Once you start your smoker, it will build temperature, if left wide open it will climb into the 300plus range. If you watch the thermometer, there is a time when it will be just short of the temperature you want to cook at. For instance, 235F and you want to be at 245F, if you close up some of the intakes at that point, you can stop the rise just as you arrive at cooking temperature.
If you let it rise and ignite all of the coals, you have to damper down the temps and you will get dirty smoke and have a hard time controlling the temperature as too much fuel will be lit.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"I'm Armenian...perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."