Congrats Tim. Looks good.
few comments about your questions. First, I usually make the marinate without the oil added, then separate the marinade keeping some for basting. I then add the oil to the marinade that I will put with the chicken. The separated marinade I use for basting gets only a small amount of oil. This way, I do not get the "flare ups" from the oil when basting. I think some of the excess smoke you had was from the oil in your basting sauce.
I also cook over direct heat but do it at "medium" rather than hot.
Good luck on your next cook. By the way, where are you located in PA? We moved to NC from the Wallingford area.
Hi Ray, thank you for the tips! I should have mentioned, I did use to different mixes. The marinade did not use the oil. Last week I actually read every single post of this thread so I could see what everyone else was doing. Perhaps next time I should use less oil in the basting. When I applied the sauce, I used one of those silicone brushes. I was worried that the squirt bottle method would make too much of a mess. Sound right?
When you cook over direct, do you close the lid? Do you have an even layer of coals or do you bank them to the side? I had mine banked to the side so I had a place to go if I ran into problems. I'm glad I did! I am thinking that I didn't need the extra unlit coals added.
I'm located in a small town called, Lititz which is in Lancaster county, about 40 minutes from Harrisburg.