Small fireboxes aren't very forgiving when it comes to any of wood's imperfections. And after a meat has reached a certain surface temperature it, more smoke doesn't seem to add much flavor -- at least not in the good way. My experience is that after a certain point, whether too long a smoke and/or bunk wood, the smoke flavor goes to acrid from sweet in a hurry.
Obviously, the rule doesn't apply to fireboxes big enough to qualify as stick burners; and there's a load of other exceptions. Let's not quibble.
As you know, I've given away my small offset in favor of a Backwoods with a medium sized fire chamber. And for the first time since getting the pit, will be using good, sweet wood instead of the crap pecan chunks I had lying around since last year and some new crap hickory chunks which came in a plastic bag bought at Bev-Mo (the chunks AND the bag) a couple of weeks ago. So, new territory.
Today I'll smoke a couple of racks of spares, and a 5# chicken.
The fire base is quality mesquite chunk. The fire will be started by dumping a small chimney's worth of smaller hunk into a space cleared for it in front of the firebox.
The Guru will be set to 240, and the fire started at noon.
Once the fire's going pretty well -- about 170F -- the same time hot water goes into the pan -- I'm figuring on adding a 6" split of peach and another of oak where the hot coals meet the new ones. Putting the ribs in the cooker when the smoke runs clean or the temp hits 225 -- whichever comes first-- around 12:45. Wrapping the ribs, and adding two more splits to the fire at 3:30. Adding the chicken at 4. Unwrap the ribs at 5:15. Everything should out and resting at a skosh after 6.
I'm not asking about the time table. The estimates are close enough for government work. Besides it doesn't matter. It takes as long as it takes and comes out when it's right.
What I am asking for is your take regarding the smoke wood amount and the timing for adding it to the fire.
PS. Apologies for cross posting this in the Barbecue Central Forum