I just started this obsession this past Fall and the biggest problem I continue to have is consistent heat. For example, I've started 2 chimneys of lump and have trouble getting the temp to maintain-its a big spike, then quick drop. I initially started with 1 chimney, but have trouble getting the temp up to 225-250. I have played around with the air vents on the side and the chimney, but I do not feel I have any clue on what to do. I'd like to have some idea of what I'm doing instead of just winging it as I go along.
I would also like to know what the differences are (if any) of using lump or briquet's. Reading the posts, I thought the best thing to use was lump since it wouldn't give off any residue/odor and was a better heat. Is there a briquet that true bbq smokers use? And how much fuel should I expect to use smoking a butt? I seem to be going through more than a bag and refueling about every 45 minutes. I've seen posts where people say they can get their smoker to temp and leave it for much longer than that. I want to enjoy the process but I feel like I am constantly working on fuels issues and too stressed out about getting to, and maintaining, temp. that I'm not enjoying the process the way God intended:) Thanks for your help! My smoker is snowed in up to the handles, but I'm about ready to go dig it out and get the season started!!