Originally Posted by MeatCandy
Based on the OP...Your start-up fire is too big and you are adding to much fuel on top of your dying fire...Try a smaller fire to start and add less fuel on top more often...
Exactly! Add Bludawg's post to this one and you have your answer. Start with charcoal and splits, then go with splits from there on out. You are adding a split as often as is needed to maintain a good bed of coals and it should combust as soon as you add it to your fire. Keep the exhaust wide open and your intake should be 1/3 to 1/2 open. If you have to close the intake any more than 1/3, your fire is too big and choking down on the intake is what is causing your "over-smoking" problem. White puffy smoke leads to creosote and bitter tasting food. You can over smoke with any kind of wood if it is smoldering and giving you dirty smoke but some woods such as mesquite leave less room for error, some of the worst Q I ever ate was done with hickory but it wasn't the wood's fault, it was the pitmaster's, "mine"! All cookers are different and I can't tell you exactly how big a fire to start with but if I were you I'd start with a fire that is intentionally too small, then build from there to achieve the temps that you want. With a little practice you'll get dialed in pretty close to where you need to be on both the fire's size and how often you'll need to feed it. Finally, your cooker is a stick burner and because of it's design it eats wood much more efficiently than charcoal. Charcoal combusts too quickly and leads to spiking temps which then causes you to choke down, any wood in your fire will then smolder and the smoke gets dirty. Wood in a well drafted offset will give you consistent temps and clean blue smoke.