I like to let my drum warm up for 30 minutes after I dump 6 coals on my basket of unlit coals. I use briquettes, lump is tough to control to me. My basket sits 3.5 inches from bottom of the drum. My uds settles in at about 230-240. I cooked a brisket the other night for 17 hours and still have half a basket of briquettes left! I was shocked. I use magnets to cover intake holes.