New gauge for sure, get an accurate temperature.
Put a chimney on the meat barrel, it will draft better, and heat faster. I would want a 3" chimney myself. The 2" hole is convenient, but, with that setup, a 3" chimney will draft better.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."