Ok so I started a fire using the minion method , unlit Lump mixed with apple chunks , got the temps to about 280 then added a 11 pound brisket and a 12 pound Boston butt .
I know I messed up by not letting food get down to room temp , so I'm guessing the opening of the main chamber and the cold food is what is keeping my temps down it was floating at 180
Just added some more wood and another 1/2 chimney of lit and only got a 20 degree bump ??? It's at 200 and dropping again , I'm confused both vent and chimney are wide open ! Is it the lump charcoal ?? I thought it was supposed to burn hotter than briquettes ?? I got the strap mod in the fire box charcoal box is full and fully lit ..... Any suggestions ??