If using briquette charcoal, add it pre-lit. In an offset smoker like yours, I prefer lump charcoal. It burns hotter and faster. This also gives you a great ember bed suitable for small split logs. Watch for bluish smoke from the stack for a clean fire. Also check out KC Quer's Roadmap to Q-Talk for different tips on maintaining a clean fire in an offset smoker. (Located in the sticky's, top of the Q-talk page)
"Bring it on, you bananna thong wearing killer of brisket!"
If you really care about this place, you'll show some respect for it.
Finally got my dream cooker, Runaround Sue
Team Whosoever Q
If a man looks lustfully at eggs and bacon, he has already committed breakfast in his heart.