this is awesome advice all. thank you much. im trying to learn how i want to take things now. Im wanting to switch from a wsm style cooker to a old school pit in the ground or offset. For small offsets im glad to know to get a small hot fire and then add a chunk or two and let them burn down, and then re-add them. I might try that method in the weber or uds. get a nice batch of lump to the red hot stage, add it to the cooker, and then add the chunks once it is up toi temp of course. then when i see the tbs, put on the food and every 45 minutes, add more chunks to the small hot fire.
thanks you all very much. im also gonna try a burn barell.