (not that big a family, 14 people). I normally smoke about 11 pound turkeys. My wife picked up a 22 pounder, and as I thought about how long that was going to take, and after reading some literature that said you can't smoke a turkey that big because to much of the bird will be at the perfect temp to grow all kinds of wonderful bacteria, I was afraid I was going to have to go find a smaller bird at the last minute. Then I read something and realized there was another option. I cut the thing up like a chicken, cutting the breast in half. I put the rub I've been using lately, one made by a local person with salt, brown sugar, garlic, monosodium glutamate, onion, paprika, green and red bell peppers, molasses, and a few other spices, wrapped it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. I put it in the smoker the next day with Jim Beam whiskey soaked wood chips and charcoal. It was a very cold day, and even with being cut up I was concerned about keeping the smoker warm enough, but I got more compliments than I ever have before. Even from family members who normally don't like turkey, or smoked turkey. Dang, now I'm hungry, and I'm full of steak I grilled earlier tonite, with the same rub. And lots of compliments from my family and my son's future in laws. I first had this rub when the rehearsal dinner for a wedding I was doing was catered by "Corky's Cookouts" here in my little town. The steaks were the among the best I have ever had, and that includes some of the best steakhouses in Omaha. I asked "Corky" how he did it, and he told me about his rub and how he applied it. A couple of stores handle it locally, and I've been using it ever since, at least as my base with some other spices and herbs added at times. There are a lot of "Corky's" rubs and sauces out there, evidently a popular BBQ name, but if you don't shop in the Ackley, Iowa area I doubt you will find this one.
I picked up an offset to learn how to smoke, so I found a coffee-bourbon rub that worked great on a pork loin. From the guys @ Smoking Meat Forums - Welcome to Smoking Meat Forums!, the best tip I found was to rub regular mustard all over the meat before putting on the rub. Turned out great, and gives this newbie confidence that I can pull the smoking deal off. Chicken and ribs are next, after it warms up here in the northland.