I have a Party with a guru. I use two bricks to make a snake of lump and use two paraffin cubes to start it. I leave all vents open until it gets to 200 then I shut the vents down and let the guru walk the temp up to 230. Also I began to use smaller wood chunks for smoke – the bigger ones would push the fire up faster.
When I first bought the Party I did not get the heat diffuser and had the worst time stabilizing my heat temps. Once I started using the diffuser and the snake method my temps stay at 230 for at least 8 hours.