DHQ's tips are right on.
I'll offer another observation, for what it is worth. We all know every pit is different and part of my learning curve was finally understanding where my pit WANTS to run. When I run a fire with 2 splits, the exhaust wide open and intakes open enough to get clear blue smoke, my pit WANTS to run at 275*. I can adjust it to 250* or 300* by closing or opening the air intakes. If I want to cook hotter, I just move to a 3 split fire and give it more intake air; I can easily move the pit temps to 325* or 350*.
And a final observation: +/- 25* is not going to end the world. When, for example I want a target temp of 325*, I've finally gotten comfortable with anything in a 300*-350* zone and really don't mess with the pit as long as I'm in the zone. When I get to the lower end I just know its time to add a split or two.
Just my $0.02.
Originally Posted by Smokinwright
My biggest problems with my stick burners are, once I get them to temp, is to get them to stabilize. I've owned 3 different type of stick burners, and all do the same, either a little too warm, or a little too cool.
Originally Posted by DownHomeQue
Are you using the same size splits? Exhaust wide open? intakes open the whole time? keep in mind that with stickburners changes tend to take more time to see the full effect. Key is using similiar sized splits.. maybe adding a handful of charcoal with those splits.. to help stabilize the pit.. another trick to keep handy is to try and keep really thin splits for when your temp drops.. throw these on the fire and the help bring it back up in no time! Hope this helps!