I use a cheap mister from Wally-World, filled with apple juice, to baste with. I have a mop, but don't use it, for the same reason; I don't want to mop off the dry rub.
The first two years with my grill I did the offset smoking method. I would remove the two grates on the right-hand side, and build a small fire there. I'd put a drip pan underneath the left-hand grates, and place the meats on those grates. Once the fire was going good, I'd put a chunk or two of soaked hickory on top, shut the lid, and let it do it's thing. I'd keep an eye on the temperature until it hits about 200 - 225 degrees F, then adjust the intake so that it doesn't get to much air.
Now that I'm using the SFB, I lay drip pans under all the grates, and build my fire in the SFB.
For the offset method, I'd start with about half a charcoal starter full of charcoal, then go to wood after that. I was using native Red Oak up in Michigan at the time. Usually, two pieces of wood, and a chunk or two of Hickory. For the SFB, I'm going to have to start with a full charcoal starter full of charcoal, then put a lot of wood over that. I'm not sure how much, as I was using some branches of local oak that was only a couple inches in diameter.
Peace, Love, and Vegetable Rights!
Eat Meat and Save the Plants!