Big Green Egg
i enjoy my bge because it can reach high temperatures for steak and pizza and sustain low temperatures for slow cooking.
when slow cooking or smoking, i emphasize the value of the "plate setter" fritter mentioned. it is possible to jury rig an alternative means of baffling direct heat, but the ceramic mass of the brand name accessory works well.
a very common way of cooking ribs is some variation of the 3-2-1 approach. i am more likely to use the 3-2-finish version. i prefer trimmed, st louis-style spare ribs--membrane removed. i generally brine them, rinse them, dry them, rub them with exotic powders and let them contemplate the universe overnight in the fridge. temper to room temp before cooking.
i only use lump charcoal and select a brand that offers fairly large chunks. (some lump charcoal isn't much different than charred scrap lath and isn't any good.) it is important to stabilize the temperature of the egg before beginning to cook. light the fire, install the plate setter with a pan of water on it and let the fire get going with the vents open. i zip the heat all the way up and then damp it down to a running temp of 225 or so. others start damping at a lower temp. heat management requires control of both the bottom vent and the chimney vent. i don't know how bges are shipped today, but mine did not include an adjustable chimney vent. i bought a daisy wheel accessory cap before using it the first time.
introduce your favorite wood chunks to the fire and put the ribs on the grill--rib rack or not depending on space needs. cook for 3 hours, turning every 45 minutes or so--the "3" of the method. quickly remove the ribs and wrap them in foil. many spill a little beer into the packs or a bit of spiced mop sauce. the liquid generates a bit of steam--either desirable or undesirable depending on your preference for ribs that fall off the bone or ribs that one gnaws off the bone. cook the wrapped ribs for 2 hours, turning once. this is the "2" of the method's name.
unwrap the ribs and put them back on the grill. to my taste the ribs are smokey and well-cooked after the 3-2 intervals. others cook them open for another hour. i'm quite happy to start applying sauce as soon as i put the ribs back on the grill. i generally open the vents to create a temperature that'll color-up the bbq sauce. i baste, cook and turn repeatedly for 20 minutes or so. this is the "finish" stage of what i'm calling the 3-2-finish method. remove the ribs, let them rest while enjoying a beer, slice and serve with extra sauce on the side.
oh--and i think welding gloves are a must. i prefer to grab meat with my hands. forks are a bad idea and tongs are awkward.
"mine did not include an adjustable chimney vent. i bought a daisy wheel accessory cap before using it the first time"
I believe they should all come from the factory with a Daisy wheel. If you didn't get one it's too bad you didn't call the Mother Ship. I'm ceratin they would have sent you one.
For Steaks a Spider is the shitsizzle.
I love my BGE. Perhaps the single most impressive cooking tool I have ever bought. I'm glad to see other Eggheads here.
I have done smoked brisket several times. I really try to find a whole brisket and not just a flat for smoking.
You should have a Polder thermometer. Make sure you wrap the wire that would other wise be exposed inside the egg with aluminum foil. Set your Egg up like you are going to pull pork. I "stage" my charcoal with the largest chunks on the bottom then medium pieces and finally the small stuff on the top. I place wood chunks or chips all through the layers of charcoal.
Season your meat the night before and let it set in the fridge. Then pull it at least a few hours before you start.
Use the plate setter and a pan of liquid. I just use water but others swear by beer or what ever they might like to flavor the meat.
My typical burn is 22-44 hours in a Large at 220.
I pull when I reach an internal temp of 190 and then I wrap the brisket in aluminum foil and hold for an additional four hours in a cooler. You do want the smallest cooler that will fit your brisket other wise you would want to reduce your hold time. The idea is to stay in the safety zone so over 140 degrees.
You can find a ton of information on the whiz's web site.
I have no idea about what constitutes smoked meat in Montreal, but my brother and I recently did pulled pork on the Egg, just got a big pork butt threw a dry rub on it and adjusted the egg to aprox 250 degrees put it on at 11 in the morning pulled it out about 5 pm, and it literally fell apart on us and was so tender and succulent with a nice healthy bark on the outside giving it just the right tooth.