Originally Posted by txschutte
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)
I found the tip about putting a handful or two of lump on the coals when the fire's getting too small. That's my problem with the small offset, and the reason why I said to keep an eye on the smoke. Like Donny said, it's just too hard to burn low-n-slow, unless you start considering anything under 300 to be low-n-slow. If I'm smoking at 225, it's either a miniscule bed of coals ready to go out at any time, or I have it choked and not burning cleanly. The only way to cook at 225 on this thing (char-griller offset) is to use charcoal and chunks, but I find that expensive.