Okay, yesterday I had the parents over and we gave it our best. We decided to do some boston butts, bone in, one for each of us. I got some lump charcoal and put a good mix of charcoal/lump and added some cherry/mulberry...filled the basket this time. I started some in a chimney and put the started coals in the basket. Basket went in and opened up all three intakes and opened the exhaust. It got up to 260 in about 45 min and stayed. At 1hr I found a small project fan I had and put a gentle breeze into one of the 3/4" inlets. The fan got me up to 290 and I stopped the fan and shut the ball valve, running on 2 open inlets. She stayed that way for about 3hrs and stayed at a nice 280. Temps started to fall again, so I turned the fan back on to get my temps up. I kept fiddling with air for the rest of the cook, but it seemed like with a full basket, it liked 275-280. I used 3/4 of my basket. After about 5.5 hrs, IT was 185 and we wrapped them up in foil and let it go for another 1/2 hour. We let them sit for a bit while we cleaned up and they had to take off. My hunk was very moist, the bone just slid out, it was some of the softest pork I've experienced...no effort at all to shred.
Couple of ideas going through my head. Since I had to put a fan on one of the inlets, I'm guessing my basket is still not getting enough air. Would a kinda dirty/crudded-up basket restrict airflow that much? I think the basket is standing off of the ash tray by about 2" or so...should that be more?
Started with a Weber. Stepped up to a UDS. Pepper fanatic.