Originally Posted by angrybird
Thanks Foam2 and olewarthog. I appreciate the pointers.
I'll start with 10 coals and shut down 2 of the intakes sooner. And even more importantly, now that I know I can completely shut off the intake (and not ruin the food), I'll give that a try if need-be.
A few other notes:
Check for air leaks into the drum. Anywhere that air can get in is going to allow more oxygen in for burning and temp will be higher. I can put a full chimney of charcoal in on top of what's loaded in the basket and still control temp because it's all about how much oxygen can get in, not how many briquets you start with.
If you're using lump, you'll need less air than using briquets, it just burns hotter normally.
I have run anywhere from 1 cap off + the valve 1/2 open to just the valve open maybe 1/3 depending on what temp I'm shooting for. This is using Kingsford, 2 3/4" pipe nipples and 1 3/4" valve, all of which are air-tight to the drum with a Weber lid and a rope seal in it to tighten it up to the drum.