Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:
Speaking of Indian grocers and heat, look for black mustard seed. Many Indian dishes start w. the instruction, "toast mustard seed," similar to "saute´onion" in Western cooking. I read that the darker the mustard seed, the hotter it is. Seeing a bag of black mustard at the local place, and having read that ground mustard seed activated by water is far more pungent that that activated by vinegar, I gave it a try.
Pounded a Tbl in a mortar, add about an equal amount of water, and waited 10 min. It was wasabi hot. Completely opened the sinuses. The little bits lodged in my teeth kept appearing for maybe 45 min.
Within 3 days in the fridge, the heat had faded. So now, beside a pepper grinder, I have a black mustard grinder.
The chuck short ribs tend to be a little tougher than the plate. There is a seam of connective tissue, and a tougher muscle. The chuck is known to have more than average amounts of elastin, which does not break down w. heat. It looks yellowish.
Your cooking method seems about right. I usually go somewhat hotter, and they have never needed 7 hours. It cut into individual bones, they will go faster, but may also dry more. Don't remove the fat. It will render itself.
When eating, you might want to cut away any yellow seams of elastin, as they will be like rubber.
There was q pit in town that had a sign for awhile, "You may beat our prices, but you can't beat our meat..." Eventually, they took it down as a token of their civic responsibility. That, and certain ladies started lounging around their parking lot late nites.
As already mentioned, personal taste has a lot to do with the choice. Since reading the Egg forums, there have been many posts where ladies are mentioned liking only a whiff of smoke.
My approach is rather standard. Stronger flavored meat can pair w. stronger smoke flavors, blander meat, and other foods, milder smoke.
So, for beef, my go to woods are oak and hickory. Pork I go with hickory and pecan. Poultry with pecan, and most any fruit wood. Recently, I've been using mulberry which is common where I live. Sugar maple, and some of the other harder maples seem to go well w. almost anything. I haven't done a lot of fish. Usually I go w. the standard alder.
In a pinch, most woods work. Exceptions to that. Woods I haven't liked. Walnut. Tulip tree, a.k.a. yellow poplar. Mesquite, dubious, seems too acrid and biting. I've read elm is not good.
I bought a bag of pimenton, allspice bush, from Jamaica. Supposedly, the original wood for 'Q. It was more like a perfume. Even small amounts were extreme.
Have tried allspice berries, as a result. Expensive, but very nice. Also juniper berries. I wonder about using stick cassia.
Haven't tried corn cobs, which I've read are still a standard for smoking country hams and bacon. Also, haven't tried hay. I had a most excellent and memorable rainbow trout smoked over some kind of hay, perhaps alfalfa, but didn't have a chance to ask the cook.