My take is this...don't light it as directed. You are letting the fire set up WAYY too hot to start off. Fill the basket, take 10 briquettes out and light in a chimney. When they are lit and stop putting off smoke (just heat) dump them back into the center of the basket. Place the basket back into the drum and let it settle in and start rolling sweet blue. Once that happens, put the meat on and let it go.
I get MUCH better cooking temps when I do this sort of minion type burn. Just my $.02
18.5" OTS, 22.5" OTG, CB Silver(Rip), Vintage Coleman Bullet, Pit Barrel, UDS