Originally Posted by jrn
You might wanna load it with fuel and do a dry run without food. Might find it a little less stressful. ...
Harder to control an empty cooker and IMO a waste of charcoal and time. For the things we cook, holding an exact temperature is rarely critical.
Others have made good suggestions and I will only add that you should also keep the lid on. Each time you open that up, you admit fresh air that will affect the fire. Likewise if the cooker is in a breezy location, that could make temperature control more difficult.
As others have said, be patient with your changes and don't worry, better temperature control will come with practice.