I'll agree with all of the above. We cook on a massive off-set, reverse flow, stickburner and it is all about having a small hot fire with good air flow to get that pretty blue smoke you're looking for. A lot of people will "pre-heat" their wood; just be careful to not let it catch on fire before it's in the box :). We keep ours near the firebox so it's not going in "cold", so to speak, and ensure that no food goes in till we get the temp ideal so we can run sweet blue.
J & B's BBQ Team
Custom Pits Model A1 Offset Trailer.