I am almost 100% certain that I know whar caused the problem because I used to hace it myself when I was getting started using a Char Broil Silver Smoker. Its practically the same design as your Hondo.
Your temp gauge was reading 225 and thays probably what it was........at the LID! Meanwhile down at the grate it was probably far lees than that. What happens with these cookers is that the heat takes the point of least resistance on its way out of the pit. In this case the point of least resistance is to go up and over your food straigh to the smokestack.
I had this problem several times before I found the simple solution. You have to lower the inlet of the smoke stack to grate level. This way yhe heat has no choice but to pass around the meat. This can be done simply with an empty metal can with both ends cut out or a piece of aluminum dryer hose. Just make sure that smokestack inlet comes down and you will see better results immediately.