1. Keep your pit clean. There is a big difference between a seasoned pit and a dirty pit. A dirty pit can be a fire hazard and will not produce a consistent product.
2. Stay consistent. Regardless if your competing or selling barbecue it is impossible to gauge progress if you are constantly changing things. Before you change anything make sure you have notes on what you are changing just in case you need to go back and if it's working don't change as it is impossible to fix anything that isn't broken.
3. Success is often found in the details. Pay close attention to everything you do as some short cuts may actually throw you a curve ball instead of helping you.
4. Be careful on following advice from others. What works great for some may not work at all for you. Make sure and practice any advice to verify these "tips" will work. There's nothing worse then changing techniques or recipes when it counts without practicing them first. It's ok to ask for help but try it before you use the advice for customers or judges.
5. Plan ahead to avoid those pesky "oh crap" moments. Nothing beats a good check off list before you start the barbecuing process. Getting caught with out your standard stuff can lead to disaster.
6. Fun is rule number 1! If you ain't having fun, then be warned: you will get burned out quickly as barbecue is hard work, but those who truly love the process will always be better then those who fumble through a cook or an event.
Until next month...keep it smokin!