I bought an offfset firebox smoker so that I could fix my own BBQ. It took me about two years to get it down pat. There is a learning curve.
I found out the best way was to use a bed of regular hardwood coals. Usually the wood was apple because that was available in Washington. Then use hickory wood to provide the good flavor smoke.
Now that I am back in the South I have no need to do my own BBQ. I can find all I want nearby.